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Language Vitality Through Bible Translation


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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5. The Nuba Moro literacy program


5.   The Nuba Moro literacy program

EDWARD RIAK KAJIVORA Bible Society in South Sudan

1. Introduction1

The literacy rate in Sudan and South Sudan2 is very low, especially for the African tribes living in rural areas. Pre-secession Sudan had an overall adult literacy rate of about 70% in 2009, while according to one source, the rate of literacy in South Sudan is as low as 13.4%, which means that 86.6% of the population have not seen the blackboard.3 A few educated members of the tribes and the Churches at large have embarked on a literacy campaign, teaching the children and adults to read and write in their languages. Some qualified teachers have left their careers with the government in order to teach their own people. It is a fight against illiteracy. The Nuba, who live in the midst of Arab and Islamic influence, have been struggling to open the eyes of their people, with few resources but successfully. The most important thing they preach to their people is that unless they preserve their language, they will lose their culture, and their children and grandchildren will be slaves to other cultures.

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