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BYU Speeches Collection Expands Languages to Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese and French

Translation initiative provides 'archive of inspiration and knowledge' to Church members around the world

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks at a devotional the Marriott Center on BYU Campus on September 17, 2019. His address from 2002, "Christ the Savior Is Born," is one of the first BYU speeches available in additional languages. Photo courtesy of Deseret News.© Copyright 2024 Deseret News Publishing Company.

After launching pages for Spanish and Japanese last year, Brigham Young University has expanded its Speeches Collection to include Portuguese and French. Other languages will continue to be added based on demand and translating capacity.

Since 1972, BYU has published its weekly devotionals for public access, going online in 1996 and extending the blessings of BYU devotionals to anyone with an internet connection.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown significantly since 1972, expanding well beyond the North American continent. Church membership today is over 17 million and includes 188 published languages. That means a greater demand for uplifting Church content.

BYU speeches “blend the scholarly with the sacred” as they “enlighten, uplift, instruct, and give hope to listeners,” says the About page at speeches.byu.edu.

“BYU Speeches is a remarkable archive of inspiration and knowledge that extends the blessings of a BYU education to everyone,” said Lena Harper, editor of forums and faculty devotionals for BYU Speeches. “Because we recognize the value of these talks, we are actively seeking ways to better provide that content to enrich your life.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks at a BYU devotional in the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. His address, “A Saint Through the Atonement of Christ the Lord,” is one of the first published in newly available languages Portuguese and French.© All rights reserved.

A partnership with the BYU College of Humanities provides most of the funding and provides special learning opportunities for students and language speakers. Machine translation produces an initial translation, language students at BYU review and clean up the draft translation, and finally the speech is sent off to native speakers for a final evaluation. The text is then uploaded to the website, made available for all visitors to read or listen to.

The translation process will continue to make the BYU Speeches Collection available to members worldwide. “We’re hoping to gather more resources to expand up to 10 to 12 languages,” said Charles Cranney, senior manager of Digital Media at BYU Brand & Creative, who oversees the translation initiative.

It was the expertise of the college in language and translation that, according to Cranney, helped the program get off the ground.

“This wouldn’t have happened without the College of Humanities,” he said.

A family from Brazil uses technology to watch the April 2021 General Conference in their native language. The BYU Speeches Collection continues to expand its Portuguese offerings at speeches.byu.edu/por.© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“By creating translations for key speeches, we meet a global need while giving language students and native speakers inspiring learning opportunities in their field that are unmatched elsewhere on BYU campus,” said Alayna Een, social media manager of BYU Speeches in a recent blog post. “As we expand our translation efforts, we hope to share the unique light of BYU and bring messages of hope to people around the world.” The BYU Speeches team invites all to help “spread the word — in every language — by sharing these BYU Speeches pages and social media accounts with everyone in your personal network: friends, family, mission connections, coworkers, classmates, and community members.”

A family from Japan uses technology to watch the April 2022 General Conference in their native language. The BYU Speeches Collection continues to expand its Japanese offerings at speeches.byu.edu/jpn/.© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Native speakers of available languages can ask questions or request translations of specific speeches by emailing:

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