How Do Bible Translators Pick the Next Language to Work On?


There are hundreds of translations of the Bible. In fact, there are a bit over 650 Bible translations into other languages. This des not include the over 1 thousand translations of just the New Testament. While this may seem like every translation has been covered, there are still many more languages that need and deserve translations.

While it may seem unimportant to some to provide these translations, the truth is, people learn more from reading in their native language, even when they speak multiple languages. While English and Spanish are quite common, if my home or native language is Spanish, I will prefer it. The language people are conversational in is the best to learn in over time. Since the Bible has so many specific meaning word choices, it is important that these be translated appropriately.

So, the question may come to mind how the next language is chosen. This actually comes down to need and benefit. When spending time on translations, the goal is to benefit as many people as possible, especially those who have little to no access to the Word otherwise. Translators will look at the largest number of people who could benefit from a new language translation and choose to translate it next. If a specific region requests a translation, but a dialect just affects a small group in that area and another region with more people also wants a translation, the larger region will take priority.

Application to Your Translation
This same basic thought process can be used when you are searching for Christian translation services. Once your materials for translation are complete, choose the language that will most benefit your intended audience to begin translation. If your goal is to get the materials into the hands of the most people in a specific country then choose the most popular language and dialect for that country. This may change a bit if you want something translated for a very specific tribe or area, but for the most part the language with the largest impact is the best place to start.
This will require some research on your part to determine which language and dialect is the most appropriate. Some Christian translation services may be able to help you determine this or in the least narrow down the options since they have likely translated into multiple languages. It may also be helpful to discuss the materials message with a Christian translation service to make sure a general theme is not in some way disrespectful to the region you are translating for overall. This may not be a problem for many, but is something to consider.

Finding a Translation Service

Once you have decided on a language, start looking for Christian translation services. Choose a translation service that can proficiently work in the language that you need on a reasonable timeline. This may be a bit more difficult with more obscure languages, but a good Christian translation service can either provide the translation or refer you to someone who can. If the goal is to translate into multiple languages over time, go with a service that offers multiple languages. These services are often based online or online and in set locations. This is because hiring multiple translators means they are likely spread out around the world.

Most importantly, if Christian materials are being translated, look for Christian translation services so the message you are sending is well translated. Translation is about more than wording; it is about the message being sent. The goal is to share what you have created with others, you want to make sure it is translated by the best. Christian Lingua can help with your translations so that you may share with those around the world. Contact us today.

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