Bible: Difficulties in Translation
Another ethnic minority in Russia now has the opportunity to read the Holy Scripture in its native language. A few days ago, the Institute for Bible Translation in Moscow finished translating the four Gospels into the Tabasaran language, a native language of one of the ethnic groups in Dagestan.
At present, there are over 100 thousand Tabasarans, and all of them are Moslems. The Institute for Bible Translation, which is a non-commercial organization that was founded in Stockholm in 1973, is giving priority to the translation of the Bible into the languages of non-Christian people. The idea of translating the Bible into the Tabasaran language was put forward some time ago. It took almost 20 years to complete the work. In fact, it’s natural that such a long time had to be spent to finish the work, says a fellow at the institute Ketavan Gadilia.
“It took ten years to translate only one Gospel into the languages of ethnic minorities in the Russian Far East, and this is the longest translation. Generally, it’s impossible to translate the Bible fast since the work is linked to many geographical and human factors. There is a need to find a person who not only knows the language excellently but the Bible as well, and he should be great on areas linked to the Bible. Moreover, he should be trained to do translations. All this takes a long time. Consequently, it’s very difficult to fix a date and say in advance when the translation will be finished. Usually, it takes from 10 to 20 years,” Ketavan Gadilia said.
By now, various books of the Holy Scriptures have been translated into almost 100 languages. The staff members of the institute face a lot of problems and difficulties when they translate either the Old or New Testament. Each time, however, they overcome them. At present, there are over 15 hundred translations of the Bible. The translation of the Holy Scriptures into various languages started over two thousand years ago. The oldest translation, the original version the Holy Scriptures, the so-called the Sinai Code, was done in the 2nd century AD.