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61 New Scripture Translations Completed Last Year

Contact: Gunnar Mägi, Global Mission Team: Partnerships & Communications, United Bible Societies, 00-372-503-4980, gmagi@biblesocieties.org

SWINDON, UK, April 27, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- In 2016, Bible Societies assisted in the completion of translations in 61 languages spoken by over 428 million people. 2016 was 'a first' for no fewer than 30 languages, spoken by over 95 million people. 17 communities now have their very first Bible, 6 have a New Testament and 7 communities have their first, or additional, portions of Scripture.

Languages are constantly developing so Bible Societies are also committed to revising existing translations and providing new translations, when requested, to help as many people as possible engage with the message of the Bible today. In 2016, this resulted in a further 28 new translations and revisions plus 3 study editions with the potential to reach over 333 million people.

Status of Bible translation at the end of 2016
The full Bible is now available in 648 languages spoken by nearly 5.16 billion people and a further 1,432 languages spoken by 657 million people have a New Testament. This leaves 434 million people with only some portions of the Bible and a further 253 million people with no Scripture translated in their language at all.

Sign Languages
Sign Languages are the first or 'heart' language for 70 million Deaf worldwide and there are over 400 unique sign languages. There are over 400 unique Sign Languages and yet the New Testament is only available in American Sign Language.

  • Japan completed Leviticus 1-14 and Luke 1-6.
     
  • Lithuania, Hungary and Thailand the teams continued releasing parts of Mark's Gospel.
     
  • Cuba made progress with the first 11 chapters of Luke.
     
  • Mexico published the DVD of John's Epistles.

Scriptures in Braille
285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide, of whom 40 million are blind. A Braille Bible usually consists of more than 40 bulky volumes, making the ranscription and production a significant undertaking. To date only 44 languages have a full Bible in Braille.

In 2016, new Braille portions were made available in

  • Spanish (Dios Habla Hoy),
  • German,
  • Kirundi.

Electronic Scripture Access Growth Continues
The Digital Bible Library® (DBL) is central to our strategy to make the Bible as widely and easily accessible as possible. By the end of 2016, the DBL contained 1,474 Bibles, Testaments and portions in 1,134 languages. These languages are spoken by over 5.2 billion people. Significant progress was made last year in adding audio Scriptures, so there are now 403 audio Scriptures in 345 different languages. The DBL is owned and maintained by United Bible Societies in partnership with other Bible agencies and with the support of the Every Tribe Every Nation alliance. It makes the Bible accessible by providing Scripture texts to the public through partners such as BibleSearch and YouVersion.


Full report
The full report and the full list of translations completed in 2016 can be found here: www.unitedbiblesocieties.org/translation/global-scripture-access  
 
United Bible Societies:
United Bible Societies is a global network of Bible Societies working in over 200 countries and territories across the world. Together, they are the world’s biggest translator, publisher and distributor of the Bible. Bible Societies are also active in areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention, trauma healing and literacy. Bible Societies work with all Christian Churches and many international non-governmental organisations. Read more:
www.unitedbiblesocieties.org.

Press Contact:

Gunnar Mägi
Global Mission Team: Partnerships & Communications
United Bible Societies

Email: gmagi@biblesocieties.org