Audio Recording of the Book of Ruth in the Gagauz Language
December 20, 2019
Audio Recording of the Book of Ruth in the Gagauz Language. Institute for Bible Translation
The Book of Ruth in the Gagauz Language.  Institute for Bible Translation

The book of Ruth in the Gagauz language was recorded by IBT staff members at IBT’s Moscow office on December 18. The reading was performed by Tatyana Kyrboba-Marin.

Tatyana comes from a well-known Gagauz family who have done a lot to preserve and develop their native Gagauz language and culture. Tatyana's grandfather Dmitry Karachoban (1933–1986) was the first professional Gagauz writer. Already in childhood he took great interest in literature and folklore, and devoted his life to putting together a collection of historical and ethnographic items for a museum which he founded in his native village of Beshalma in the Gagauz region of Moldova. Today, the museum houses around 20,000 exhibits: Gagauz costumes, household items, scholarly literature, and historical documents related to Gagauz history. The museum is headed by Dmitry's daughter Lyudmila Marin, who continues the work of her father. And now his granddaughter Tatyana has lent her voice to reading the biblical book of Ruth.

The Gagauz language is closely related to Turkish, but unlike the Turks, the Gagauz people have been adherents of Orthodox Christianity since the 9th -13th c. In 1907 archpriest Mihail Chakir began publishing portions of the Bible and liturgical literature in the Gagauz language. He also compiled the first dictionary of the language. Chakir's translations were mostly forgotten during the years of Soviet rule, and it was thought that the Gagauz language did not have its own orthography. 1957 saw the creation of a new Gagauz alphabet based on the Cyrillic script. Nowadays the Gagauz people use an alphabet based on the Roman script.

The Gagauz book of Ruth was published by IBT in 2017 together with the book of Jonah, and now this audio recording is about to appear on IBT's website. The book of Genesis is being prepared for publication, with its audio recording also in the plans.

Google Play now has the Gagauz Children's Bible app available for download. In the future, IBT plans to produce a smartphone app that will provide access to all of IBT’s translated Scripture portions in Gagauz.