Summer 2022 Newsletter on the Karachay project

Karachay Bible translator Lyudmila came to the IBT Moscow office from the village of Kyzyl-Pokun in the Karachay-Cherkessia region of the North Caucasus in order to audio record her first translated Bible portion – the book of Jonah. Her younger daughter Farida, who lives in Moscow, read the translation aloud while Lyudmila listened and made suggestions for improving the reading. At the end of their two day working session, I asked the translator to share how she joined the Bible translation project.

 “I grew up in the Soviet era, when our Muslim people didn’t particularly flaunt their commitment to traditional religion. Nevertheless, Muslim rituals were present in my childhood in one way or another, and two things always struck me about them: the need to repeat prayers in Arabic without understanding their meaning, and the tradition of standing up respectfully when pronouncing the name of the Prophet Muhammad, even though there was no similar custom to do the same when pronouncing the name of Allah Himself. One more thing I was curious about as a child: what is this mysterious word Amen that is used at the end of Muslim rituals (as well as at the end of Christian prayers)? 

June 10, 2022
Иллюстрация к Книге Руфь на сибирскотатарском яз. ИПБ, 2022.

As part of the Siberian Tatar Bible translation project, IBT has published a new edition containing two Old Testament books: Ruth and Esther, the only two books of the Bible named after women. Previously, IBT had published the book of Jonah (2019) and Gospel Parables (2020) in Siberian Tatar.

The Siberian Tatar translation is accompanied by a parallel Russian text. The edition is illustrated with color pictures by Yakut artist Maria Adamova, who previously illustrated the book of Jonah. This book, as well as previous editions in the Siberian Tatar language, can be found in the electronic publications section of the IBT website.

May 12, 2022

IBT has published "Bible Stories" in the Chukchi language together with a parallel Russian text. “Bible Stories” is a collection of 58 narrative passages recounting the major Bible events, from the creation of the world to the book of Acts. “Bible Stories” introduces the reader to the world of Scripture and is facilitated by color illustrations for each story.

The Chukchi language belongs to the Paleo-Asiatic language family, and is spoken primarily in the far east of Russia. According to the 2010 census, the Chukchi numbered just under 16,000, with only 4,563 (29%) indicating that they spoke the language. Newspapers, fiction, grammars, dictionaries, and textbooks have been published in Chukchi, but the standardized literary Chukchi language is still in the process of formation. The translation of biblical texts will undoubtedly contribute to its development. The Chukchi Bible translation project stands out among IBT’s northern projects due to the remoteness of the region and the scattered status of the translation team throughout the territory of Russia and other countries...

February 28, 2022
The book of Jonah in the Balkar language, IBT 2022

The Institute for Bible Translation (IBT) continues to publish the books of the Old Testament in the Balkar language. The Balkars are a Turkic-speaking people that lives primarily in the central part of the North Caucasus, with a population of about 113,000 people, according to the 2010 census.

The book of the prophet Jonah is the second Old Testament edition in the Balkar language published by IBT.  In 2020, IBT published a Balkar edition of Ruth, Esther and Daniel. Jonah was printed as a large hardcover edition with colorful illustrations by I. Pavlishina that had previously been used in the publications of  Jonah in various other languages ​​and were well accepted by readers of different ethnicities...

January 22, 2022

The first five books of the Old Testament, also known as the Pentateuch or the Mosaic Law, have been published for the first time ever in the Kumyk language. Kumyk belongs to the Kipchak group of Turkic languages. With about half a million speakers, Kumyk is one of the larger languages of Dagestan and is also spoken in northeast Chechnya and the Mozdok District of North Ossetia.

The translation team headed by the Institute for Bible Translation included experts in the Kumyk language as well as biblical scholars and linguists. The text was peer-reviewed and approved for publication by the Dagestan Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences...