Dear friends of IBT Russia,

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Summer 2022 Newsletter on the Karachay project

Karachay Bible translator Lyudmila came to the IBT Moscow office from the village of Kyzyl-Pokun in the Karachay-Cherkessia region of the North Caucasus in order to audio record her first translated Bible portion – the book of Jonah. Her younger daughter Farida, who lives in Moscow, read the translation aloud while Lyudmila listened and made suggestions for improving the reading. At the end of their two day working session, I asked the translator to share how she joined the Bible translation project.

 “I grew up in the Soviet era, when our Muslim people didn’t particularly flaunt their commitment to traditional religion. Nevertheless, Muslim rituals were present in my childhood in one way or another, and two things always struck me about them: the need to repeat prayers in Arabic without understanding their meaning, and the tradition of standing up respectfully when pronouncing the name of the Prophet Muhammad, even though there was no similar custom to do the same when pronouncing the name of Allah Himself. One more thing I was curious about as a child: what is this mysterious word Amen that is used at the end of Muslim rituals (as well as at the end of Christian prayers)? 

June 10, 2022
Иллюстрация к Книге Руфь на сибирскотатарском яз. ИПБ, 2022.

As part of the Siberian Tatar Bible translation project, IBT has published a new edition containing two Old Testament books: Ruth and Esther, the only two books of the Bible named after women. Previously, IBT had published the book of Jonah (2019) and Gospel Parables (2020) in Siberian Tatar.

The Siberian Tatar translation is accompanied by a parallel Russian text. The edition is illustrated with color pictures by Yakut artist Maria Adamova, who previously illustrated the book of Jonah. This book, as well as previous editions in the Siberian Tatar language, can be found in the electronic publications section of the IBT website.

May 12, 2022

IBT has published "Bible Stories" in the Chukchi language together with a parallel Russian text. “Bible Stories” is a collection of 58 narrative passages recounting the major Bible events, from the creation of the world to the book of Acts. “Bible Stories” introduces the reader to the world of Scripture and is facilitated by color illustrations for each story.

The Chukchi language belongs to the Paleo-Asiatic language family, and is spoken primarily in the far east of Russia. According to the 2010 census, the Chukchi numbered just under 16,000, with only 4,563 (29%) indicating that they spoke the language. Newspapers, fiction, grammars, dictionaries, and textbooks have been published in Chukchi, but the standardized literary Chukchi language is still in the process of formation. The translation of biblical texts will undoubtedly contribute to its development. The Chukchi Bible translation project stands out among IBT’s northern projects due to the remoteness of the region and the scattered status of the translation team throughout the territory of Russia and other countries...