Twice a year, 58 language teams assemble in the LDS Conference Center to bring live interpretation of messages of the Prophets, Apostles, and other General Authorities to Church members around the world. Other interpreters and translators throughout the world provide language services remotely.

Church News and Events on has just published a story noting that the Translation Division marks 50 years of providing interpretation at General Conference.

Interpretation services were first provided in October 1961 in Dutch, German, Samoan, and Spanish. Today, 50 years later, those 4 language offerings have grown to 93. The latest addition is Georgian, which will be introduced during the October 2011 general conference. At least one session of general conference is available for more than 98% of Church members in their native language.

Although a few general conference interpreters are Church employees, an overwhelming number—some 800 people—are volunteers. About 500 work from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Language teams of various sizes share 58 state-of-the-art interpretation booths from which their audio interpretation is mixed with video and transmitted via satellite, Internet, and other technologies around the world. 43 languages are interpreted remotely from locations around the world outside of the Conference Center. In about a dozen cases an interpreter in a meetinghouse interprets for the congregation assembled at that same location.

84 languages are transmitted live, even though not everyone watches it live. For example, the Sunday afternoon session of conference begins at 2:00 p.m. mountain daylight time, but airs live at midnight on Monday in Moscow, Russia. Local priesthood leaders in some areas designate the following weekend or some other time for members to watch conference proceedings. In 9 languages, a recording is sent post-conference for members who speak that language to watch after the fact.

Following general conference, the transcript of the interpreted text is used as the basis for the translated written text, which is published on 2-8 weeks after conference. (Audio and video files are available within 24 hours for many languages.) The Church magazines also publish the translated text in the May and November issues of the Liahona. The conference editions of the Church magazines are available in 33 languages. About 30 more languages are published in a simple text document.  Together, these publications reach nearly 95% of Church membership.


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