T&I Business: Translation World Records
Considering how the world's history of translation is tied so closely to the world's religious history, it should come as no surprise that several of the world records for translation are tied to religion. Here are a few:
Language world records in translation
- Most language translations for one book: the Bible holds this record. According to United Bible Societies, as of December 31, 2007, the entire Bible had been translated into at least 438 languages, and at least some portion of the Bible had been translated into at least 2,454 languages.
- Most translated author: this depends on how you define the record. Based on various criteria, there are several "most translated authors." See the full explanation here: World's Most Translated Author
- Most translated movie: the JESUS Film Project has made a film based on the Gospel of Luke into the most translated film in history. As of May 2009. the official site claims the film has been translated into more than 1,050 languages.
- Most translated magazine (with simship): The Watchtower is published by the Jehovah's Witnesses in 174 languages and "all these editions are translated and printed for simultaneous release."
- Most languages simultaneously interpreted for a single event: As of October 2008, the World General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is simultaneously interpreted** into 94 languages twice each year.
**Interestingly enough, most of the conference is "simultaneously synchronized" in 94 different languages as most of the speakers have submitted their talks/sermons for written translation by professional and semi-professional translators (or the interpreters themselves) prior to the conference. This prior translation means that many of the "interpreters" can read most of the talks in synchronized timing with the speakers. That said, translation is not complete for all 94 languages before the conference begins, and much is still said "on the fly" during the conference, which must then be simultaneously interpreted by volunteer linguists for attendees and the live worldwide broadcast.
- Most translated website: Wikipedia.org is in 200+ languages (verification needed)
- Most translated corporate website: Google.com with 124 languages and counting(including a few artificial languages like Esperanto, Klingon, Elmer Fudd, and "Bork, bork, bork!") as of May 2009
Financial world records in translation
- Largest translation contract: $4.6 billion contract for 5 years to provide translation and interpretation services to the US Army. ($4.6 billion maximum value and $3.5 billion current awarded value in 2008)
- Largest translation company: Global Linguist Solutions, a joint venture between DynCorp International (NYSE: DCP) and McNeil Technologies, currently holds the world's largest translation contract, formerly held by L-3 Communications (NYSE:LLL) (Titan), and therefore has annual revenue in excess of $500 million, estimated at $691 million in 2008.
- Largest localization company: Lionbridge at $461 million in 2008
- Largest phone interpretation company: Language Line Services at $212 million in 2008
See additional financial information on public translation companies here.Are you aware of any additional world records in the field of translation and interpretation? Or should an of the information above be corrected? If so, please comment, and then subscribe above via email or RSS so that you are notified when the list is updated again.
Last updated May 29, 2009