Why not just use Artscroll?
First and foremost, Artscroll’s translation is under copyright. It cannot be posted on the web and it cannot be turned into a podcast. The Mesorah foundation has invested a lot of time and money in producing the masterful translation of our generation, and it would be not only a violation of U.S. copyright law but also a form of genevah to appropriate their work in that way.
Second, Artscroll’s translation and commentary is rich and multifaceted, but that very richness, which makes it a great place to start learning gemara, can get in the way when all you want to know is the pshat, the straight meaning of the gemara’s text.
Third, a complete set of Artscroll is expensive. Not overpriced, certainly, but expensive. The least-expensive way to get a complete English translation is the Davka CD-ROM of the Soncino translation, which is still several hundred dollars.
Why not just use Soncino?
Like Artscroll’s translation, the Soncino translation is still under copyright and, while not as expensive as Artscroll, it isn’t affordable to everyone.
Also, Soncino’s translation is very “academically correct” which sometimes makes it hard for the lay reader to understand.
I love the idea, but I don’t know enough Aramaic to undertake translation. Is there anything I can do?
First, please register for an account and indicate in the “interest” area what types of things you’d like to help with.
We need editors, people to turn completed translations into podcast scripts, “voice talent” to record the raw material for the podcasts, and people to do mixing and post-production.