What is Common Framework?

“Common Framework” is a term commonly used in the Bible Translation world. The Common Framework, developed by Every Tribe Every Nation (ETEN) and the Seed Company several years ago, has since become the prevailing expression of Bible translation principles, standards, and values for most translation organizations. We typically explain the values of the Common Framework as Ownership, Stewardship, Partnership, and Relationship.

Ownership is related to who the end users of the Bible translation are. In Bible translations for sign languages, the end users are the Deaf community and, therefore, they should be the owners of the translation project. The Deaf community should be the primary decision-makers, and Deaf representatives should be selected from as many denominations as possible for making translation decisions.

Stewardship refers to money, resources, and time being used properly and efficiently. Translation teams are held accountable to this by reporting progress toward their goals and budget use every quarter. This process should include direct communication in sign language rather than relying on interpreters. When Deaf communities are able to communicate directly with other Deaf people, they often feel more comfortable, and communication is much more clear. Deaf Bible Society also wants to make sure we provide the appropriate funding to help Deaf communities meet their needs and goals.

Partnership includes professional, resource, and impact partners. Professional partners provide the training, advising, and other skilled services needed to empower and equip the team to do the translation work. A translation team must be trained in the translation process, have consultant feedback and exegetical support, learn to manage funds, and provide required reports. They may also need training in the proper use of the translation technology and equipment. Resource partners provide funding, office and studio space, props, equipment, technology, and anything else needed for the project. The impact partners are the Deaf believers and non-believers, ministries, churches, and anyone else that will benefit from the Scripture translation. Everything is done in partnership.

Finally, relationship refers to the importance of maintaining good relations with everyone involved in the translation process, including donors, prayer partners, translation teams, various other partners involved, and the local Deaf community.

We hope this gave you a deeper understanding of the requirements and standards used in Bible translation. For more information please visit our website and click on the “How” tab.