Translation PrinciplesTranslation in SIL focuses on research and development in translation theory and practice, academic training programs, and consultant and technical support required for producing quality translations in partnership with many different ethnic communities around the world.
SIL is a member of the Forum of Bible Agencies International (FOBAI) and follows their "Basic Principles and Procedures for Bible Translation,” which state, “we affirm the inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures and commit ourselves:
to translate the Scriptures accurately, without loss, change, distortion or embellishment of the meaning of the original text. Accuracy in Bible translation is the faithful communication, as exactly as possible, of that meaning, determined according to sound principles of exegesis.” (FOBAI statement #11).
Along with this concern for accuracy, we are also committed to translation that communicates as clearly and naturally as possible in the receptor languages. Translation must be done with attention to “the sensitivities and experience of the receptor audience” (FOBAI statement #11). This involves careful study of and extensive interaction with the worldview and conceptual framework of the receptor audience in order to ensure that the original meaning of the biblical text will be communicated as faithfully and appropriately as possible in their context.