It is difficult to assess the number of languages in the world, partly because of the blurred lines between languages and dialects and partly because some may be spoken by only a few hundred people. Wycliffe Bible Translators suggest there are over 7,000. It is estimated that about half of these (the less-spoken languages) still have no part of the Scriptures.
Of the languages that account for the majority of the world’s population, over 600 have the entire Bible, more than 1,400 have at least the New Testament and over 1,000 have at least some Scripture portions and selections. Work on Bible translation around the world is progressing faster than ever, but there is still a long way to go.
Why is this important? God loves to speak to us in the language we understand best – in our heart language. Wycliffe Australia “exists to see disciples of Jesus growing through the Scriptures available in the language that speaks to their hearts.” (Wycliffe Australia, Who we are, retrieved 24 May 2019, https://wycliffe.org.au/about/who-are-we/)
To hear more about the impact to followers of Jesus of having Scriptures in their heart language, learn more about translation work, or see how you could be involved, check out Wycliffe Australia’s website.