Just a month after YouVersion.com Bible app reached its milestone of 10 million downloads, YouVersion.com released its Chinese (Simplified and Traditiona) versions for online users, and the Chinese version for the Bible app will be available soon.
"YouVersion4China" or "YouVersion4Chinese project", a volunteer-based project, is a partnership effort between jidutu-wiki, an independent team of Chinese developer, and YouVersion to finish the YouVersion localization as a community effort, said Jerry Cheng, chief-editor of jidutu-wiki.
"YouVersion4China" saw the maturity and the marketability of the Bible app and decided to take on the work of translation and make it available for the Chinese people around the world. Thus far, around 20 people around the world have been been recruited.
While the vast majority of the youth in China has not had the opportunity to study or read the Bible, the Chinese versions of the Bible app would help address critical problems, namely, Bible illiteracy and lack of Christian resources.
"YouVersion4China" has introduced some of the benefits of the Bible app: 1) automatic tracking and reminder in accordance with the user’s Reading Plan; 2) the same user can unite the phone version with the online version on one platform; 3) easy note taking of Bible passages for convenient access; 4) ability to create Bible-reading social-network, providing immediate attention towards other’s Bible reading journals and sharing of reflections, etc.
Some of their milestones that they've reached thus far include the launch of the online Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) version on December 24, 2010; Chinese YouVersion Bible app for Android phones, best-selling smart phone in China, has been launched on January 21, 2011; Chinese YouVersion Bible app for BlackBerry on January 28, 2011; Chinese Version Bible app for iPhone on February 1, 2011.
Rev. Xi-Ping Zhang, executive director of Chinese Christian Training Resource Center (CCTRC), said, “For many years, I have been in China devoting to training for the Lord, and every time I see more and more people passing by in the Beijing underground railway incessantly using their cellphones, I would have this thought: If only there is a free and applicable platform that delivers the Bible and gospel into their hands, how good would that be! Thank God! YouVersion has already made this into a reality.”
LifeChurch.tv, the creator of the Bible app, has designed it as an innovative approach to connect the younger generation to the Word of God. Meanwhile, YouVersion team has since expanded its vision from reaching only the youth to also providing the Word of God to people around the world. The Bible app is offered in more than 20 different languages on nine different platforms.
From Dec. 18 to 28, the Bible app topped the reference category in the iTunes store, beating out the likes of Google Mobile, Dictionary and Wikipedia. Since LifeChurch.tv, one of the top 10 largest churches in America, launched the YouVersion for online users in 2007, over 11 million downloads have been reached, and another record was set in December – 1 million installs within a mere 11 days.
Chinese (Traditional) Version: http://zh-tw.youversion.com
Chinese (Simplified) Version: http://zh-tw.youversion.com
[Editor's note: reporter Titus Li contributed to this report.]