Published June 21, 2007
(BP) — Australian aborigines finally have the Bible in their own language, thanks to the efforts of more than 100 translators working almost 30 years. The “Kriol Baibul” opens the way for most of the country’s 500,000 indigenous people to understand the gospel message in a far better way.
Also known as Pidgin English, Kriol developed as aborigines in northern Australia interacted with English settlers, Daniel Willis, director of Australia’s Bible Society NSW told BBC News. Linguists faced the challenge not only of translating the Bible’s words into Kriol, but also capturing the meaning for Kriol culture.
For example, the phrase “to love God with all one’s heart” presented a challenge because some aborigine dialects use a word broadly translated “insides” as the seat of emotion, linguist Peter Carroll said. “So that to ‘love God with all your heart’ was to ‘want God with all your insides’ ... it was that use of the word ‘insides,’ not the word ‘heart,’ that established the right connection with emotions and made the translation effective,” he said.
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