“Every person, every tribe, every nation should be able to read God’s word in their mother tongue. With MissionAssist it is so easy to be part of this vision.”
MissionAssist’s largest project is our network of volunteers dedicated to digitising Bibles in lots of different languages. You may have heard the name WEBBS, which stands for the Worldwide Electronic Bible and Book Service. Or you may have heard it called the Bible Digitisation Project, for example by our partners Wycliffe and Bible Society.
To support the work of Bible translation and publishing, we have a large team of people converting printed text to digital format by typing it into a computer file – a process known as keyboarding. To join us you don’t need to be a linguist, a translator, an expert computer user or even a touch typist.
Attention to detail is crucial when typing and checking Scripture – the task is well suited to people who really enjoy doing large jigsaw puzzles with small pieces! Just like doing a jigsaw, you can concentrate for a short time then take a break, and complete it at your own pace. There are no set hours – some do a few hours of typing a week, while others do much more, all from their own home.
Keyboarding involves looking at a photograph of some text and typing it up via your computer keyboard. You don’t need to be a fast typist because you will be transcribing text in a language that you cannot read, with accents and text markers. With training and specially-designed software you can use a standard keyboard to enter, and see on your screen, the range of characters in each alphabet. Note that a smart phone or tablet is not a suitable device for this task.
Take a look at our Keyboarding Taster which has some exercises you can try out to help you decide if keyboarding is for you.
“I want to enable as many people as possible to access the Bible. Keyboarding is something I am able to do even though I have ill health.”
- Keyboard sections of text, as batched and sent out by the team leader.
- Keep in contact with the team leader, including sending back completed files and confirming when you will be available for another batch.
Requirements (after joining MissionAssist)
- Complete a series of training practice exercises, with the support of the keyboarding trainer.
- For a Windows PC, install on your computer the special software for MissionAssist Keyboarders. (Alternatively, it is possible to use some standard text editors with certain settings and instructions to enable keyboarding in other languages, for example TextEdit on a Mac.)
“I recently retired and have quite a bit of time available to serve. I saw an article in the Bible Society magazine and decided that volunteering with MissionAssist was something I really wanted to do.”