Kriol Bible launched at Historic St. John’s Cathedral

vlcsnap-2013-03-06-19h54m31s205Belize Kriol is the national lingua franca, a requirement to get around and get along in the Jewel. But while few give thought to speaking it, not that many know how to read it. Today, a special tool was launched that its creators hope will change that. It is – the Bible, or more specifically, the New Testament. Lead translator for the project Yvette Herrera told PLUS News that special care was taken not to mistranslate or misunderstand the Word of God.

Yvette Herrera – Lead translator:
vlcsnap-2013-03-06-19h57m50s170First of all we had to get training on how to translate form one language to the next, then we had to work with the original Greek, where they gave us an interlineal Greek Bible that has everything that the Greek said word for word. We had a lot of what they call exegetical helps plus we had consultants – we couldn’t just translate on our own. We speak the language, so we did the initial translation and then they checked it. Paul and Cindy Croswell but we had consultants came in too and they had to put their okay on it before we put it out there. We translated on a meaning base, so we had to dig down and use several translations to get the central thought. It was a long long process.  

While it was a long and challenging process, it is all worth it for the National Kriol Council’s Myrna Manzanares.

Myrna Manzanares – National Kriol Council:
vlcsnap-2013-03-06-19h59m26s143Su dis todeh fi we language mi serve fi unite di different African groups so many yaas ago. An di language todeh weh unite all di different groups da Belize Kriol. Dis language da di lingua franca a Belize, becaz fi live ya, you haffo laan Kriol, isn’t that true? Su todeh I glad dat wi work all dese yaas fi cum up wid wa system fi read and rite di language weh wi talk, an now wi hav di litrita eena it tu. But but mo dan anytin else, todeh day wi cud read, yer and andastand the Bible, the word a God, eena wi haat.   

The book was launched at a special ceremony held at the St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, the historic building built by slave hands in 1812. The language those people spoke, according to Governor General Sir Colville Young, descended to today’s Belizeans and is our gift to the world. He relates what a group of visitors once told him about Belize Kriol.

Sir Colville Young – Governor General:
vlcsnap-2013-03-06-20h00m52s225Di people of yo countri don’t speak dat ting dat dey teach us in di classroom. when we go to di shops and di stores an di markets its Kriol wi hea all ova di place. Wen we go tu a basketball game or a futbal game or a saafball game, Kriol is all wi haa all around di place. Kriol is your language wheda yo know it or not, whether yo like it or not. An dey finally finish by saying – An Kriol sweet. Kriol is the common language of the people of Belize and the Word of God should be in their language.  

One of the many recognizable faces – or voices on the audio translation – of the project is PLUS TV’s Louis Wade, who voices Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God. He reads a passage from the Gospel of John featuring Jesus in one of his most agonizing moments on Earth.

Louis Wade – Plus TV:
JAN 17
vlcsnap-2013-03-06-20h04m34s1296“Yoo mi gi mi sohn disaipl fahn dis werl an Ai don shoa dehn how yoo stan. Dehn mi bilangz tu yoo; den yoo gi mee dehn, ahn dehn mi du aal weh yoo seh fi du.
7- Now dehn noa dat evriting weh  Ai ga, da akchwali fahn yoo, 8-  kaa Ai tel dehn bak di sayhn werd dehn weh yoo tel mee fi seh, ahn dehn aksep it. Dehn noa dat Ai kohn fahn yoo fi chroo, ahn dehn bileev seh dat da yoo sen mee.
9- Soh da dehn Ah di pray fa. Ah noh di pray fi di res a peepl dehn eena di werl, bot Ah di pray fi dehn wan ya weh yu gi mi kaa dehn bilangz tu yoo.  10-  Ahn aala dehn wan weh bilangz tu mee da fi yoo tu, ahn dehn wan weh bilangz tu yoo da fi mee. Evribadi ku si mai gloari sayka dehn.
20- “Ai noh oanli di pray fi dehnya disaipl ya, bot Ah di pray fi aala dehn peepl weh wahn bileev eena mee sayka weh dehn wan ya seh bowt mee.
21 – Faada, Ah pray dat aala dehn ku bee wan sayhn laik how mee ahn yoo da wan. Mek dehn jain aan tu wee sayhn laik how yoo deh eena mee ahn mee deh eena yoo. Den di peepl dehn a di werl wahn ku bileev seh dat da yoo mi sen mee.
22- Ai di aana dehn sayhn way how yoo aana mee, soh dat dehn ku bee wan sayhn laik how mee ahn yoo da wan.
23 – Ai jain aan tu dehn ahn yoo jain aan tu mee eena wahn perfek way, soh dat di res a di werl ku noa dat yoo mi sen mee, ahn dat yoo mi lov dehn jos laik how yoo lov mee.

Comedienne Lauren Burgess appears as Sapphira, the woman who with her husband Ananias is struck down by God for lying to the Apostle Peter. She also voiced Mary Magdalene. She relates her experience in typical comedic style.

Lauren Burgess –  Comedian:
vlcsnap-2013-03-06-20h07m22s20Daalin, nutin like wen yo talk yo Kriol and now di new testament. Todeh is a day a histori an fi mi name gwen eena di archives caz fi mi vice deh rite pan tap a da DVD. Oh yes daalin I mi play Safirah an Mary, a nu know why deh giv mi Safirah, becaz I nu wa tell kno lie fi no man. Nu mek no ghost fool yo. If eh teef di moni den eh teef di moni. I nu wa dead like Safirah, fi tell lie. Daalin he one gwen dead, nu me an he. An di nex one weh I mi play da Mary – “Dey gaan wid Jesus an a nu know weh paat dey put a.” I know eh paat di put a caz eh live eena fi mi haat todeh. Thanks be tu God. But all a wig awn eena histori book, becasin di new testament gaan eena Kriol todeh.

Is an Old Testament to come? Herrera says don’t rule it out, and also comments on who should use it:

Yvette Herrera – Lead translator:
We nu she no, but weh need funding first. Dat dah di first an foremost ting. Den we work along wid Wickleys Bible Institute an deh da di ones weh give di okay fi do di translation.

Journalist: So who should use the new testament?
vlcsnap-2013-03-06-20h09m05s226

Yvette Herrera – Lead translator:

Hopefully everybody. But di way di new testament translate da di Kriol weh people eena dey late 20’s 30’s wuda talk. Wi find wa middle ground, caz dey gat ol ol Kriol, but wen yo talk ol Kriol to dis generation, dey niu reaaly andatsand everytin weh dey di seh. But wi haf wa dictionary weh wi put di variants a di words dey, an if dey nu know weh wa word mean, dey cud use di dictionary. But wi hope schools cud use it, young people cud use. But now dat wi haf di audio, everybadu cud use it caz dey cud listen.

The translation is available at St. John’s in hard copy and audio, and also online at various outlets.

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