Church Works to Meet Members’ Needs
October 2006

“Church Works to Meet Members’ Needs,” Ensign, Oct. 2006, 76–77

Church Works to Meet Members’ Needs

With hundreds of languages spoken by Latter-day Saints, the Church is continually working to make material available to Church members living in more than 160 countries worldwide.

The Church’s Translation Division has the task of translating approved scriptures, the spoken word, and other Church materials. The division is actively working in 105 languages. The purpose of the division is to ensure that the meaning of Church doctrines and policies is accurately preserved in translations.

The April 2006 general conference marked a milestone in the language capabilities of the Church with at least one session of conference available in 85 languages. Twenty-three languages were interpreted remotely; that is, the audio feeds were simultaneously sent to the Conference Center from the language areas, mixed with a video signal, and then broadcast back to the language areas over the satellite system.

The Church currently has full translations of the Book of Mormon printed in 77 languages. Book of Mormon selections are published in 28 additional languages. New scripture translations are requested by Area Presidencies and approved by the First Presidency. The most recent new full translation of the Book of Mormon was published in Twi (Ghana) in 2005.

A limited amount of translated material has been available on the Church Web site LDS.org in 43 languages. But this year, as an ongoing process, the Church is working to provide the full content of LDS.org in several languages: Cantonese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The Church will continue to work to make additional online material, including scriptures, available in more languages on its Web site.

Church satellite system broadcasts are also available in many languages. Archives of general conference satellite broadcasts are available on the Internet in 44 languages.

The Church has 16 missionary training centers around the world where missionaries learn languages. Teachers at the Provo Utah MTC in the United States teach 49 languages.

The Church magazines are another resource for members around the world. The Liahona is distributed in every area of the Church. It contains material for adults, youth, and children and is available in 50 languages. (Frequency of publication varies by language.) The Ensign is available to English-speaking Church members throughout the world. The purpose of the Church magazines is to help Latter-day Saints fully understand and live the gospel of Jesus Christ and draw nearer to the Savior.

Top 10 Languages Spoken by Church Members*

Top 10 Languages Spoken by Church Members

Graphic by Thomas S. Child

  • Spanish—3,903,000—31.1%

  • English—6,008,000—47.8%

  • Portuguese—970,000—7.7%

  • All others—7%

  • Tagalog—172,000—1.4%

  • Cebuano—131,000—1.0%

  • Japanese—118,000—0.9%

  • Ilokano—113,000—0.9%

  • Samoan—107,000—0.9%

  • Tongan—80,000—0.6%

  • Korean—79,000—0.6%

  • * Numbers are 2005 estimates.