Is translation really still needed?

Neil Rees is the Digital Publishing and Translation Advisor for Bible Society. He recently described the importance and urgency of what Bible Society does with regard to translation.

When I give talks in churches one of the most frequent questions I get is "How many languages are there in the world?"  Well it depends on what you class as a language and what you class as a dialect - which is sometimes political (e.g. Serbo-Croat became Serbian Croatian and Bosnian when Yugoslavia broke up). Some languages die out and new ones are discovered so it is impossible to give an exact number and be sure you are right.  Our friends at SIL have created a website called progress.bible which gathers data (much from us at Bible Society) to try to chart the languages of the world and how many have the Bible translated into them, and which are left to do.

People also often ask if we still need to do Bible translation, and think that all the world's languages have been translated into by now. The latest December 2018 statistics from progress.bible count the number of living (spoken and signed) languages in the world as 7,365.  In fact, the number of living languages in the world with the full (that is Old and New Testaments) Bible is 682. That is 9% of the total.  So that is one reason why we believe that Bible translation is still urgently needed.  

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