How many Bible translations does the global church think are needed?

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The church-assessed total global Bible translation need could be the sum of 6,389 (assuming 90% of the world’s 7,099 languages need a translation) + 950 (assuming 25% of the ~3,800 known dialects need a translation) + 109 (assuming 1% of the 10,899 language variants need an additional script or cultural variant translation) + 5,450 (assuming 50% of all language variants need at least one additional format such as an audio Bible), giving a total need of 12,898. Subtracting completed Bibles (~700) and completed audio Bibles (~1,100, note: statistics for complete Bibles are not available, so this number also includes languages with only audio New Testaments) leaves a remaining global Bible need today that is well over 10,000.

It should be noted that this is almost certainly a low estimate, especially as some reports suggest the number of dialects is far higher. References for these calculations include Simons and Fennig, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Twentieth Edition; Global Recordings Network, “Registry of Dialects”; Wycliffe Global Alliance, “Scripture & Language Statistics 2016”; and Faith Comes By Hearing, “Celebrating 1000”.

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