Supporting the Translation Community
Paratext is the result of many years of work and collaboration by United Bible Societies and SIL, with input from many Bible translators around the world. It is designed to assist in Biblical exegesis, translation, checking, and publication of the Scriptures.
This is our slogan:
Every WORD matters, every TONGUE counts
We want to see accurate translations of God’s word for every people, in a form they can understand and engage with. We want to make Paratext available as widely as possible to those who share this goal.
Paratext is Free
Paratext is free. Anyone may download and register Paratext. To use Paratext, all users must be registered online.
Many Scripture and Bible translation resources are available only to members of the translation community. If you have downloaded Paratext, you can work on a translation project locally on your computer and use a limited set of freely licensed resources. We hope to add resources to this set as they become available. To get the most out of Paratext, including access to many resources that are available only to registered users, we encourage those who are eligible to register through a translation organization or as an independent translator.
Paratext is supplied “AS IS” without any warranties. UBS and SIL assume no responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the software.
We expect Paratext users to observe copyright law and practice basic ethical principles. We reserve the right to revoke access to the product under the following circumstances :
- Infringement of copyright, plagiarism, or not honoring licensing agreements in some other way.
- Socially irresponsible behavior, such as using Paratext to publish obscenity, defamation, incitement, etc. (the exceptions to freedom of speech in the United States and the United Kingdom)
- Public actions deemed as damaging to the Church in general and the Bible translation movement in particular.
In addition to the freely licensed materials available to all Paratext users, a large number of resources are available to qualified users who register. This includes translations, translator’s guides, source language resources, lexicons, and other resources.
A registered user is either a member of a registered translation organization or is approved as an independent translator.
Any organization, group or independent translator who agrees to do Bible translation according to the standards set by the Forum of Bible Agencies International (FOBAI) may register through the Paratext website using one of these links:
Once the Paratext Board of Governors approves the request, a registered translator can create registered projects and use the Paratext repository.
The Board of Governors will respond to the request within two weeks. A vetting process will begin that should take less than a month if complete information was provided. The applicant will be informed of any issues along the way. If there are no objections, the board of governors will approve the addition of the organization or Independent translator to the Paratext registry.
Project Registration and Paratext Repositories
Paratext functionality is only fully unlocked for registered users working on a registered project. Project registration is only available for registered users.
Members of registered projects also have access to some Paratext features that are not available to all users:
- Teamwork features: synchronization of work between team members
- Secure cloud storage of data
- Print and export functionality
- The Interlinearizer and Guess Translation features due to licensing restrictions of the glossing technology used.
Project Review Period
We encourage new translations in unreached languages while discouraging competing translation work in the same language. We favor projects that promote cooperation among Bible translators instead of competition. We define competition as the deliberate targeting of an audience that is already served by an existing translation project or text, using a similar translation style and principles. We do not consider translations for different audiences in the same language to be competitive. To avoid mischaracterization, projects should clearly identify their target community, unique features, and other descriptive information on the project registration page. The board may be called on to intervene in cases where competition is a perceived threat. If mediation fails, this can result in the removal of access to publishing support tools for the competing project.
Newly registered projects have an internal review period of 4 weeks within the organization which created it. The organization should use this time to check and, if necessary, amend any registrations. After the internal review, they are forwarded to the project registration reviewers in registered organizations. See the Project Registration Reviewer’s Guide for more information.
Paratext also provides the following publishing tools:
When a project is first registered, it is granted Translator Tier access. If there are no complaints of competition in the next 6-8 weeks, the project is automatically elevated to the Publisher Tier, allowing these publishing tools to access the project text. At this point, the project may be typeset for print by any authorized Publishing Assistant user. It should be noted that the authorization to use Publishing Assistant is granted only to those who have completed an official training course.
Revocation Process for Contested Projects
After investigating, the board may decide to:
- Reject the complaint if there are deemed to be no violations.
- Remove publishing support, in the case of competition.