One of IBT’s newest publications is an illustrated edition of Bible Stories in the Kalmyk language. This is a collection of 58 short narratives taken from both the Old and New Testaments, beginning with Creation and ending with Revelation. It is a significantly revised and shortened form of the Children’s Bible, which IBT published in Kalmyk in 1998. Other IBT publications in Kalmyk include the New Testament (2002), Genesis and Ruth (2005), the Psalms (2006) and Proverbs (2013).
Even though Kalmyk is an endangered language (only 44% of the ethnic Kalmyk population can speak their language), there has been a serious revitalization movement in progress among the Kalmyks over the past decade. One of the multitalented young activists in this movement who is working to strengthen her mother tongue is Elistina Shinyakaeva. Besides producing the Bible Stories revision together with the help of an IBT exegetical advisor, she also made an audio recording of the text and played the music that serves as the background for the reading.
The official presentation of the book was held in Elista on February 26 in celebration of International Mother-Tongue Day and an Orthodox feast day.
Translation work continues on the poetic and historical books of the Old Testament into Kalmyk.