IBT has published a new book containing the first-ever translation of the Old Testament books of Jonah, Ruth and Esther in the Ingush language of the North Caucasus. Ingush is spoken as a mother tongue by more than 300,000 people in the Russian Republic of Ingushetia, with a total of about a half million ethnic Ingush in the entire Russian Federation. It is closely related to the neighboring Chechen language.
The first Bible portion published in Ingush was IBT's translation of the Gospel of Luke (2005). The Ingush translation team has continued to work on other books of the NT and OT since then, but difficulties have made this work proceed fairly slowly. An interesting translation problem in translating the books of Jonah and Esther was that there was no established Ingush terminology for talking about kings, since traditional Ingush culture never had a monarchical system. New descriptive terms and phrases needed to be developed to adequately convey these ideas to Ingush readers.
Several of the characters and themes of these OT books are already somewhat known by the Ingush, a Muslim people, because there are parallels in the Koran. Thus, both the prophet Yunus (Jonah) and the prophet Daud (King David) are familiar to many Ingush.
The print version of Jonah, Ruth and Esther will be distributed together with an audio recording of these books on CD. The PDF version of the book is available for downloading from the IBT website.
The translation team is currently translating and editing Genesis, Proverbs, Matthew and Mark, and is also preparing a new edition of Luke with the Russian translation in a parallel column.