Oral Mother Tongue (OMT) Bible Translation School - YWAM Perth Australia

Oral Mother Tongue (OMT) Bible Translation School

Starts Every: April

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The OMT Bible Translation School combines the power of language and God’s Word to bring oral mother tongue speakers the message of the Gospel and Scripture in their own language.  

The Bible is a powerful agent of transformation because it is the words of God Himself! Where it has gone and been lived out, the result has been salvation, revival, discipleship, and transformation of whole societies. 

For over 600 years, the Bible has been available in English and in many translations. However, there are more than 1,200 languages groups across the earth who have never had one passage of the Bible in their mother tongue. This represents over 100 million people without access to God's Word.  

Oral communication is the primary, and often sole, form of communication for up to 80% of people worldwide. Many of these represent unreached people. Being an oral learner or from an oral culture is not necessarily an issue of illiteracy. It is a way people perceive the world and interact with information. Oral transmission of the Gospel and Scripture does, however, bypass any situation where illiteracy or a language with no written form, is present. God wants ALL people to have access to His word and the knowledge of Him in the way that speaks to them best! In Revelation 7:9, it says that every tongue will be in heaven worshipping Him! Bible translation has spiritual impact! As part of seeing the Great Commission fulfilled, we need to give every language group access to the truth of the Gospel and Scripture in their own tongue.  

The OMT Bible Translation School will equip you to find and serve OMT Bible translators and prepare you to serve in various roles required for a successful oral Bible translation (OBT) project. It will give you a greater understanding of the Word of God and the diversity of cultures where the Bible has yet to go. You will gain understanding of oral cultures and the importance of language, the impact of the Bible on societies, how to facilitate an OBT project and various OMT Bible translation methods. A primary focus of the school is to train students so that they can begin projects among language groups with no Scripture access and to meet the request from many language groups requesting Bible translation from YWAM. You are encouraged to come to the school with a team, or prepared to build or join a team, and begin projects once the lecture phase is completed.   


Important information about the school:

-For enquires from Bible Translation Organisation Partners and OMT translators, please email jenb@ywamperth.org.au

-Students should come to the school with a proposed project for at least one specific language group (can be more than one language group) 

-Upon application, a request will be sent for information regarding the intended project you would be coming to the school with and which outreach option (listed below) you are interested in  

-Two digital books will need to be purchased by students: “The Book that Transforms Nations” by Loren Cunningham and  "Don't Throw the Book at Them" by Harry Box  

Optional resource: "Bible Translation Basics, Communicating Scripture in a Relevant Way" by Harriet Hill, Ernst-August Gutt, Margaret Hill, Christoph Unger & Rick Floyd

-Three week modules are available for participation and do not require completion of DTS. For more information email obtschool@ywamperth.org.au 


 Important Outreach and School Date Information: 

-Though not reflected in the listed school dates above, outreach is required for completion of the school and for UofN credit. The goal of the outreach is to see real oral Bible translation projects begin. Outreach must achieve specific goals outlined in the lecture phase, including participation in an oral Bible translation project. These goals must be completed within a year of the end of the lecture phase 

-OMT outreach goals include scouting, relationship building with a language group, translator’s training and participating in an oral Bible translation project 


Possible Outreach Options: 

-Three month outreach to the Kimberley, Western Australia and Northern Territory (to be confirmed)  

-Three week to one month opportunities for participation in an OBT project can be facilitated in East Timor and other parts of the world (more locations to be confirmed) 

-Starting new projects where language groups have made requests for Bible translation can be provided through the ministry of everytongue. Specific OBT requests have come from Australia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Indonesia  

-A student’s proposed OBT project may also be a valid outreach option 

-Due to the diversity of outreaches, costs will be confirmed at a later date 


Topics include:

Introduction to ending Bible poverty and YWAM values 

Intercession and pioneering 

Language and linguistics 

Understanding oral cultures 

Bible translation theory and principles 

Teaching through storytelling 

Oral Bible translation processes 

Bible study and internalising Scripture methods 

Operation of Render software and other recording tools 

Servant leadership 

Setting up an OMT Bible translation project and OBT workshop 

Unity and partnership 


Tairuma Translator Testimony from PNG:

"I [said] the first draft of Ruth in church...as soon as [they heard] the book of Ruth in Tairuma, their eyes popped open, the elderly people leaned forward, and you could see tears trickling down their faces because as long as they can remember, they have been hearing Scripture and stories from the Bible in someone else's language, but never, ever in their own Tairuma language. ...One day [my people] will acknowledge God in heaven and have relationship with him and not see him as a God that is so foreign. He is our Tairuma Christ and he is coming to us as a Tairuma Christ. He knows our sufferings, not as an outsider, but as a tribesman and as a clansman." 

(Bible Translation Agencies, Papua New Guinea - Mandang Province)



April 7th - June 28th, 2024


Lecture Phase Tuition Fee: AUD $2620
Lecture Phase Non-Tuition Fee: AUD $1420
(Non-tuition fee includes registration, accommodation, administration, and resources)
Outreach Fee: AUD $TBD
(depending on location)

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Completion of a Discipleship Training School

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