Church to translate scriptures in 34 more languages; will release portions online

The Church has announced plans to translate the scriptures in 34 additional languages, plus a new process that will allow members earlier access to the scriptures in their language.

Planned translations

New scripture translation projects approved over the last several years include the Book of Mormon in Burmese, Efik, Georgian, Navajo, Pohnpeian, Sesotho, and Tshiluba; and the triple combination of the scriptures in American Sign Language, Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, Bislama, Greek, Hiligaynon, Hindi, Hmong, Lao, Lingala, Malay, Persian, Polish, Serbian, Setswana, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Tahitian, Tamil, Telugu, Tok Pisin, Turkish, Twi, Urdu, and Yoruba.

New process

In a letter dated Oct. 9, 2017, the First Presidency listed these projects and introduced a new process that will allow individuals to study draft portions of translations prior to publication of final translations, which means members will have earlier access to the scriptures in their language.

“As translations proceed, completed portions can be released in sequence from time to time,” the letter states. “These sequential portions, although not considered final until the full translation is completed, will be made available on and in the Gospel Library mobile application.”

The initial release for a few selected languages will begin on Nov. 30, 2017. As translations are completed, with the necessary reviews and approvals, the earlier sequential releases will be replaced by final versions, with printed editions to follow.

Translation projects take several years, as scripture texts are carefully translated. Therefore, projects are currently in various stages. The initial release of approved draft translations will include content that has been translated and reviewed by local leaders. Additional portions of translations will continue to be released periodically. Translations that are currently nearing completion will not have drafts published.

The First Presidency asks that while translation projects are underway or pending, members and leaders “continue using the current translations of the Articles of Faith, sacrament prayers, and baptismal prayer until new translations are complete.”

LDS editions of the scriptures are translated and available in the following number of languages:

Holy Bible: 3

Preferred Non-LDS Editions of Bible: 95

The Book of Mormon: 90

Sections from the Book of Mormon: 21

The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price: 58