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United Bible Societies

September 2014

More than 4000 languages still have no complete Bible in their own tongue, a report from the United Bible Societies (UBS) has found.

In its Global Scripture Access Report for 2013, the global translation charity and its partners said that, although translation work was progressing, there were still thousands of people groups who do not have the Scriptures in their own language.

According to UBS, new Bible translations in 18 languages spoken by 15 million people were published by Bible Societies and their partners in 2013.

Last year’s launches — most of them full Bibles — included ten first-time translations, giving more than 4 million people the potential to access Scripture (or more Scripture) in their heart language for the first time.

Seven of the first-time translations were full Bibles. Eight languages received new or updated translations to help modern-day speakers connect with God’s Word more easily.

According to the report, 511 languages now have a full Bible. Nearly 1300 languages have the New Testament and more than 800 have some portion of Scripture.

Alexander Schweitzer, head of UBS global Bible translation, said, ‘It is so encouraging to see the great strides being made in translating Scripture into more languages and in making it increasingly accessible. We pray for the hundreds of dedicated translation teams working around the world that God will give them wisdom and strength for their vital work’.