Church Expanding Online Language Offerings

  • 29 July 2011

Plans are in place to provide the Liahona, First Presidency and Visiting Teaching Messages, and general conference materials online in dozens of languages.

Article Highlights

  • The Church is working to make each language edition of the Liahona available online in PDF, EPUB, and HTML formats.
  • Eventually, the First Presidency and Visiting Teaching Messages will be published online regularly in 59 languages.
  • A project to publish general conference materials from 2000 through today online in up to 48 languages is also under way.

“Most important, perhaps, is that reading the Liahona in the language [members] are familiar with will enable the Spirit to speak more easily to them in the language of heaven.” —Val Johnson, managing editor of the Liahona

The Church is working to improve online access to materials translated into languages other than English, most notably the Liahona, the Church’s international magazine.

Each month that the Liahona is printed in one of its 46 languages, Church members around the world will be able to access each entire issue online in text, EPUB (for electronic readers), and PDF (full graphical layout) formats. From the Liahona landing page, select “Current Issue” then the desired language. This will apply to magazines from June 2011 on and will not include issues before then.

The April 2011 issue of the Liahona was printed in 46 languages; on April 1, 2011, 38 of those languages were available on the Liahona’s website in text, PDF, and EPUB formats.

The process for transforming the print version of the different language editions into PDFs is still being developed and improved upon.

“Members who don’t read English have long wanted the Liahona available online in their own language,” said Val Johnson, managing editor of the Liahona. “Now they will have it. They will be able to read and share the First Presidency Message and other articles from living prophets and apostles in their primary language. Preparing for home teaching, visiting teaching, Sunday lessons, and family home evening will be easier. Most important, perhaps, is that reading the Liahona in the language they are familiar with will enable the Spirit to speak more easily to them in the language of heaven.”

First Presidency and Visiting Teaching Messages

In addition to putting entire magazine issues online, the Church now regularly publishes the First Presidency and Visiting Teaching Messages online in 59 languages. These messages are traditionally included in the Liahona or published as a separate item for languages in which the Liahona is not printed in that month or is not yet available.

General Conference Materials

The amount of translated general conference materials available online is also growing. Traditionally, the Church has always made available the general conference talks that are already translated for the Liahona. For the October 2011 general conference, however, talks will be translated into 33 languages in which the Liahona is not printed. These will be posted on the general conference section of LDS.org within eight to twelve weeks of conference.

Find out more about when text, video, and audio from conference will be available in different languages here.

A project to publish general conference materials from 2000 through today online in 48 languages is also under way. From 2000 on, if a session of general conference was published in the Church magazines in one of those 48 languages, it will be scanned and placed online in PDF, EPUB, and HTML formats.

Language Index Pages

As a whole, LDS.org is becoming more language-friendly. Recently, 48 new language index pages were added to the Church’s official website. By clicking on any language under the “Languages” link in the upper right corner on any page of LDS.org, anyone can see links to all the Church materials currently available online in each language.

Different sections of LDS.org will eventually be available in 10 to 15 languages. At that point, the language page for those languages will be retired. (For example, there is no language page for English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish, because all those languages already have much of LDS.org in their language.)

“The Lord has blessed us with marvels of technology that make it possible to publish throughout the earth the scriptures and the words of modern prophets and apostles,” said Larry Richman, director of product awareness. “By making these words available in more languages and in more formats, people can more readily learn how to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

During the remainder of 2011, Church employees will also be working on making more magazines and other translated material from LDS.org available for mobile devices.