JW website is world’s most translated | Inquirer News

JW website is world’s most translated

/ 11:39 AM February 22, 2024

JW website is world’s most translated

Remote translation in Pangasinan. The Remote Translation Office (RTO) in San Carlos City, Pangasinan. PHOTO BY JWs

When the world marked International Mother Language Day last Feb. 21, the number of languages available on JW.ORG, the official website of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs), reached 1,087, making it the most translated website for five years now.

While volunteer-driven, the website is able to translate eight major languages in the Philippines — Cebuano, Iloko, Tagalog, Pangasinan, Bicol, Hiligaynon, and Waray-waray — where the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is available online and in print, according to James Morales, national spokesperson for JWs in the Philippines.


He said several indigenous languages, such as Blaan, Chavacano, and Kankanaey, are also available on jw.org, which marked its 25th anniversary in 2022.


Morales said jw.org also offers content in over 100 sign languages, including the Filipino Sign Language, and offers reading materials in Braille for people who are blind or have vision loss.

He said the website includes online Bibles, an interactive Bible course, articles on family life, mental health, peace and happiness, videos and animations for children and teens.

The JWs released the report to coincide with International Mother Language Day which is held annually to bring attention to the importance of access to material in “the language of one’s heart.”

Around the world, about 40 percent of people can’t access education in a language they understand, according to UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report.

“We view our translation work as one way to contribute to the community as the Bible’s message can help us have a positive outlook in life and foster good relationships with others,” Morales said.

Why are JWs able to release literature in print and online in hundreds of languages at once?


The answer is a breakthrough in publishing, called the Multilanguage Electronic Publishing System (MEPS), which the JWs designed in 1979.

The MEPS is a computer software that is used by translators to access the master text in English, said Morales.

He said that MEPS enables all translation teams worldwide to access the master text simultaneously so all publications in different languages can be released on schedule.

The translated material is composed and formatted as well in MEPS so that magazines and books will look the same in any written language across the globe, he added.

In addition to translating Bibles, JWs support Remote Translation Offices (RTO) around the world that allow translators to go live where many people speak their language. This helps support global translation that is accurate and easy to understand.

In the Philippines, there are more than 1,000 volunteers who contributed to the translation work and most of them are based in six RTOs — Pangasinan, Bicol, Cagayan, Negros, Leyte and Zamboanga del Sur.

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The 2019 Web Globalization Report Card, which keeps track of the world’s best global websites, named jw.org as the world’s most translated website, beating commercial websites.

TAGS: bible, Jehovah's Witnesses, Religion

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