In 30 seconds or less, can you guess how many different languages there are in the world? (Don’t cheat and ask your nearest search engine.) You’re probably sitting at your computer or with your phone in hand, mentally tallying every language that you know. “Okay, there’s English. And then Spanish. French. German. Italian. Chinese. Latin. Is Pig Latin a language? Do Greek and Hebrew count? Do I even know anyone who speaks Greek or Hebrew? ... ”
Time’s up! Are you ready for the answer?
Here it is: There are around 7,000 different languages in the world.
Did you guess anywhere close to that number? If your mind is a little bit boggled right now, you’re not alone. Most people don’t know there are that many languages spoken around the world, so it’ll be equally surprising to discover that there are more than 1,600 languages that still need a Bible translation started. That number represents up to 160 million people who don’t have a single word of Scripture in a language they can clearly understand.
And that’s precisely why Wycliffe exists: to ensure that people around the world have access to God’s Word in the language they understand best.
You might be wondering exactly what Wycliffe is all about and what we do. So let’s break down some of the most frequently asked questions about Wycliffe and the work of Bible translation.