In order to do our best to declare the “good news” to “every nation and tribe and tongue and people,” we produce literature in over 750 languages. (Revelation 14:6) How do we accomplish this challenging task? We do it with the help of an international writing staff and a group of devoted translators
The original text is prepared in English. The Governing Body oversees the activity of the Writing Department at our world headquarters. This department coordinates the assignments of the writers who serve at headquarters and at certain branch offices. Having a diversified writing staff allows us to address multicultural subjects that give our publications an international appeal.
The text is forwarded to the translators. After the written material has been edited and approved, it is sent electronically to teams of translators around the earth, who translate, check, and proofread the text. They endeavor to select the “accurate words of truth” that will capture the full meaning of the English in their target language.
Computers speed up the process. A computer cannot replace human writers and translators. However, their tasks can be sped up by using computerized dictionaries, language tools, and research materials. Jehovah’s Witnesses designed a Multilanguage Electronic Publishing System (MEPS) by which text can be entered in hundreds of languages, merged with accompanying artwork, and composed for printing.
Why do we put forth all this effort, even for languages that are spoken by only a few thousand people? Because it is Jehovah’s will that “all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”
How is the writing done for our publications?
Why do we translate our literature into so many languages?
Learn the unique challenges when translating song lyrics into many languages.