What is The Most Translated Document in the World?

woman translating document using a split document screen

The translation of documents, speeches, and thoughts has been going on since human beings invented written communication. These translated documents attest to the universality and scope of the ideas behind these. These documents are meant to be understood across cultures and languages. From the time of the Sumerians, translations of the Epic of Gilgamesh into various southwest Asian languages dating back to around 2000 BCE were unearthed. The oldest political document with known translations is the Treaty of Kadesh agreed between the ancient Egyptians and the Hittites around 1400 BCE.

Today, there are over 7,000 languages spoken worldwide. The translation of documents is as important as ever as we seek to bridge language barriers worldwide for different reasons. Various institutions and organizations have found ways to translate documents from personal documents to legal and healthcare records throughout history. Nowadays, translation companies and organizations such as A Foreign Language Service, a proven document translator, have perfected this craft by helping organizations, schools, medical institutions, and corporations reach, support, and communicate to as many people as possible.

What Are The Most Translated Documents In History?

There are concepts contained in these documents that have universal appeal and scope. That is why governments, institutions, and individuals never care how much does document translation cost in terms of effort and resources to ensure that these works reach as many people as possible in the entire world.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

All human beings are born free, and the foundation of human rights education worldwide. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights lays down the fundamental human rights of all human beings that should be universally protected. The Guinness World Records lists the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed in the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948, as the most translated document in the world. It has translations in over 500 languages in its complete form.

The Most Translated Book

The Guinness World Records lists the Holy Bible, with 550 translations in its entirety and segments of it translated into an additional 3,000 languages (including languages that are extinct), as the most translated book in the world. The Holy Bible has translations in so many languages that around 98% of the world’s people can read it in a language they speak fluently.

The most translated book that does not deal with religion is the Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, originally written in Italian and is currently published in 260 languages.

As for contemporary popular works of literature, the Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling has been translated into 67 languages.

The Guinness World Records list the “Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery as the most translated among children’s books with, at least, 382 known language editions.

The Most Translated Short Story

There are no accurate records of the number of translated versions of each short story written. However, it is universally accepted that the collection of short stories in Andersen’s Fairy Tales, featuring short stories such as “The Little Mermaid,” “The Princess and The Pea,” and “The Ugly Duckling,” has translations in the most languages with over 150. The world’s most translated single short story belongs to “The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright” by Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o with translations for over 50 languages so far.

The Most Translated Website

The current record holder for the most translations for the language spoken for a website belongs to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ site. As of August 2020, the website is available in over 1,000 languages. Moreover, it also has translations for over 100 sign languages.

The Most Translated Poem

The Guinness Book of World’s Records holder for the most translated document for poems is “Be Like a Child” by the Indian poet Sri Chinmoy. This poem was recited simultaneously in 204 languages in an event in April 2014.

Takeaways: AFLS, the 400 Language People, are The Best Document Translators For Your Translation Project

With certified and experienced human translators working with us, you can be assured that you can get the most accurately-translated document, whether these are written in languages ranging from Afrikaans to Zulu. We have native language-speaking translators who can preserve each translated document’s thoughts, context, and message.

In this vital work of translating documents, we collaborate with a network of 1500-strong passionate, licensed professional translators and interpreters worldwide. Our clients include global brands and government agencies and the medical, legal, business, and education communities. At AFLS, we understand the power and importance of language and faithfully preserve the message of the document. We know that every language matters—your language matters. Contact us today for a free quote!

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