Providing People With Comfort and Hope in the “Language of One’s Heart”

Providing People With Comfort and Hope in the “Language of One’s Heart”

As International Mother Language Day approaches, Jehovah’s Witnesses offer content in more than 1,000 languages.

“I am so happy! I know that God was behind the translation and production of this new Bible. It could never have come about without his help! I am so appreciative to have a copy. I’m excited to be able to read God’s thoughts in the language of my heart and the way it is currently spoken! God´s Word is very much alive, just like our language,” said Charity Hokeya, after the release of the New World Translation Bible in Chichewa last year in August at the regional convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses held at Civo Stadium.

In addition to the Bible, Jehovah’s Witnesses offer content that brings comfort and hope to people in languages such as Chitumbuka, Chiyao, Malawi Sign Language, Chilambya, Kyangonde and Chitonga. These are just some of the more than 1,000 languages featured on the most translated website in the world, jw.org.

International Mother Language Day approaches on Feb. 21, bringing attention to the importance of access to material in what is often called ‘the language of one’s heart.’

Around the world, about 40% of people can’t access education in a language they understand, according to UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report.

In addition to many Indigenous languages, jw.org offers content in over 100 sign languages and offers reading materials in Braille for people who are blind or have vision loss.

Content is designed to be practical for everyday life—it includes online Bibles, an interactive Bible course, articles on family life, mental health, peace and happiness, videos and animations for children and teens, and more.

The website marked its 25th anniversary in 2022.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have a robust translation work around the world. As noted the outset, The Revised New World Translation in Chichewa was released last year in August. Chichewa is spoken by more than ten million people in Malawi.

At the 2021 International Mother Language Conference and Festival, Jehovah’s Witnesses were recognized for their translation work in the Philippines. The academic conference features educators, international policy makers, researchers, and scholars from 12 countries. In a presentation titled “Gathering People of All Nations and Languages: The Borderless Translation Initiatives of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” translator and Witness Elnathan Lee said, “Translators for the publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses view their work as a public service with the goal of producing understandable translations that know no boundaries and that can inform and uplift their audience.”

In addition to translating Bibles, Jehovah’s Witnesses support Remote Translation Offices around the world that allow translators to live where many people speak their language. This helps support global translation that is accurate and easy to understand.

A major feat of their tireless efforts was seen in 2020 during the global pandemic. Their annual convention program was translated into over 500 languages and viewed virtually, despite a number of challenges, including limited resources and time constraints.

Other recent translation news from around the world include:

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Last modified on Tuesday, 27/02/2024

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