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Steve Nicolle, DPhil


Associate Professor of Linguistics 
Program Director of the Master of Arts in Linguistics and Translation
Canada Institute of Linguistics


Steve spent 15 years (1999-2013) in east and central Africa with SIL International and was involved in linguistic research and Bible translation. He continues to teach online courses for Africa International University, Nairobi, and regularly leads linguistic training events in various countries in Africa and elsewhere. He is the author of over 60 academic publications. Interesting fact: Through his work as a linguistics and translation consultant Steve has had direct involvement in over 50 languages, including some Deaf Sign Languages. 

How does the Bible inform your life and teaching?
The Bible is rooted in real life. It is full of stories, poetry, songs, and letters. In my teaching I encourage students to focus on the communicative nature of the Bible, and to think about how its message can be clearly communicated in different languages and cultures.

Why do you value a theological education?
The MALT program is focused on Bible translation, in which linguistics, biblical languages, and theology all have an important role to play.

What are some of the diverse voices you incorporate into your teaching?
I try to include the voices of those who are not normally heard: speakers of under-valued, minority languages.

What do you hope your students get out of your classes?
I hope that my students will come to understand that Bible translation and language development is not something that we (the "experts") do FOR language communities, but something that we do TOGETHER with language communities.

Why are you at ACTS Seminaries?
I am at the Canada Institute of Linguistics, which partners with ACTS Seminaries to offer the MA in Linguistics and Translation.

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BA in Linguistics with Philosophy - University of York, UK 

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (English as a Second/Foreign Language) - University College of North Wales, Bangor, UK 

DPhil in Linguistics - University of York, UK

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African Languages 
Language Change 
Text Linguistics 
Semantics and Pragmatics 

Courses Taught: 
Discourse Analysis 
Semantics and Pragmatics 
Historical and Comparative Linguistics

Image of Steve Nicolle, DPhil