Bible translation and minority languages

Voinov V.
Minority languages and Bible translation. A recipe for theological enrichment

Minority languages into which the Bible has been translated often have grammatical or semantic structures that force translators to raise previously unasked questions about the meaning of the Scripture text. If the relevant translation issues are made accessible to a wider audience, these questions can raise theological awareness and deepen theological reflection in the Christian community in general. Three examples of such theological issues are given based on translation issues raised in Tok Pisin (inclusive/exclusive ‛we’ in Mark 4:38), Tuvan (an obligatory lexical choice between older and younger siblings in relation to the age of Jesus’ brothers and sisters in the Gospels), and Gagauz (different possible renderings of ‛light’ that give different shades of meaning to the theological idea that God is light in the writings of John.)

Key words: Bible translation, semantics, theology, Gagauz, Lak, Tok Pisin, Tuvan

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