Linguistics Consultant

Linguistics Consultant Position Description
Revised November 2009  


Objectives of Position:

1. Good functional and personal interaction with participants in Text Production and in other relationships with Bibles International, Baptist Mid-Missions and national groups.

2. Research and advice for feasibility or adaptation of language projects, formation or modification of orthographic and phonemic systems, responsibility for linguistic descriptions of all current and future language projects.

Responsible to:

1. Projects Manager for project research potentials and status.

2. Chief Literacy/Linguistic Coordinator for assignments and linguistic matters.

Responsible for:

Linguistic foundation and backup for all Scripture translation and literacy activity of the missionaries, national translators, and literacy and translation consultants as well as oversight of new linguistic research for new projects.


1. Prepare a complete language description of each text production project currently undertaken by Bibles International, and maintain files of grammars, language descriptions, or language survey information from other sources.

2. Participate in teaching linguistics as needed at colleges or universities that represent feeder programs for Bibles International.

3. In cooperation with the Projects staff, do language surveys for feasibility of new language projects in various areas of the world.

4. In cooperation with the Chief Language Consultant interact with other translation organizations to promote mutually beneficial exchanges and keep Bibles International's staff up to date on current linguistic trends as they affect our work.

5. Assist the Projects Manager to develop and guide translators to training programs available to them. The initial and on-going training of the translators is invaluable to the high quality translation work required by Bible International.

6. In cooperation with the Chief Language Consultant, help to develop a linguistics library for translation consultants and to develop a file of procedures for analysis and information gathering by consultants and translators.

7. Continue to upgrade personal exegetical, linguistic and translation skills.

8. Keep the Chief Literacy/Linguistic Coordinator informed of progress, needs and problems on all projects with which you work.

9. Represent Bibles International in churches and other meetings as schedule and resources permit.


The objectives of the position will be fulfilled most successfully by a person with these qualifications.

1. Character and gifts:

a. Personal commitment to Jesus Christ, to His commission and to His Word.

b. Spiritual and emotional maturity demonstrated by integrity, objectivity and intellectual honesty.

c. Interest and ability in linguistics and teaching.

d. Ability to spend long hours on detail work.

e. Open mind to non-traditional ways of looking at language and translation.

f. Willingness to travel and operate under less than ideal conditions for weeks at a time. (Some consultants travel to workshops from their U.S. based homes while some live and work in other countries.)

2. Academic preparation:

a. Linguistics training comparable to at least a master's degree in linguistics.

b. Training and reading in translation theory.

c. Speaking fluency in a language other than English, with French preferred and Spanish, or Portuguese as secondary choices.

d. Reading fluency in French, Spanish, or Portuguese.

3. Experience:

a. Field experience in language analysis, for which a concurrent term with Bible translation would be ideal.

b. Experience in survey methods and actually conducting language surveys in the field.

4. Missionary appointment by Baptist Mid-Missions.

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