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Languages with Scripture a "Pleasant Surprise"

2017-02-14

As of November 2016, the Wycliffe Global Alliance (WGA) reported that 3,223 (45 per cent) of the 7,097 languages spoken on the globe have some Scripture portions.

The international umbrella organization (to which Wycliffe Canada belongs) expected to see this number surpass the 3,000 mark in 2016, but was pleasantly surprised to discover it was much higher.

“By combining key lists, we identified some previously unreported Scripture. . . ,” WGA explained. “This year we have also included Scripture in languages previously excluded from Wycliffe’s counts due to a lack of known first-language speakers, and we have expanded our definition of ‘portions.’”

WGA statistics now include a wider range of initial products as portions, such as translated Scripture from within a book of the Bible, or a selection of Scriptures from across several books.

Of the languages with some of God’s Word, WGA says 636 have a complete Bible, 1,442 have a New Testament, and 1,145 have portions and stories. More than 2,400 known active translation/language programs are in progress, with WGA organizations involved in 83 per cent of these.

Across the globe, however, 1.5 billion people do not have the full Bible in their first language. And between 1,700 and 1,800 languages—spoken by 160 million people—still need Bible translation to begin.

For complete statistics, visit www.wycliffe.net/statistics.

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