Press Release: July 8, 2024

How Much Does Translation Cost?

How Much Does a Translation Cost? 

$35 translates a verse 

$1000 translates an average chapter 

$60,000 provides 1 year of translation progress 

$120,000 provides translation for portions of Scripture (the equivalent of 25 chapters) 

$420,000 translates the New Testament (or the equivalent of 260 chapters) 

$960,000 translates the full Bible 

Where do these funds go?

Prices are rising everywhere, and Bible translation expenses are no exception. Here are some of the biggest costs: 

  • Maintaining an office costs money. Voltage frequently runs too slow on the national grid, so for the printer to work, they need a generator. Supplies and computers must be purchased and then replaced every 5-6 years. 
  • “Missionaries are not cheap!” Sarah Esala, regional director, exclaims. A knowledgeable, well-trained team is crucial. “The salaries of the staff: scripture engagement coordinator, translation head, translators, it ends up being quite expensive to have people in the country. We want to train nationals to take on certain roles so we can pay them instead.” 
  • Petrol (fuel) is vital. Translators travel to the office for daily work or workshops, to various areas to gather support from the community, or to visit remote areas. 
  • Reliable transportation goes hand in hand with petrol! Many translation projects make use of motorcycles or boats. Smaller language groups are often more remote and public transportation scarce. “We want to equip them with a motorcycle because it becomes an important tool for their work. Like a company car.” says Regional Director Sarah Esala. 

Learn more about the language communities Lutheran Bible Translators partners with in Bible translation, Scripture engagement, and literacy and language development. The needs are great and the work cannot be done without your prayers and support.

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