The books of Esther and Daniel published in the Tabasaran language
November 29, 2016

After IBT published the New Testament in the Tabasaran language of Dagestan in 2010,  the translation team decided to continue their work by translating the Old Testament. Their first Old Testament trial publication (Ruth and Jonah) came out in 2013.  The translators then turned their attention to further OT books, including Esther and Daniel, which were printed in late 2016. Tabasaran is spoken by about 125,000 people and is considered by many linguists to be the record holder among the world’s languages for the number of grammatical cases, 48. (For comparison’s sake, Classical Greek has only 5 cases, while Latin and Russian each has 6).

Since the books of Daniel and Esther (especially the latter) make time references according to the ancient Near Eastern lunar calendar, supplemental materials at the end of the book include a combined calendar that shows how the lunar months, whose names were borrowed in the Tabasaran translation of these books, line up with today’s solar calendar. The combined calendar was designed to help readers better understand the sequence of events in these books. Besides helpful supplemental materials such as this, the edition also contains beautiful illustrations by IBT staff member Maria Ratova. The PDF version of this publication can be found on IBT’s website in the “Electronic books” section.

IBT plans to publish a Tabasaran trial translation of Genesis and Proverbs in 2017 and to continue working towards a full Bible in Tabasaran by 2025.