More than a thousand people paraded through the streets of Cubulco in Guatemala to celebrate the arrival of the first translation of the Bible into their own language. Photo credit: UBS

International Translation Day: Lots done, lots left to do

Imagine you were unable to read the Bible because it had not yet been translated into a language you understand.

International Translation Day is on 30 September, and you may have recently read a story here about how, thanks to the kind giving of people like you, Bible translation had topped 700 languages for the first time. That means around 80 per cent of the world’s population, just over 5.7 billion people, can now access the whole Bible in their mother tongues.

That’s great news, but there is another side to it. There are an estimated 7,000 languages in the world. That’s a lot of languages that the Bible has not been translated into. And it means 20 per cent of the world’s population are still unable to access God’s word in their own language.

We also ran a story this year about how the Bible was translated into the Achí language of Cubculco in Guatemala for the first time. Through the generous donations of people like you, the community of Cubulco received 4,500 Bibles in their language, which is spoken by more than 51,000 people.

To mark International Translation Day, the theme of which is ‘Finding the words for a world in crisis’, we want to share with you a video made by our colleagues at the American Bible Society, who were involved with us in the translation project in Guatemala. It shows how that translation is already having an impact.

Watching a man and wife give their testimonies in the video you will see how access to God’s word can transform people’s lives, and being able to read the Scriptures in your own language can strengthen embryonic faith.

Almost three-quarters of the world’s Bible translations have been provided by Bible Societies, and it is thanks to the kindness, generosity and prayer of people like you that this figure was reached. With your continued support more translations will be completed, more Bible-based literacy projects will be funded, and millions more Bibles will reach the hands of people who would otherwise never have the privilege of being able to read God’s word in their own tongue.

Support Bible mission now

Full Bible translation tops 700 languages for first time

Full Bible translation tops 700 languages for first time

With an estimated 7,000-plus languages in the world there may be a little way to go, but the full Bible has now been translated into 700 of them. Crucially, this means around 80 per cent of the world’s population, just over 5.7 billion people, can now access the whole Bible in their mother tongues.

Keyboard volunteers recover lost Bible translations

Keyboard volunteers recover lost Bible translations

Having the Bible available on our phones or laptops is normal for most of us, and it's incredibly useful – it's always available, we can cut and paste text, compare translations and find verses easily.

I hid my Bible in a pig sty

I hid my Bible in a pig sty

What if your Bible smelled of pig’s manure? Would you still want to pick it up and read it? Long Qinmei did. Because it was her one and only Bible and she cherished it so much.

Bringing the Bible to life

Bible Society, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7DG. Registered charity 232759

Read the Bible icon Read Bible
Open full Bible