Church Works to Meet Members’ Needs

    “Church Works to Meet Members’ Needs,” Liahona, Oct. 2006, N6

    Church Works to Meet Members’ Needs

    With hundreds of languages spoken by Latter-day Saints, the Church is continually working to meet the needs of a diverse membership, making 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.

    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 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’s 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 10 languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, 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 U.S. 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 purpose of the Church magazines is to assist Latter-day Saints to more fully understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and to draw nearer to the Savior.

    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%