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Approximately 275 million people throughout the world speak French. All five continents have pockets of native French speakers and it is the official language in 29 countries including France, Algeria, Belgium, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo and Switzerland.
The Scriptures were translated from the original Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Received texts into French for the first time in 1535 by Pierre Robert Olivétan. In the 19th century, a team in Switzerland led by Louis Gaussen made a revision of the Bible bringing it closer to the original language texts as the French language had evolved significantly since the original translation. Taking advantage of this Bible which has historically nourished the faith of Protestants for many generations, the Trinitarian Bible Society has chosen this version—known as the Lausanne—to prepare another revision of the Scriptures in French.
For many years the Society published the Segond version of the French Scriptures but over time became aware of the problems and inaccuracies in this edition. In 2005 we ceased publication of the Segond and embarked on preparing a new and more faithful edition of the French Bible. After several years of preliminary work, in 2013 a revision of the 1872 Lausanne Bible commenced with reference to the Martine Bible of 1707/1712. Extensive changes have been made to bring French tenses and vocabulary into greater conformity with modern usage. The French team continues to make good progress with over half the New Testament now complete.