NOVEMBER 4, 2019
The Governing Body is pleased to announce that a new milestone has been reached in our efforts to make disciples of people of all the nations. JW.ORG now has articles, videos, and audio content available in 1,000 languages, including 100 sign languages.
Brother Gerrit Lösch, a member of the Governing Body, states: “Our translation work has a long history dating back to the late 1800’s and has increased dramatically in recent years.” Brother Geoffrey Jackson, also a member of the Governing Body, adds: “It took us a little over a hundred years to reach 508 languages in January 2013. But it’s remarkable that in just under seven years we have nearly doubled our translation production—from 508 languages to 1,000.”
The website offers a wealth of downloadable material in 1,000 languages. Of these, jw.org’s home page and other pages can be navigated in an unprecedented 821 languages, making it the most widely translated website in the world. Much of the translation is done by well-trained volunteers who work in some 350 remote translation offices around the world.
“Translating into and publishing in so many languages can pose special challenges,” explains Brother Izak Marais, who oversees Translation Services at the world headquarters in Warwick, New York, U.S.A. “At times we wanted to publish in a less common language, but all the characters were not available for that language. So, over the years, we have provided artwork for countless characters and font sets, allowing us to produce printed publications in hundreds of languages. Similarly, we have overcome many challenges to make our publications available in so many languages on jw.org. In fact, many of those 1,000 languages have no other publications available on the web.”
Brother Clive Martin, who oversees the MEPS Programming department added: “One challenge we have faced is how to represent an article in hundreds of languages, with different scripts and layouts, on a single website. For example, 21 of the languages we support are written from right to left. For the 100 sign languages we support, we had to create a unique design that is easy for deaf users to navigate.”
Commercial websites usually limit their efforts to languages that will be significantly profitable. For Jehovah’s Witnesses, though, profit is not our motive. Our goal is to spread the Bible’s message to all who are eager to hear it in a simple and appealing way.
We praise and honor Jehovah for blessing our diligent efforts to “make disciples of people of all the nations.” We trust that until Jehovah says the work is done, he will continue to grant us the power and resources needed to share the Kingdom message with honesthearted ones worldwide.—Matthew 28:19, 20.