Spring 2024 Newsletter on the Kurdish (Kurmahji) project

Very soon another complete Bible will be published by IBT. This time it will be in the Kurdish (Kurmanji) language. We expect the first print-run in Cyrillic script in 2024 or early 2025, followed by a Roman-script edition, since the Kurdish community is scattered in different countries that use different scripts.

Winter 2022-2023 Newsletter on the Kurdish-Kurmanji project

The full Bible in the Kurmanji dialect spoken by Kurds in Armenia and Russia is in the final stages of work, and we at IBT hope that it will be published already in 2024. At this last stage of work, the figure of the philological editor becomes particularly important. This is the translation team’s mother-tongue Kurmanji speaker who improves the translation in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and naturalness, and together with the other team members assesses corrections suggested by reviewers. In the course of the past several decades of work, the IBT/SIL/UBS Kurmanji translation project has had several philological editors, and a highly professional new language specialist joined the team in 2017 – just in time to pull together the work on the full Bible...

Autumn 2019 Newsletter on the Kurdish project

In the old Buddhist legend, Prince Siddhartha Gautama (who became the Buddha) started his spiritual journey after he saw an old person, a sick person and a dead person for the first time. “What do we live for, if all are destined to die?” he asked, and his sincere questioning gave start to one of the world religions.

From several Kurdish testimonies, we see that for many Kurds who became followers of Christ, the very beginning of their life quest was absolutely the same. Both for our senior team member, who is the long-term translator, and for a younger team member, who has been a philological editor and an external reviewer of the Kurdish Scripture translation for several years, the path that finally led them to Christ started at the age of 8 or 9 years old with a realization that death awaits all. Our translator’s story was surprisingly similar to Prince Gautama’s: he saw a dead person being carried through their village to his funeral. The younger team member (let’s call him Alex) had a different life story: he was one of six children, and the only one who lived past childhood. At the age of 4 or 5 Alex lost his last remaining brother, and at the age of 8-9 his mind and heart became restless, tormented and hypnotized by questions about the inevitability of death and the meaning of life.

Summer 2017 Newsletter on the Kurdish project

When a guest comes into a Kurdish home, the hosts normally say, “You have come to step on my head.” Such were the words of our Kurdish translator in the Moscow IBT office when we asked him about the Kurdish national tradition of receiving guests. To say that we were shocked is an understatement! The similar idiom in Russian would mean that we are extremely bothered with a person, annoyed by his behavior, and his actions cause terrible problems for us. Those who heard the Kurdish translator exchanged glances: what could he possibly mean?...

August 22, 2016
Kurdish-Kurmanji Psalms & Proverbs Cyrillic
Kurdish-Kurmanji Psalms & Proverbs Latin

Two Old Testament books – Psalms and Proverbs – have recently been published in the Kurmanji dialect of the Kurdish language. Kurds speaking this dialect live primarily in Armenia, Georgia, the Central Asian republics, and several regions of the Russian Federation. Literacy in this dialect of Kurdish was introduced in 1946 on the basis of the Cyrillic alphabet with additional letters.

Work on translating the Bible into Kurmanji-Kurdish was begun by IBT in 1993. The translation of the New Testament was published in 2000 and was well-received by Kurdish Christians. A revised version of the New Testament (in both Cyrillic script and Roman script) was published in 2011.