MendeFull Bible Translation

Translation has begun on the Old Testament, while team checking and consultant checks for a previous version of the New Testament are underway.

Bible Translation


  • Sierra Leone


  • West Africa

Language Population


The MEnde Desire the full Story of Salvation

Candles were expensive in Sierra Leone, but the fear of demons and spirits prompted people to burn them for protection. The Mende people lived in darkness caused by fear until 2003. The New Testament, in the Mende language, brought light.

The Mende translation team is working on the Old Testament. Community leaders offer valuable suggestions and moral support. “Today is my happiest moment in life, as I have been yearning to be part of this noble work of bringing light to our people!” exclaimed a Mende reviewer.

Faith among the Mende people is deepening as they join group Bible studies. The Gospel spreads faster as translated portions are used for evangelism, which makes an impact for eternity. Your support will lead to a full Mende Bible and equip Mende leaders to share the entire story of salvation with their language community.

EMPOWER The Local Leaders

We believe that every community should have the chance to read the Bible in the language they know best, led by people they trust and respect. Your financial gifts and prayers equip leaders in Sierra Leone to complete translation of the full Bible into the Mende language.

Program Goals

  1. The team will team check at least one book: Luke, John, Acts, Romans, or 1 Corinthians.
  2. Community review will happen on the following: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
  3. Hold at least four consultant checking sessions; there are a lot of books ready to be consultant checked. The books that are consultant checked are determined by the Global Technical Adviser (GTA).

Mende Bible Translation Plan

Step 1

Revisit previous Mende New Testament translation and complete team check.

Step 2

Continue drafting Old Testament books.

Step 3

Finalize draft of the full Bible.

Meet the Local Team

Partner Organizations

Honoring the Language

Mende is spoken as a regional lingua franca in southern Sierra Leone. 

Mende is a tonal language belonging to the Mande branch of the Niger–Congo language family.

Mende was written with a syllabary known as Kikakui, but is now usually written with the Latin alphabet.

Program Progress

The Mende translation team continues to progress through the Old Testament, which has several books in different phases of translation.

  • Pre-consultant checking of Joshua.
  • Proofread Luke and 1 & 2 Kings.
  • Consultant checking of Deuteronomy.
  • Community testing in Moyamba.
  • Drafts of Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, John 12-18, and Romans 1-6.

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