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Language Vitality Through Bible Translation

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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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3. Bible translation, dictionaries, and language development: The case of Gbaya

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3.   Bible translation, dictionaries, and language development: The case of Gbaya

PHILIP A. NOSS The Eugene A. Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship American Bible Society

1. Introduction

On the 18th of February 1996 the liturgist’s refrain rang out, “The Gbaya have received their Bible today! The Gbaya have received their Bible today!”1 The venue was a former upcountry mission station on the edge of the Adamawa Plateau in West Africa; the occasion was the dedication of the first Bible in the Gbaya language in the city of Meiganga in northern Cameroon.

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