Expanding drafting possibilities with Autographa and Scripture Forge

Once you are ready to start working on a written translation, there are a number of tools that can assist you to draft and edit efficiently.

Written translation drafting with Autographa

While Paratext remains a popular choice for written translation drafting and checking, there are also other open-source alternatives to consider.

Autographa allows you to create a project, import resources and start translating within minutes.

After downloading the software and installing, you’ll be prompted to login with a username, which is generally an email address. You can then create a new project:

You can then load modules – reference translations, biblical language information and other resources – and begin drafting your written translation.

The simple user interface allows you to focus on producing a high quality draft. Your text is saved as USFM, so can later be easily exported to other applications, or for publication.

Get translation suggestions with Scripture Forge

Another helpful tool, this time for Paratext users, is Scripture Forge which integrates with an existing Paratext translation project and provides translation suggestions as you type. The software learns as you go, so its suggestions are continually improving.

After logging in to the web interface at scriptureforge.org, you’ll be prompted to connect your Paratext account. Once you have done that, you should have access to all Paratext projects for which you are an Administrator.

We’ll now draft a new English translation from the Spanish NTV:

As the suggestion appears, we can choose to accept it, modify it, or come up with an entirely different translation. As we begin to type out a line, it may also be that Scripture Forge makes a suggestion for the following words.

In addition to translation suggestions, Scripture Forge also includes a Community Checking module for Scripture checking to be crowd-sourced to speakers of the language. You can find out more about Scripture Forge Community Checking here.

What might the future look like?

As datasets relating to the Bible and Bible translations in thousands of languages are more readily available, advanced technologies will be able to rapidly learn from these translations. It is likely that in the coming years these technologies will be able to combine data from the world’s languages with Scripture translations that already exist in thousands of languages, to give increasingly helpful support to translators as they draft new written or oral Scriptures.