Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Translating Best-Selling Book of All Time - The Bible - Into World's Remaining Languages

Translating Best-Selling Book of All Time - The Bible - Into World's Remaining Languages

NOV. 22: Launch of Full-Sprint Effort to Begin Bible Translation and Literacy Programs in Last Languages by 2025

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- On the eve of National Bible Week ( from=22) - established in 1942 by the Roosevelt administration - Wycliffe Bible Translators (, the world's largest Bible translation organization, is launching the Last Languages Campaign. This historic, high-speed, high-tech effort to start a language development and Bible translation program in the remaining one-third of the world's language groups that still need one by 2025 represents a time savings of 125 years from the 1990s translation pace.

The project will bring first-time access to literacy and the Bible for some 200 million people in approximately 2,400 language groups over the next 17 years. The effort is fueled by new strategies and high- tech translation techniques, developed by Wycliffe personnel, that accelerate the pace of language development and Bible translation by three times the pace of a decade ago.

Bible Translation Fuels Humanitarian Efforts

Wycliffe Bible Translators understands that critical community development - literacy, the establishment of water purification systems, AIDS education, human rights and community empowerment - often starts in a surprising place: with Bible translation and the language development that is foundational to it.

"The completion of Bible translation and the worldwide community development that accompanies it is now in sight," said Wycliffe USA President Bob Creson. "Countless communities worldwide will be transformed by the broader impact of the language development that is one of the first steps to Bible translation."

Even before the official launch, this ambitious campaign has already received significant support, including a $50 million single donation and, what the Associated Press called, "a non-traditional" investment of a backcountry, sea-worthy aircraft. Deputy chairman of the New York Stock Exchange holding company, Marshall N. Carter, donated his personal million-dollar airplane to a Wycliffe Last Languages partner telling the AP his aircraft is now on "its most important mission ever" (AP, 2007).

Some 6,400 Wycliffe translators, linguists, aviators, humanitarian workers, educators and administrators along with dozens of partnering organizations are currently working in 93 countries on six continents toward the Last Languages goal. Wycliffe anticipates needing 3,000 additional staff for the billion-dollar, 17- year effort.

Fast Facts:
*6,909 language groups in the world today

*Two-thirds (appx. 4,000) of world's language groups have a Bible or Bible translation program in their mother tongue

*One-third (appx. 2,400) of world's language groups have no Bible translation program in place

*1 in 5 ratio of illiterate adults worldwide (UNESCO)

Founded in 1942, Wycliffe Bible Translators, headquartered in Orlando, Fla., exists to make the Bible accessible to all people in the language most meaningful to them.

MEDIA NOTE: Several hundred staff and partners from around the world will be present for the official launch of Last Languages Campaign at Wycliffe USA's Orlando, Fla., headquarters NOV. 22, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m (ET). The event is OPEN TO MEDIA. On-site media contact: Scott Toncray (407) 375-2770.

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