United Bible Societies is currently involved with close to 600 translation projects covering nearly 500 languages. In this endeavor, we serve all Christian churches and cooperate with many different Christian organizations. Languages into which we translate the Scriptures vary from those spoken by a few thousand speakers to major national and international languages. Bible Societies support translation projects technically, administratively and financially.
Technical support for translation comes through the provision of:
- Translation consultants who train translators and do quality control of the translations;
- Scholarly tools for the study and translation of biblical texts;
- Computer services facilitating the study of biblical texts and the production of the translation. See also: UBS Paratext software website.
Administrative and financial support is primarily provided through local Bible Societies. United Bible Societies does not have a global policy about size of population required for a translation but follows the need expressed by local Churches as well as language vitality criteria. Together with partner agencies, UBS aims at providing translation into all languages which do not have any translation of the Bible yet. At the same time, Bible translation is not limited to first translations as revisions or new translations are regularly needed due to the constant development of language and culture and diverse audience.
In actual practice, the local Bible Society in collaboration with local communities determines where to put resources in serving the churches of the home country or region.