Wycliffe partners with many organizations around the world to see Bible translation completed.
Today, there are up to 1,800 languages still waiting for a translation project to begin, but many are in areas that are hard to reach.
Here’s a glimpse of what translation efforts might look like in different regions of the world:
As the world’s second-largest continent in size and population, Africa is home to one-seventh of the world’s people who speak 30 percent of the world’s total languages. More than 700 language groups in Africa still have translation needs — most in Nigeria and the French-speaking areas of central Africa. Overall, Africa has the second-greatest Bible translation need in the world, but local churches are quickly growing and joining in the vision of evangelism and discipleship in their own countries.
Almost 1,000 of the world’s languages are spoken around the Americas, which covers 11 different time zones. Bible translation needs are the lowest in the world, with more than 300 language projects already completed! Work is continuing in nearly 300 languages, while less than 100 languages are waiting for translation to begin. Additionally, there are a few languages that still need to be surveyed to see if translation is needed (mostly in South American countries).
Christians and mission organizations across Asia are working together to help reach the world with the message of God’s hope and love. In many South Asian countries, work that was started years ago by foreigners is now being handled by local citizens. Asia is quickly becoming a leading partner in advancing the work of the gospel around the world. There are more than 500 languages in Asia that are likely to still need a Bible translation started.
Since around A.D. 50, when Paul first brought the Good News to the continent, the Bible has been translated into various languages across Europe. Translation work is currently in progress for many European sign languages, as well as for many displaced people groups that have immigrated to Europe across the centuries. These communities need to hear the gospel in the languages that speak directly to their hearts, and Scripture translation is key to reaching these people with God’s love.
The Pacific region includes thousands of islands within the world’s largest ocean. From the Australian desert, to the dense tropical rainforests of Papua New Guinea, to the palm-lined coasts of Vanuatu, the Pacific is home to almost 1,300 languages (not quite 20 percent of the world total). The Pacific islands represent the greatest remaining need for Bible translation in the world today, with Papua New Guinea alone including hundreds of languages with no Scripture access at all.
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