March 26, 2018

IBT has published the illustrated edition of Gospel Parables in the Bezhta language of the North Caucasus area of Russia.  Bezhta is spoken by about 6,000 speakers, most of whom live in the villages of Bezhta and Tlyadal in Dagestan and in the Kvareli region of Georgia. It is an endangered language without an official writing system. In 1999, IBT published the first book ever in Bezhta (the Gospel of Luke), using an adapted form of the writing system used in the related Avar language. This was followed in 2005 by the Proverbs of Solomon. The translator of all three of IBT’s Scripture portions books in Bezhta is a professional linguist who is the world’s leading expert on his mother tongue...

The Institute for Bible Translation has published a monograph authored by the translator of the Bezhta Bible translation project, Doctor of Philology M. S. Khalilov, one of the world’s leading experts on the Bezhta people.

One of IBT’s  goals is to assist in the preservation and promotion of languages spoken by minority people groups of the Russian Federation and the CIS. One effective way of protecting endangered languages (including those without an established orthography) is translation and publication of biblical passages, as well as printing research findings. Such printed materials become exemplary models for language study, they promote the expansion and enrichment of the lexical and phraseological systems of the language, and provide a way of documenting these languages, thus creating momentum for language development.


July 1, 2014

The book of Proverbs has recently been audio recorded by IBT in the endangered Bezhta and Tsakhur languages. Bezhta is spoken by about 6,000 people in Dagestan and does not have an official orthography, while Tsakhur has about 23,000 speakers in Dagestan and Azerbaijan and is written with both Cyrillic and Roman orthographies. While both languages have a rich oral tradition, neither yet has a tradition of written literature.