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Language Vitality Through Bible Translation


Edited By Marianne Beerle-Moor and Vitaly Voinov

This interdisciplinary collection of articles, written by scholars involved in translating the Bible into various languages around the world, demonstrates that such translation projects are promoting the vitality of local languages, both those that are endangered and those that are still fairly healthy but non-empowered. Bible translation and activities typically associated with it, such as linguistic documentation, vernacular literacy work, cultural engagement, community development, technological advancement, and self-esteem building among native speakers, help languages to develop and strengthen their position in society and should therefore be welcomed by linguists and all who care about stemming the growing tide of language death all over the world. This book is immediately relevant to the global community of documentary and conservationist linguists, as well as to anyone interested in translation studies, the sociology of religion, and the relationship between language, culture, and the Bible.
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2. Bible translation’s contribution to Agutaynen language vitality


2.   Bible translation’s contribution to Agutaynen language vitality


1. Introduction1

In light of predictions that half of the world’s languages may disappear by the end of this century,2 it is imperative for those concerned about linguistic diversity to focus attention on the plight of smaller language communities around the world to determine what supports and what undermines their vitality. This paper offers observations from an SIL field linguist regarding factors which have strengthened the status of the Agutaynen [ISO: agn] language of Palawan, Philippines. The majority of the activities reported on here were undertaken in association with the translation of the Agutaynen New Testament between 1984 and 2004, and would not have taken place in the absence of a Bible translation project.3

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