Thursday, November 17, 2005
Bible Translated into Gullah
GOD SPEAKS IN GULLAH: GULLAH LANGUAGE TRANSLATION OF AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY CELEBRATED
November 17, 2005—The American Bible Society is celebrating the conclusion of a 26-year project to translate the New Testament in Gullah, a creole language created by slaves from West Africa who devised it from indigenous African languages and English. The announcement of the translation, De Nyew Testament, was made at the Penn Center on St. Helena Island in South Carolina, a key center of Gullah culture. The new translation went on sale to an excited crowd during the Heritage Days festival, following a special presentation to leaders of the Penn Center, a partner in the process, and to those who had contributed to the final product.
More than a quarter of a century ago the Sea Islands Translation Team was assembled under the auspices of two Wycliffe Bible Translators consultants. The team’s first effort, Luke’s Gospel, was published by the American Bible Society in 1994 to great appreciation among Gullah speakers. The team consisted of Gullah speakers who painstakingly worked their way through the New Testament, with assistance from translation experts, finding appropriate wording to express the message of the Bible in easily understandable ways. This was a joint effort of the American Bible Society, the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), Wycliffe, the United Bible Societies and the Penn Center
Here is a sample from John’s Gospel 1.1 from De Nyew Testament, compared with the King James Version: