Enhanced Resource Superpowers

You are here

Imagine a super translator  …able to leap tall buildings with a single bound. What qualities would this person have?  First of all, they would be fluent in both the Biblical source language and in the target language.  That way they would be able to understand the source text perfectly, and would also be able to find the best way to render it in the target language.  Then, they would probably have a perfect memory, so that they would be consistent in their expressions and terminology throughout the text whenever possible.

We haven’t met such a translator yet, so you probably shouldn’t wait for him or her to join your team. In the meantime, we have endowed the new Enhanced Resources in Paratext 9 with both of these superpowers, so that translators can do better at understanding the source language and being consistent in their Biblical terms.

Enhanced Resources

Think of Enhanced Resources (ER) as model texts for translating Scripture, but with superpowers. Words in the text referred to as “research terms” have been linked with the source language. When you select a research term, Paratext uses these superpowers to give you x-ray vision and a super memory!  The x-ray vision (1) can see through the research term and expose the underlying Greek word, while the perfect memory (2) shows how you translated the word in the past.

Here’s what this looks like:

  1. See that “teachers of the law” comes from grammateus, which is defined in this context as a recognized expert in Jewish law.
  2. Remember that we have translated this as dunkee’en Sariya in the past.

Don’t speak English?

ERs also exist in English, French, Malayam, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Portuguese, Spanish, Tok Pisin.  Here is the same information in a French ER:

Enhanced Resource superpowers in French

X-Ray Vision

Most of the words or phrases in an Enhanced Resource have been linked to the underlying original text. The body of knowledge that is included in this rich database includes definitions, encyclopedic descriptions, pictures, maps, and other media to help you understand the meaning and nuances of the original language. Rather than potentially being led astray by the culture and meaning of the model text you follow, you are encouraged to engage with the source language definitions. In some cases these may align better with the target language culture than the model text.

Seeing the range of meaning

Through the use of ERs, translators quickly learn that there isn’t a one-for-one correspondence between words of the source and target languages.  Every definition allows you to display a concordance list of all the ways that word has been translated in the model text, grouped by senses if desired. Using this feature, translators can quickly get a sense of the range of meaning of the source language word.

Concordance view of ER


Although the ER text renders parakaleo as comforted in the current verse, it shows how it was rendered differently in other passages, giving the translator insight into its range of meaning. This is an excellent opportunity to increase one’s understanding of the original languages!

Research terms are each linked to a source language lexicon with semantic domains, and some are linked to a Bible encyclopedia, Bible atlas, and multimedia files.  With these links you are able to:

  1. See the underlying source language word.
  2. Learn how the sense of the source language word is defined in the current verse.
  3. Learn about other senses of the source language word in other contexts.
  4. List all occurrences of the source language word in Scripture.
  5. List all occurrences where the active sense is used.
  6. List all the renderings for the source language word in the ER.
  7. Learn Bible encyclopedia information for flora, fauna and man-made items
  8. View images of the selected term where available
  9. View maps relevant to the current verse or chapter

Super Memory

When you find the best rendering for the target text based on the helpful material in the ER, you can store one or more renderings in the ER window.  This is possible because the ER links not only with the source language but also with the target language! You just need to select the target language project at the top of the ER, and it will start displaying the renderings you’ve used in the past alongside the biblical term definitions. Any time the same research term comes up again, you will see how you or your teammates have rendered it in the past.  But in order for it to help in this way, you need to remember to enter your Biblical term renderings. Fortunately, the ER will help you do this.

Found and Problem Buttons

When the Found button is active, Paratext puts a faint grey highlight around all of the research terms for which you have entered an equivalent rendering in the target language. This lets you know at a glance how well you’ve been building your super memory. Or, you can use the Problem button to highlight in orange all of the research terms that don’t yet have an equivalent rendering.  For example, if you use the Revised Standard Version ER as a model text, you’ll see at a glance if there is an approved rendering and how that compares with the rendering in the RSV.  Translators who are not comfortable working with the source language texts directly now have a means of accessing them and gaining knowledge. Then, if you want to keep your super memory in top shape, you’ll be sure to fill in the equivalents you’ve used for these key Biblical terms during translation and prevent the orange from appearing in the ER text.

Adding or Correcting Renderings

While using the Found and Problem buttons you can quickly find missing or incorrect renderings and correct them in the Enhanced resource.  This can be very convenient.  It is still possible to mark renderings in either the Biblical terms tool or the Biblical terms renderings window, so now you have three ways to work with Biblical terms renderings!  Teams can experiment with the three methods and decide which tool or combination of tools works best for them.

How do ERs fit in your workflow?

Enhanced Resources are useful both for drafting and for checking. Their genius is that they link the model text <-> the source text <->  and the target text together in a powerful way that will help translators and consultants alike. While this linking is convenient for the consultants who already know the source languages, it can be a superpower for those who don’t. You’ll be able to see through renderings in the model ER text that are hiding the true sense of the Greek or Hebrew because of that language’s limitations. As you use these resources, your super memory will easily remind you how you have translated these words in the past, helping you to stay consistent.

Enhanced Resources are only available in Paratext 9.  Remember that you can upgrade independently of your team and continue to collaborate with users on Paratext 8.

If you are able, we invite you to join our Webinar on June 16 to learn how to use Enhanced Resources, or watch the recording that will follow.  Both are available at the link below:

Paratext 9 Enhanced Resources Webinar