What Is The World’s Most Translated Website
** This article is updated regularly. It was last updated in November 2021 **
Update: November 29, 2021 – jw.org has been translated into 1,070 languages.
When we set out in 2015 to track down the most translated website in the world, the Tomedes team wasn’t sure what we were going to discover. And when we wrote our original article, we certainly didn’t anticipate how quickly the site in question would continue to add to its number of translations!
More than six years later, we’re still checking regularly for progress updates with the world’s most translated website. Read on to discover more!
How Does Jworg Compare To Other Website Translation Efforts
To put the JW.org translation effort into context once more, we looked at some of the worlds most used and most well-known websites in order to undertake a comparison, just as we did when we originally researched this article way back in the summer of 2015. Our results show that you can search Google in 149 languages and watch Netflix in 26 . Wikipedia, meanwhile, has an impressive 301 language editions.
Whichever way you look at it, JW.org continues to be the worlds most translated website. The fact that it has far surpassed tech giants and entertainment behemoths is singularly impressive and a testament to the hard work and dedication of so many of those who follow the religion.
Bible Translations Into The Languages Of India
Languages spoken in the Indian Subcontinent belong to several language families, the major ones being the Indo-Aryan languages spoken by 75% of Indians and the Dravidian languages spoken by 20% of Indians. Other languages belong to the Austroasiatic, Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai, and a few other minor language families and isolates.:283 India has the world’s second-highest number of languages , after Papua New Guinea . The first known translation of any Christian Scripture in an Indian language was done to Konknni in 1667 AD by Ignacio Arcamone, an Italian Jesuit.
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A Good Reason To Celebrate In 2020
In a year where there has not been much to celebrate, its a relief to mark International Translation Day September 30 with some good news about the global spread of Gods word.
For the first time, the Bible has been translated in its entirety into more than 700 different languages. That means that just over 5.7 billion people now have the whole Bible in their mother tongue.
Thats a big number. But what really excites and motivates us is how God will use his Word to transform the lives of individuals, churches and communities, said Michael Perreau, director general of United Bible Societies Fellowship a global network of Bible Societies, including Bible Society Australia.
This significant milestone was reported in August 2020 by progress.Bible, which compiles data from Bible translation agencies across the world, including UBS. Their data also shows the speed of Bible translation is increasing the number of languages with the full Bible has almost doubled during the past 30 years.
Such progress is largely due to technological advancement, agencies working together to help local communities translate Scripture, and greater investment by supporters.
Significantly, UBS has produced nearly three-quarters of the worlds full Bible translations.
However, there is still much to be done. More than half of the worlds 7000 languages have not had translation of any form of Scripture, and 1.5 billion people still await the full Bible in their own language.
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The King James Version
Tyndales powerful and idiomatic translation had a profound effect on English versions that followed, including the Coverdale Bible , Matthews Bible , the Great Bible , and the Authorized, or King James Version , the most influential English version of all time. The KJV arose in the context of two competing versions, the Bishops Bible , the official Bible of the Church of England, and the Geneva Bible , which was the favorite of the Puritans. King James I, who had recently ascended to the throne of Britain, despised the Geneva Bible because of its anti-monarchial notes. When the Puritans proposed a new translation of the Biblewithout theological notesJames enthusiastically endorsed the idea. From his perspective, a new translation endorsed by both the Puritans and Anglicans would likely result in the demise of the Geneva Bible.
The KJV was commissioned in 1604 and produced in seven years by forty-seven biblical scholars. It was first published in 1611. Although quickly accepted by many and destined to become the most enduring English version of all time, the KJV at first face a mixed reception. For example, the Pilgrims refused to take it on the Mayflower, preferring the Geneva Bible. Hugh Broughton, a leading biblical scholar of his day, wrote, Tell His Majesty that I had rather be rent in pieces with wild horses, than any such translation by my consent should be urged upon poor churches .
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Statistics Are Rarely As Simple As The Numbers Imply
Scripture access statistics are not as simple as they seem at first glance. We strive to give an accurate snapshot, but the data is complex. For example, determining translation need is not as simple as determining which languages do or do not have Scripture. Most of the languages with only some Scripture need more, and even full Bibles often undergo revisions. Also, comparisons with previous annual reports are challenging and sometimes not possible, due to ongoing changes and improvements in data definitions and collecting methods.
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How Do Manuscript Differences Affect Bible Translation
offers an answer in his article How to Choose a Bible Translation Thats Right for You:
The Bibles we read today are based on thousands of ancient manuscripts written in Hebrew and Greek. But no two manuscripts of the Greek New Testament of any length are precisely the same. The story is rather complicated, but the result is this: all modern translations of the New Testament are based on two slightly different editions of the Greek New Testament. The King James Version, New King James Version, and Modern English Version use one edition of the Greek New Testament the other major English versions all use another. The three passages where the most significant differences occur are Mark 16:920 John 7:538:11 and 1 John 5:7.8
Into How Many Languages The Bible Has Not Been Translated
The Bible is the most translated book in the world. This is not only impressive but proves the longevity of Gods Word. The Scripture is continually translated not only to continue the spread of the Gospel but because it is the Living Word that is still applicable today, just as it was in when penned through the inspiration of God. The Bible has been translated into numerous languages from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek versions. As of late 2019, 698 full translations have occurred. In addition, the New Testament has been translated into additional 1,548 languages. Beyond this, portions of the Bible or stories have been translated into additional 1,138 languages.
While this is wonderful and has provided numerous people with access to at least part of the Bible, there are still over 5,000 languages that do not have a full copy of the Bible. As of 2020, there are over 6,500 languages spoken around the world. If less than 1,000 have full copies of the Bible then there is a great number that does not. Part of the Great Commission is to spread the Gospel to all corners of the earth which mean the Word still has a great deal of translation to be completed. For some, a copy of the entire Bible may not be available for many years as lengthy book translations take a great deal of time, but as they wait, translation of Bible-related texts can offer hope and share parts of the Gospel.
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Curiosities About The Principles Of Bible Translation
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Today it can be read, in whole or in part, in about 3,000 languages. The vast majority of Bible readers do not understand the original languages, forcing them to use a translation. What principles should guide the work of Bible translation and how have these principles been applied to this version: The Bible. New World Translation?
One might think that a literal, word-for-word translation, similar to an interlinear version, conveys to the reader the closest idea to what the original languages express. However, this is not always the case. Here are some reasons why:
No two languages are absolutely identical in terms of grammar, vocabulary and syntax. One Hebrew teacher, an expert in the field, wrote that languages “differ not only in grammar and roots, but also in the way ideas fit together to form a sentence.
Each language, therefore, appeals to specific mental patterns. “This is why, the forms of a sentence vary across languages.
No modern language has a vocabulary and grammar strictly equivalent to that of Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. A word-for-word translation would therefore run the risk of being unclear or even inaccurate.
The meaning of a word or phrase can vary depending on the context.
It is possible, in some passages, to reproduce verbatim the wording of the original language, but the translator must do so with the utmost caution.
Bible Translation In Progress
Bible translation is currently happening in 2,846 languages in 157 countries. This work impacts 1.11 billion people, or about 15percent of all language users, who have new access to at least some portions of Scripture in their first language. This number does not include people who already have a full Bible but are updating their existing translations.
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The Bible Has Been Translated Many Times Over So How Can It Be Reliable
The Bible can now be read in nearly 700 different languages. For the New Testament, the number jumps to over 1,500 languages. Its not surprising, then, that the Bible is the most translated book in history.
Christians see the number of translations as a good thingmore people are able to read Gods word in their own language. Others, however, seem to think the number of translations is a bad thing. In fact, they cite the number of translations in order to call into question the Bibles reliability.
In a Newsweek cover story titled The Bible: So Misunderstood Its a Sin, journalist and author Kurt Eichenwald asserts,
No television preacher has ever read the Bible. Neither has any evangelical politician. Neither has the pope. Neither have I. And neither have you. At best, weve all read a bad translationa translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times.
There are two different challenges in play here. The first concerns the translation of the text. The second concerns the transmission of the text. We will focus our attention on the former challenge since weve written on the latter challenge here.
Which Bible Translation Is Closest To The Original
When people hear me say that there is no best Bible translation, I think they sometimes panic. Who is this strange redheaded contrarian who dares to cast doubt on my important quest to find THE ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL? They have trouble dropping the idea that, surely, one translation must be more closely tied to the original Hebrew and Greek than any other. After all, the marketing slogansEssentially Literal The Most Literal Still Readable Know What God Said, Not What We Think He Saidpromise so much!
I say gently: listen to yourself, my friend! You just cited . Marketers gotta market I grant this. But I must carefully encourage all English-speaking Christians to take advertisements with a grain of that gold dust they use to gild Bible pages. God gave us a situation in which it is pretty easy, honestly, to communicate the message of the inspired Hebrew and Greek originals. All good translations do it. And it is possible to get little individual things wrong in a Bible translation I, who have graded student exegesis papers, do not deny this. But I have spent many years reading and comparing all the major modern evangelical English Bible translationsthe KJV, NKJV, LEB, CSB, ESV, NASB, NIV, NLT, and othersand they are all close to the originals. None is the obvious victor. And even if one were, I would still see plenty of use for the others.
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Translated Into Over 700 Languages
According to Tyndale Bible Translators, the Bible has been translated fully into 717 languages, meaning that roughly 5.75 billion people have at least one translation of the Bible in their language . Translators who have decided to focus only on the New Testament have managed to get that text translated into 1,582 languages, allowing another 830 million people access, at least theoretically, to that portion of the text. Further, certain portions have been translated into 1,196 other languages, adding another 457 million people to the list of those who, theoretically at least, have access to a Bible or a portion of the Bible.
Of course, that is not the end of the discussion. Some languages have multiple translations for example, according to Christianity.com, there are 450 different translations of the Bible in English alone, about 21 in Spanish , and three ones in French, according to Fluentu.
Meanwhile, according to Tyndale Bible Translators, at least 20% of the worldâs population is still waiting on a translation of the full Bible into their native language.
List Of Bible Translations By Language
The United Bible Societies reported that the Bible, in whole or part, has been translated in more than 3,324 languages , including complete Old or New Testaments in 2,189 languages, and the complete text of the Bible in 804 languages.
According to Wycliffe Bible Translators, in October 2017, 3,312 languages had access to at least a book of the Bible, including 1,121 languages with a book or more, 1,521 language groups with access to the New Testament in their native language and 670 the full Bible. It is estimated by Wycliffe Bible Translators that translation may be required in 1,636 languages where no work is currently known to be in progress. They also estimate that there are currently around 2,584 languages which have active Bible translation projects .
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See How The Logos Bible App Can Make Comparing Multiple Bible Translations A Cinch
To help you visualize and better grasp different types of translations, explore the graphic below that shows where some of the more popular translations fall on the translation spectrum:
Its good to have a primary version , but using many translations while you study will give you a well-rounded understanding of the text at hand.
And with modern technology, this doesnt mean bouncing back and forth between a tableful of thick Bibles open to your passage . With Logos Bible Softwares Text Comparison Tool, you can instantly compare any passage in any version of the Bible in your Logos library. Its fantastic .
See how it works:
Choosing a translation can be a bit of a process . Heres a few tips:
- Learn the differences between various Bible translations.
- Consider how you will be using the Bible. Will it be your primary Bible or a supplemental Bible?
- Ask a trusted mentor. This likely means your pastor. And that likely means you start with whatever your pastor uses. Theres nothing wrong with this. Your pastor is not perfect, but your pastor is your God-given shepherd.
- New to Bible study? Consider a translation focused on meaning, one that is easy to read.
- Looking for a supplemental Bible to go deeper with your study? Consider one that is the opposite of your primary Bible.
What Is A Good Bible To Read And Understand
The late atheist Christopher Hitchens once wrote an article for Vanity Fair in which he bemoaned the decline of the King James Version and the rise of custom-made Bibles. He cited the Couples Bible, One Year New Testament for Busy Moms, Extreme Teen Study Bible, Policemans Bible, and the Celebrate Recovery Bible. Hitchens had a way with words , and he complained that in this cut-price spiritual cafeteria, interest groups and even individuals can have their own customized version of Gods word.
In his mind, these were apparently wholly different Bibles tailored for certain audiences. But they werent. They were study editions whose notes were aimed at certain audiences. This is an important difference. I acknowledge that I may sometimes roll my eyes at evangelicalisms too-zealous efforts to make the Bible accessible, even at the risk of cheesiness and hokiness. But the fact is that every one of the editions Hitchens named could have come out in the same translationthe NIV, the NKJV, or even the KJV.
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