Winter Newsletter 2018-2019 on the Dargi project

What is needed to become a Bible translator? Among very small ethnic groups that speak an endangered language, sometimes it is enough to simply have a good command of one’s mother tongue, even if it is only the spoken form of the language. But for larger languages with a well-developed literary tradition, IBT’s translators are usually professionals in the spheres of linguistics or literature. Such is the situation in IBT’s Dargi (or Dargwa) project. The team presently consists of two translators and a third, potential translator, all of them specialists in their language. But professional language interest alone is not what leads someone from a different religious tradition into a project to translate the Bible. What motivates those who become Bible translators to choose this path?

November 30, 2018

The Institute for Bible Translation has published the New Testament in the Lezgi language with an official stamp of approval from the Institute of Linguistics at the Russian Academy of Sciences. This marks the completion of many years of work by talented Lezgi writers and poets, theologians, and scholars of the Lezgi language, including Dr. B. B. Talibov, Dr. M. E. Alekseyev, Dr. N. A. Abdulgamidov, Dr. Marianne Beerle-Moore, and others.

October 24, 2018

Following quickly on the heels of last year’s presentation of the Kabardian translation of Proverbs in Nalchik, IBT has published yet another Scripture portion in Kabardian, the books of Daniel and Ruth in a single edition.

The Kabardian language, also known as Circassian or Cherkess, is spoken by approximately 516,000 speakers in the Russian Federation. It is one of the official languages of the Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachaevo-Cherkessia areas of southern Russia. Previous Kabardian Scripture editions include the New Testament, a revised version of Luke, Ruth, Jonah, and Proverbs. The current publication is a reprint edition of Ruth together with the first-ever translation of Daniel.

October 18, 2018

How should a translator approach the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, called “Torah” in Hebrew? How does one begin the translation of this foundational part of the Old Testament? How can translators avoid getting buried under the many minute details in the ancient text that modern readers are usually not aware of? How can one find the spiritual and meaning core of these texts? Without a doubt, any translator of the Pentateuch must face these questions.