Wycliffe Associates Translates Entire New Testament Into Symbolic Universal Notation, Working on Old Testament

(SUN Symbols. Courtesy of Wycliffe Associates)

Today Wycliffe Associates dedicates the New Testament in a new language: Symbolic Universal Notation, or SUN.

SUN is a concept-based language Wycliffe Associates developed specifically for Deaf and Deaf and Blind communities. It has the potential to bring God’s Word to about 56 million Deaf people who cannot communicate in a local sign language.

Bruce Smith with Wycliffe Associates says, “We recently crossed the milestone of having the entire New Testament translated into this symbolic universal notation. Our team is now turning toward translating the Old Testament as well, but this is a great milestone. So, we’re going to celebrate that this coming week and help move it forward to Deaf and Deaf Blind communities around the world.”

Bringing the Gospel to Everyone

SUN was developed after Emely Wang, a volunteer with Wycliffe Associates, learned that almost 600,000 people in the world are both deaf and blind. She began to question how those people or other Deaf people who don’t know sign language learn about Christ.

The answer? Many simply do not. There are about 70 million Deaf people worldwide and around 80% of those people don’t know sign language. They are isolated and separated from educational systems, their communities, and the truth of the Gospel.

“They don’t even communicate using the community language,” Smith says. “And so, the challenge we faced a few years ago was how do you reach people who don’t even communicate in the local sign language?”

Smith continues, “And our team of hearing impaired and Deaf people actually came up with this approach, which we call symbolic universal notation. And it’s a way to convert the gestures of sign language into symbols on a page. Or, in the case of Deaf Blind, we print them using 3D printers so that they can be touched and felt in terms of the symbols and then understood.”

About a year and a half later, after much testing and a hard work, Wycliffe Associates completed the SUN New Testament.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Mission Network News, Anna Deckert


  • Pray that God would continue to give SUN and Wycliffe Associates success with Deaf and Deaf and Blind groups.
  • Ask God to help Wycliffe Associates effectively translate the Old Testament into SUN.
  • Visit WycliffeAssociates.org to learn more about SUN and how you can help.