Religious Services

Translate Your World and Religious Services

Many Churches, Synagogues, Temples, and Mosques desire to share their message across languages with members from other cultures.  Translate Your World (“Tywi”) has automatic translation that may be a very attractive possibility due to the price (inexpensive) and the reach (78 languages).  Plus Tywi is compatible with braille software for the deaf-blind.

Tywi also provides software for use with your own interpreters, as well, so that you have a choice between human and automation.


Translate Your World has far more features and possibilities than any translation system on the planet.   Tywi can be trained, it has brilliant speech recognition, and personalized dictionary features.  Yet Translate Your World is professional software and must be handled in a professional manner.  Because Tywi is technology, not a miracle, it requires cooperation between the speaker and the software, updating of words, and some attention to perfecting translations.

The Style of Tywi Translation

Translate Your World fits in very well with business and casual conversation.  What these two have in common is that they are sharing basic information, not passion or poetry.  Automated interpretation is good for sharing information.   However, The Bible, The Quran, and The Torah are not simply exchanges of information, they are brilliantly written text.  The passages are educated, beautiful, poetic, full of imagery and metaphors – and passion.  Not to mention full of ancient words and expressions from earlier versions of our spoken languages.  The leaders will need to insert words that will be spoken in the week’s service, but are not in the dictionary.  Eventually, the personalized dictionary will require less and less attention, but the beginning weeks are important.  The other translation issues are the lovely passages of text that are damaged during automated translation.   Leaders may wish to consider always being very clear which passages are discussed so that members can open their own books, or the leader can pre-prepare Power Point slides with translated passage content, or distribute the words on paper at the beginning of the service so that the members can read the poetically beautiful (and correct) versions of important passages.

The Technology

Some services are in more than one language already.  For example, a Rabbi who suddenly inserts words or paragraphs in Hebrew.  An English language pastor suddenly reads scripture in ancient English or passages in Latin or Greek.  An Imam that shares his words in the local language interspersed with passages in Arabic.  This bilingualism is important and affects success.  Why?  Because the first major technology used in Tywi is speech recognition.  Speech recognition turns a speaking voice into written text so that it can be translated.  However, speech recognition only recognizes one language at a time.  We have built a way to switch languages into Translate Your World, but it is extremely tricky, and requires well-timed cooperation during the service between the leader and the AV team.

How well Translate Your World will function in your service will be directly tied to several things:

  • How “informational” is the service content
  • How many “non-modern dictionary words” are in the service content
  • How clearly the service leader speaks and pronounces his or her words
  • How many words are spoken in a different language

Recommended Approaches

The greatest chance of success is achieved by placing Dragon Naturally Speaking 13+ on a laptop.  Dragon is available in 8 major languages and is the best software to understand a leader’s spoken words and transcribe them.  The AV team sends the sound of the service leader into the USB port of the laptop.  Start Dragon, open your Tywi webpage, click in a field, and the subtitles will flow non-stop.   And there are choices as to how the members receive the translation:

  1. Subtitles on the wall or large screen
  2. Subtitles or translated synthesized audio on their own devices
  3. Subtitles on stand-alone monitors scattered around the room

In making this decision, remember that Translate Your World is internet software, and the number of people in your service who desire translation may affect bandwidth availability if they use their own devices to receive an audio translation.

Risk Factors

Before making a decision, try Tywi.  Try it with Dragon or try it with our built-in Cloud Speech Recognition (that will have a 6 second longer delay than Dragon).   Once inside the software, you can download the User’s Manual and perhaps try Tywi in a test service for feedback before making a decision whether to use long term.  It is vitally important to note several risk fators in translating religious services:

  1. Your beloved Pastor, Rabbi, or Imam may not pronounce his/her words clearly.  You understand beautifully, because the words are spoken in your language, but technology does not have your ears.  Technology will misunderstand words that are not spoken clearly.  And when the original transcription is incorrect, the automatic translation will be even more wrong.
  2. If the audio going into Tywi is not pristine, if it is full of music, or echos, or applause, or audio feedback, the software will become confused and again create erroneous transcription that result in poor translations.

You see, when people tell you that “the translation is wrong”,  they don’t know why.  Very often, it is due to unclear original.

Pre-testing with Dragon

You can learn much by doing some testing with the leader’s voice speaking into Dragon Naturally Speaking 13+.  Often, Tywi staff can run a video of part of your service through Tywi to determine the clarity of speech of the leader before expending much effort.  And if your beloved leader does not speak clearly enough for software to comprehend, another option is for one of the congregation to listen and repeat everything into the Tywi software.  Not everyone can do this, of course, but if a person can listen to a television program, and repeat everything he/she hears at full speed for an hour or two, and pronounce clearly at the same time, then there is a decent chance of success.  Or you may rotate 2 people every 30 minutes repeating the leader’s words.

If you want to see if Tywi may be successful for your services, find a video or mp3 of your leader that is clear audio, and contact to request some feedback from our professionals.