Friday, March 31, 2006

Da Jesus Book

I picked up a copy of the New Testament translated into Pidgin English in Hawaii. This is a sort of Hawai'ian creole language that many people speak in the islands. I thought it was a joke, but this appears to be a real translation into an actual world language and is taken very seriously. It sounds funny to the ear especially if you are not familiar with this language, but they really put a lot of work into it.

They have a web site. And, it is apparantly certified by the Wycliffe Translators

From one of the articles first written about this translation:
What do they think they're doing, translating the New Testament into pidgin?

"They" — a group of Island translators — think they're making the Bible more understandable to people who feel less comfortable using standard English. They consider pidgin a real language, not a joke.

And they know the publication of "Da Jesus Book" is going to upset people all the same.

"I think that's an unavoidable problem and typical whenever you're translating a low-prestige language," said Ryo Stanwood of Wailua Homesteads on Kaua'i, a member of a statewide team of 26 translators who converted text from English to pidgin.

He recalled that previous translators had their problems: Jerome was criticized for converting the Bible to Latin, then considered a vulgar language, and John Wycliffe for translating scripture into English.

The Lord's Prayer

Jesus wen teach lidis: "So, pray lidis:
God, you our Fadda.
You stay inside da sky.
We like all da peopo know fo shua how you stay,
An dat you good an spesho inside,
An we like dem give you plenny respeck.
We like you come king ova hea now.
We like everybody make jalike you like,
Ova hea inside da world,
Jalike da angel guys up inside da sky make jalike you like.
Give us da food we need fo every day.
Let us go, an hemo our shame
Fo all da kine bad stuff we do to you,
Jalike us guys let da odda guys go awready,
An we no stay huhu wit dem
Fo all da kine bad stuff dey do to us.
No let us get chance fo do bad kine stuff,
But take us outa dea, so da Bad Guy no can hurt us.
Cuz you our king,
You get da real power,
An you stay awesome foeva.
Dass it!" (Matthew 6:9-13)


tck said...

Is "pidgin" really a language, or just a fancy way of speaking English?

Dru Morgan said...

Read here for more info.

KJC said...

Dear Ones,
I am on my way to Hawaii and I do not have my tracts ready! I need to find the sinner's prayer in Pidgin. Help! Anyone!