Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Jamiekan Baibl (Jamaican Bible )

Almost a year ago I became interested again in translations of the Bible. As a language scientist I always welcome the production of more language data, and as a Christian I am always happy that someone else has been convinced that people should hear the Gospel in their own tongue, as opposed to being fed the Word through some foreign medium.

Naturally, I have been thinking about the translation of the Bible into Jamaican. The Jamaican chapter of the Bible Society of the West Indies (Bible Society of the West Indies) several years ago did a translation of the Gospels into Jamaican. The project caused quite a stir as many people thought it was a waste of time. Unfortunately, they have not published the entire work, however, they have released a few sections in audio form.

Well, back to me now, and my renewed urge. So almost a year ago I started translating the book of Ruth into Jamaican. Ruth was chosen because it was short. I also considered doing some of the Apocryphal books, since I thought that less people would have a problem with these being translated into Jamaican.

Then not so long ago I discovered that a Jamaican studying theology in Wales, Bertram Gayle, had also done a translation of the book of Ruth. He has a pre-final draft of the translation on his blog (A FI BERCHI SPIEC DIS!). Someday I might post mine, that is unless we decide to work together and prepare one translation.

I am a professional linguist (or on my way to becoming one) with very little training in translation (except what I did at University as a student of Spanish), and no knowledge of Greek or Hebrew, so my translation was done from the New King James Version. Bertram translated his from the original language. This seems like a new chapter in the history of the Jamaican language. We'll see how things work out.


Bertram said...

Cool... Hope things will work out.

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