Genesis and Proverbs in Tabasaran
September 10, 2018

IBT has recently published two more Old Testament books in the Tabasaran language of Dagestan – Genesis and Proverbs. These follow on the heels of the Tabasaran New Testament (2010), Ruth/Jonah (2013), and Esther/Daniel (2016).

The Tabasaran people (about 146,000 in all) live primarily in the southeastern part of Dagestan in southern Russia, not far from the border with Azerbaijan. Their language belongs to the Lezgic group of the Nakh-Dagestanian language family, and like other languages of Dagestan, is written using the Cyrillic script with several additional letters.

Because many Tabasarans are already somewhat familiar with several of the characters in Genesis from the Koranic tradition, the translation team used the familiar Tabasaran forms of their names in this edition. For example, Eve is known by the Tabasarans as Ghava, Noah as Nyugh, and Abraham as Ibraghim. Tabasarans also recognize the main author of Proverbs - the wise Suleyman, son of Davud. IBT hopes that both of these books will strike a resonant chord with many Tabasaran readers.

The next step in the Tabasaran translation project is to finish 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings.