April 12, 2018

Chukchi is an endangered language spoken by about 5,000 people on the eastern fringe of the Russian Federation. 2018 is a special year for the Chukchi Bible translation project because it has seen not one, but two Scripture portions within months of each other. The first was the revised translation of Luke’s Gospel, published as a diglot with Russian earlier this year. Now IBT has printed an edition of the book of the prophet Jonah, the first Old Testament book translated into Chukchi.

For many centuries, the Chukchi people have led a lifestyle that is inextricably tied to the sea, since their homeland is on the northeastern Pacific coast of Russia.  They are consummate sailors, fishermen, and whalers. This is why we hope that the book of Jonah, which involves a sea voyage and an encounter with a very large sea creature, will be of special interest to Chukchi readers.

March 27, 2018

IBT has recently published a revised edition of the Gospel of Luke in the endangered Chukchi language, spoken by about 5,000 people on Russian’s northern Pacific rim. The Chukchi text is accompanied by the Russian Synodal translation of Luke in a parallel column. This is IBT’s fifth diglot edition of Luke among the indigenous peoples of Russia’s Far North and Far East, following similar publications in Nanai and Koryak (2012), Itelmen (2013), and Evenki (2014).  The first edition of Luke in Chukchi was published in 2004 and released with a recording on audiocassettes.

Spring 2017 Newsletter

The  birth  of  the  Gospel  in  the  Chukchi  language

“The Gospel of Luke has been translated into the Chukchi language. The translation team includes experts and native speakers from the indigenous people group. Their purpose is to make sure that the translation is clear and intelligible to readers, and what is even more important, that the proper meaning, power, and spirit is conveyed by the text.”

These words were spoken on the local TV newsbroadcast in Anadyr, the capital of Chukotka. But these simple words of a short TV report do not give us the full picture of what strenuous creative efforts and what intellectual agony the task demanded. It does not show how many months and years first the translation and then the revision of a relatively small text of the Gospel of Luke actually required.