A new edition of Luke in the Nanai language
November 29, 2021

IBT has published the third, revised edition of the Gospel of Luke in  Nanai, a minority  language spoken primarily in the Far East of the Russian Federation. According to the 2010 census, there are 11,671 Nanai people, but only 1,400 of them speak the Nanai language. The language belongs to the southern group of Tungusic languages and is listed in the UNESCO Red Book as endangered. Nanai language enthusiasts, who want to hold on to their cultural heritage for future generations, are greatly concerned about the fate of their language and are trying to preserve it, and Bible translation into Nanai helps accomplish this goal.

The first complete translation of Luke into Nanai language was published by  IBT in 2002, reprinted in 2005, then reprinted again in 2012 as a bilingual edition with a parallel Russian text. This first translation was produced by A.V. Stolyarov, a language scholar from St. Petersburg specializing in  Nanai.

The new edition was the result of a revision of this translation with the participation of native Nanai speakers. The text was revised and edited by Margarita Zavalishina, the chief methodologist of the Khabarovsk Regional Institute of Advanced Training of teaching staff dealing with the native languages of Northern indigenous peoples. Exegetical advisor and field tester Roman Kim and translation consultant Dr. Alexei Somov also took part in the work.

This edition, as well as the 2012 edition, is bilingual. In addition to the Nanai translation, it contains the Russian Synodal translation of Luke's Gospel, which is generally accepted and widely known in Russia. By publishing Luke's Gospel in two languages - Nanai and Russian - we hope that readers will find the two translations mutually helpful. On the one hand, the Nanai people will have a chance to get acquainted with the Gospel text in their heart language. On the other, those who do not read well in Nanai will be able to refer to the Russian text for better understanding. Parallel texts can be used for educational purposes: with poor knowledge (or even complete ignorance) of the native language, the Russian text provides an opportunity to get at least a partial entry into the "forgotten" language.

For the third edition of the Gospel of Luke in the Nanai language an audio recording was made, which, as well as the PDF of the book, can be found in the electronic publications section of the IBT website. This audio recording will help readers by making the printed text easier to understand.