The first book of the Old Testament, Genesis, has been translated into the Gagauz language.
Most of the Gagauz people (more than 100,000 speakers in all) live in south Moldova, particularly in the district of Gagauzia. The Gagauz, who are primarily Orthodox Christians, are already familiar with the biblical stories of the Creation, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel from worship and icon painting. Now, the book of Genesis will enable the Gagauz to get acquainted in full with these stories in their native language. Until now, the only Old Testament works available in Gagauz have been a summary of Old Testament stories published in 1907, the Psalter (1936), the IBT Children’s Bible (2010), six Psalms (IBT, 2011), and the books of Ruth and Jonah (IBT, 2017).
Like IBT’s previous publications in Gagauz, Genesis has been published in both Roman script and Cyrillic script. IBT chose this approach due to different preferences among the Gagauz people. After the writing system transitioned from Cyrillic to Roman script in the 1990s, young people became used to the new form, while the older generation still prefers the Cyrillic alphabet.
One thousand copies of Genesis were printed in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. These copies will be distributed to libraries and churches in Gagauzia in late April. The text is already available in PDF format on the IBT website, and an audio version will soon be released.