For Immediate Release
November 16, 2009
Milestone in publishing and translation: 500 languages
New York—In the midst of a civil war in Rwanda, a small group of translators flee their homes, leaving behind their possessions, but they do manage to take their laptop computers along. Why? They translate Bible publications into the Kinyarwanda language, and they want that translation to continue.
This real-life account is one of many that show the dedication of translators who appreciate the value of the Bible and of the educational publications used in teaching people who want to learn about the Bible. This year a milestone is being reached in that such information is being published in 500 languages, more than 75 percent of which are also available online.
Internationally, among Jehovah’s Witnesses there are presently over 2,500 translators who volunteer their time, their knowledge, and their skill to be sure that a message of hope and peace can reach as many people as possible. Commenting on an aspect of the approach that prohibits commercial publishing enterprises from doing the same, Rudi Hartl spoke from the Watchtower Educational Center in Patterson, New York, where many of the translation details are organized. He said: “In some cases the languages into which Jehovah’s Witnesses undertake translation of Bible publications have only a few thousand readers, a factor promptly extinguishing any suggestion that the motivation is financial.” He adds, “For us, we go to this extent in publishing and translating because we care about people and we want as many as possible to benefit from the treasures discovered only in a study of the Bible.”
Among the most recognized items translated is the Watchtower magazine, which is now simultaneously published in 176 languages.
Contact: J. R. Brown, telephone: (718) 560-5600