The full Bible in Crimean Tatar
June 16, 2016

IBT has published the first-ever translation of the full Bible in Crimean Tatar, a Turkic language spoken by about a quarter of a million people, primarily on the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea (related but not identical to the Tatar language spoken in Kazan and the Volga region of north central Russia). The translation team included Crimean Tatar writers together with specialists in the field of Bible translation from IBT and IBT’s international partner organization, Pioneer Bible Translators. The Crimean Tatar language is now one of about 550 languages worldwide that has a full translation of the Holy Scriptures.

The first translations of Scripture materials into Crimean Tatar (previously known as the Cuman language) were done in the 1340s by Franciscan monks, who translated Gospel passages including the prayer “Our Father”.  These passages were added to the unique 13th century trilingual dictionary knows as the Codex Cumanicus. Another early translation of Scripture passages into Crimean Tatar was done by Friedrich (Fyodor Pavlovich) von Adelung, a German-Russian linguist, in the early 19th century.

Bible translation work into Crimean Tatar was re-started  in the late 20th century by IBT in Stockholm. The book of Jonah was translated in 1978, then the Gospel of Matthew in 1985. In 1996, Luke, John, Acts and James were published as a single edition in Uzbekistan. A new stage of translation work was begun by IBT in the early 2000s in Crimea, with a translation team that included qualified specialists in Crimean Tatar literature from among the local population. The next Scripture portions to be published included “Stories about Jesus” (2002), “Prophets” (2005), the Gospel of Matthew (2006), Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (called “The Wisdom of Solomon”, 2007), the Four Gospels and Acts (2008), Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy (2009), and Psalms (2011).  Many years of intense work culminated in the printing of the full Bible in early 2016.

The text of the Bible in the Crimean Tatar language in PDF-format can be found on the IBT website under e-books.