The Book of Jonah in Shor
September 2, 2022

The Shors are a minority indigenous people who live in the south of Kemerovo Region (in the Novokuznetsk and Tashtagol areas of Russia) and beyond. According to the 2010 census, they number about 13,000 people. The written alphabet was created in 1927 based on the Russian script. Since that time, a number of school grammars, textbooks, primers, books for reading, several translations of classical Russian literature and a district newspaper were published.

In the 1990s a revival of Shor literature began. There were talented Shor poets and writers, and among them, the translator of this edition of Jonah, Lyubov Arbachakova and the philological editor Gennady Kostochakov. Lyubov is a researcher of the Shor heroic epic tales, Candidate of Philological Sciences, and a member of the Union of Russian writers. Gennady is also a Candidate of Philological Sciences and a member of the Union of Russian writers.

At present, the vast majority of Shors (over 70%) are urban dwellers, and this negatively affects the level of preservation of certain elements of ethnic culture, especially the Shor language. According to expert estimates of linguists, the number of Shors fluent in their native language is only 3%. The main language of communication is Russian, that is why many publications in Shor are bilingual and are accompanied by Shor-Russian dictionaries.

To support and develop the literary language, IBT has translated the following Bible texts into Shor: Gospel of Mark (2004); Bible Stories (2006); Gospel of John with a parallel Russian text (2011). “Stories about Jesus Christ” (2012), and "Shor heroic tales: Kara Kan, Kara Sabak" with a parallel translation into Russian (2014).

This edition is the first translation of the Book of Jonah into Shor. To help the readers there are two parallel texts in Shor and in Russian. The book has illustrations by the translator of this book, Lyubov Arbachakova, member of the Russian Union of Artists.

PDFs of this and other Shor Bible translations can be read and downloaded in the electronic Section of the IBT website. And on the IBT YouTube channel, you can watch a video version of this book (an animated video clip with Shor subtitles and audio recording of the text read by the translator herself).