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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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9. Bible translation as Natqgu language and culture advocacy


9.   Bible translation as Natqgu language and culture advocacy

BRENDA H. BOERGER SIL International and Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics

1. Introduction1

It has already been more than 25 years since the most recent SIL-trained expatriate Bible translation team,2 of which I was a part, arrived and settled in the Natqgu-speaking3 area of Santa Cruz, Solomon Islands. A quarter of a century provides sufficient time depth to consider the effects that translation activities have had on Natqgu language vitality. The information provided in this paper interrelates a number of my previous publications about Natqgu [ntu] to demonstrate how Bible translation program activities in four areas—training, literacy work, church work, and cultural engagement—have combined to increase the strength of Natqgu, with potential to increase it even further.

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