Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I understand that the Bible has been translated into more languages than any other book in the world. What is the current total of languages into which the Bible, or part of the Bible, has been translated. I would also be interested to know if there are any predictions about how long it will be before the Bible is translated into every language.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 17 down vote accepted

This is a moving target as more translations are being completed all the time (a friend of mine went to the dedication of the Inuktitut Bible only a few weeks ago). The Bible is also usually translated in stages, so the number of languages with some of the Bible translated is higher than those with all of it translated.

The United Bible Socities in October 2011 said that there were 469 languages with a complete Bible, and 2527 with at least some portion of scripture translated. The Catholic Biblical Federation in October 2008 said there were 438 complete translations and 2454 partials - close enough to be considered agreement. According to UBS ten languages acquired a complete Bible last year. 135 have the deuterocanonical books.

The latter reference claims that there are 4500 languages left to go. However it is very difficult to make predictions based on those numbers. Many of those languages have very few speakers, and the language may die out before a translation is done.

Corroborating statistics from Wycliffe as of 2013 (portions would combine some projects in progress with those with the New Testament and complete Bible)

Number of Languages in the World                           6918
Languages w/o translation (and needing one):               2000+

Number of languages with Bible portions:                   1010
Number of languages with New Testament:                    1294
Number of languages with entire Bible:                     513

Total World Population:                                    7 billion
Number of people who speak languages with no translation:  ~350 million
share|improve this answer
3  
Don't forget Klingon and Ancient Elvish. –  Joel Coehoorn Jul 13 '12 at 13:57
    
Also the Scots Bible and the Geordie Bible. I've no idea if those are counted in the totals above. –  DJClayworth Jul 13 '12 at 14:00
2  
@DJClayworth I added Wycliffe statistics that corroborate this. Hope you don't mind. Thanks for the answer. –  Narnian Jul 16 '12 at 14:02
    
I proposed an edit with updated statistics which was rejected. The answer as it is now is rather waffley... the third paragraph for example isn't on topic. I don't think it's useful to have statistics from three sources either. –  curiousdannii Jun 1 at 5:43
    
I believe it's very useful to have statistics from different sources, as it indicates their correctness and the general agreement about the figures. The third paragraph is there to address the part of the question about how long it will take to complete the work of Bible translation. –  DJClayworth Jun 5 at 17:03

The Bible is currently being translated into thousands of languages, so the number is always changing. The Bible is also usually published in stages, so there are more languages with part of the Bible than the whole Bible.

According to the Wycliffe Global Alliance, as of October 2013 the statistics are:

  • Number of world languages: 6918
  • Total languages with some published scripture = 2817
    • Languages with the complete Bible: 513
    • Languages with at least the complete New Testament: 1294
    • Languages with at least one book published: 1010
  • Bible translation projects are underway in a further 692 which don't have any parts translated yet
share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.