Understanding of sociolinguistics enables a consultant to assist translation teams to gain a broader perspective on language use and social factors within the receptor audience(s) that have an impact on translation strategy in their context.

Here are some resource suggestions to help your mentees grow in their sociolinguistics skills:

1. ‘Understanding Multilingualism’ video

Watch this short video from SIL about understanding multilingualism. Subtitles are available in English, French, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese.


2. Multilingualism Assessment Tool (MAT)

The multilingualism assessment tool (MAT) aims to help church and organizational partners assess the multilingual context and identify how that impacts the scope of Scripture translation efforts. The tool includes a typology assessment to help a community find out what type of language situation they are facing, and supportive guidance to explore what that means for Bible translation work.

Tip: Work through the tool yourself for a community you are familiar with. Then read through the guidance and ‘going deeper’ sections for all types of multilingualism, as this will help you be a resource to teams in different multilingual situations. Discuss with your mentor how you could use this tool with a project for whom you are consulting.

3. Books and articles

The following books and articles will help you think about the importance of sociolinguistic issues for Bible translation:


Further resources that might interest you

  • Do you know of a good resource that should be listed here? Please let us know.