Re: most widely translated book?

From: McKay family (
Date: Fri Aug 22 1997 - 20:21:46 EDT

Mari, I visited the International Bible Society yesterday,

and asked for information, as it wasn't easy to find it when I looked
around. Heaps of stuff about what they are doing now, how many Scriptures
they distribute, but not the number of translations, etc.

Still no answer on other books that have been widely translated, but they
sent me this:



A. Translations Completed

Of All People
        1. Bibles 355 languages

        2. New Testaments 880 additional languages

        3. Portions 932 additional
languages 5%

                                                2,167 languages

B. Analysis

        1. Since there are approximately 6,692 languages, 4,525
languages have no Scripture. These 4,525 languages represent
approximately 500,000,000 persons, or 9% of all people.

        2. Many of the 4,525 languages without Scriptures do not
require translations since many of these speakers are fully bilingual.
The small size of most of these groups requires that they learn a second
language in order to survive.

3. The fact that a translation exists in the languages of over five
billion people does not mean that they actually have access to the
translation. Many never see the translation, and one billion people
(including children) are illiterate.

C. Translation Work in Progress

        1. Wycliffe/SIL -- 965 projects in progress in new

        2. UBS -- 681 projects in progress in new

        3. IBS -- 84 projects in progress in
new languages

        4. Others -- 216 projects in progress in
new languages

                                        1,946 total projects in
progress in new languages

1,946 projects in progress in new languages involved some duplication of
efforts in probably 250 languages. If these were removed, there are
1,696 additional languages in which work is in progress.

D. Translation Needs

        1. Of languages with over five million speakers,
approximately 30 do not have a complete Bible, and approximately 10 do
not have even a New Testament.

        David McKay

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:26 EDT