Translation Principles

In order to provide perceptive guidance on translation issues, consultants need to have a broad understanding of translation approaches and principles, and the factors that influence quality translation.

Here are some resource suggestions to help your mentees grow in their skills related to translation principles:

1. SIL-validated courses in translation principles

There are a network of training providers offering courses aligned with SIL’s Standard Learning Objectives for ‘Translation Principles, Theory, and Practice’. Use SIL’s website to find a training course suitable for you.


2. Digital Training Library

The Digital Training Library offers a variety of certificates, including ‘Foundations of Bible Translation’, which is available in several languages. Scholarships are available to help with the cost of studying for these certificates.


3. Books about translation principles

These are some key books about translation principles in general, or Bible translation in particular:

Translation in general:
Bible translation:
  • Barnwell, Katy. 2020. Bible Translation: An Introductory Course in Translation Principles, Fourth Edition. SIL International.
  • Hill, Harriet, Ernst-August Gutt, Margaret Hill, Christoph Unger and Rick Floyd. 2011. Bible translation basics: Communicating scripture in a relevant way. SIL International.
  • Wilt, Timothy. 2003. Bible translation: Frames of reference. Routledge.


4. Articles about translation theories and Bible translation

These are some good articles that explore further the connection between different translation theories and Bible translation:


Further resources that might interest you

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