Proverbs and Ecclesiastes in Dargi
October 4, 2022

The Institute for Bible Translation (IBT) has released a new publication in Dargi, one of the official languages of the Republic of Dagestan in the Russian Federation. Newspapers, journals, and books are published in this language, and it is studied in school in areas with a large Dargi population. There are altogether about 485,000 speakers of Dargi in Russia.

The new publication is part of IBT’s Dargi Old Testament project. The edition includes two books: Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Both are traditionally attributed to King Solomon, who ruled Israel in the 10th century B.C. Both Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are also considered part of the Wisdom literature. Wisdom writings have always been an integral part of culture for the peoples of the ancient Near East. Therefore, such books are valued and passed down from one generation to the next as the foundation of life. Translations of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes exist in many languages of the world, and this is the first time they have been translated into Dargi.

The translator of Proverbs tried to retain the Hebrew original's poetic style, the hallmark of which is parallelism — when two lines of verse are similar in meaning, and either complement or oppose each other. The Dargi translation sought to retain ancient Hebrew’s rhythm and form, while also making the proverbs intelligible in the Dargi culture. Explanations of difficult-to-understand words and figurative expressions are provided in footnotes.

IBT has previously published the following books in Dargi: the Gospel of Mark (2002, 2007); the Gospel of Luke (2010); the Gospel of Matthew (2013); Gospel Parables (2017); Ruth, Esther, and Jonah (2020). The Four Gospels, Acts, and Revelation are currently in preparation for publication.

PDFs of all published Dargi Scripture portions can be found in the electronic publications section of the IBT website.