Home Christian News USC Researchers Use AI To Help Translate Bible Into Very Rare Languages

USC Researchers Use AI To Help Translate Bible Into Very Rare Languages

Ulf Hermjakob. Photo via USC

Ulf Hermjakob. Photo via USC

“We are thinking of languages like Uyghur or Oromo (Oromo is spoken in Ethiopia and Northern Kenya),” said Hermjakob.

Recently, they have been approached by an Indian consultant specifically interested in the spell-checking and world-alignment tool for Bible translation in Kolami, a language spoken in western India that counts 130,000 native speakers.

The Greek Room also hopes to change the traditional model of Bible translation. Historically, translations were done by Western missionaries, who could only work on two languages at most in their lifetime, explained Hermjakob. With the Greek Room, the two researchers encourage a local church-driven model.

Local churches and local language communities are asking for translations of the Bible in their heart language,” explained Mathew, adding that in a multilingual context, the heart language is the one in which people express their deepest feelings and is usually their native language.

This first version of the Greek Room focuses on quality control so translators can prioritize other tasks that require more judgment, like finding a way to translate a concept that doesn’t exist in a given language. In their next version, the two researchers want the tool to suggest better translations.

Now that their codes and data are available on GitHub, they hope other users will integrate their research into their tools and innovate further.

Their initiative, supported by the Wycliffe Bible Translators USA organization, is part of a broader program directed by Every Tribe, Every Nation that hopes to make the Scripture available in every language by 2033.

This article originally appeared here