World Leaders in Bible Translation Technology Gather in Toronto

Thursday October 15, 2015

Toronto: Behind every Bible translation and publishing project, there is a long line of technology and expertise that has made the translation and presentation of the new resource possible.

Last month in Toronto, 40 technology professionals from around the world gathered at a hotel near the airport, hosted by the Canadian Bible Society (CBS).

The team included members of the United Bible Societies – the biggest translator, publisher and distributor of the Bible in the world – along with partners from Wycliffe Bible Translators.

This is the first global gathering of ICAP – the Institute for Computer Assisted Publishing – in several years, say organizers. ICAP creates software programs to support Bible translators and publishers, and provides training, encouragement, and support to those who use the tools.

The time was right for participants to share new technology developments and discuss how to further their collaboration for the sake of Bible translation and publishing projects to come.

The Every Tribe Every Nation alliance, committed to “eradicating Bible poverty,” was a generous sponsor of the gathering.

The schedule included workshops on Paratext (a landmark software program for scripture translation); Publishing Assistant (software tools for Bible typesetting and printing); the Digital Bible Library (an online archive of completed and verified scripture texts used especially by creators of websites and applications for mobile devices); and training and planning around support services for translators in the field, among other topics.

“What we really had happening in Toronto,” says Reinier de Blois, Global ICAP Coordinator, “was a gathering of some of the top technology professionals from around the world in the field of Bible translation and publishing. To have all that experience and expertise in one spot, and be able to share among each other as well as bring everyone up to speed on some significant developments in the field, was extremely important to upcoming years of Bible translation and publication.”

“The motto of ICAP is ‘Building tools, Building people,’ which is exactly what we saw happening at this gathering,” says de Blois.

“It was very fitting this gathering occurred in Toronto,” says Myles Leitch, Director of Translation of host CBS.

“ICAP is part of the DNA of the Canadian Bible Society. Our own Computer Assisted Publishing team, or ‘CAP,’ was originally formed to address an identified need for technological helps for publishing in Canadian First Nations languages. To witness at this gathering the  technological leaps forward, and framework for the work that still is to come, was truly amazing and gratifying,” says Leitch.

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