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Villagers Launch Bible In Their Dialect

  Maumi Village in Tailevu yesterday launched the first complete scriptures of the New Testament in Maumi dialect. The Maumi New Testament is the first complete scriptures of the New
28 Jan 2019 09:58
Villagers Launch Bible In Their Dialect
Reverend Epeli Methodist Church steward Filipe Bolabola with the translated iTaukei Bible after its launching at Maumi Village, Dravo, Tailevu, on January 27, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

 

Maumi Village in Tailevu yesterday launched the first complete scriptures of the New Testament in Maumi dialect.

The Maumi New Testament is the first complete scriptures of the New Testament to be printed in a different iTaukei dialect, apart from the widely-used Bauan dialect.

Maumi, a village in the Dravo district of Tailevu, pioneered the translation project in partnership with Bible Society of the South Pacific.

The Bible was launched during a church service held in the village yesterday.

The elders of the village say the project to translate the Bible into the Nawakura dialect was part of an effort to preserve their language.

Bible Society of the South Pacific Fiji Mission translation co-ordinator Ratu Marika Waqanivalu said the purpose to translate the Bible was to have it read in their dialect to preserve it.

The Bible Society of the South Pacific team from left Filipe Bolabola, Vilikesa Nareki, Kalara Naiteqe, Rev. Apenisa Lewatovo and Ratu Marika Waqanivalu with the new translated Bible after its launch at Maumi village on January 27, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua.

The Bible Society of the South Pacific team from left Filipe Bolabola, Vilikesa Nareki, Kalara Naiteqe, Rev. Apenisa Lewatovo and Ratu Marika Waqanivalu with the new translated Bible after its launch at Maumi village on January 27, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua.

“Most of the young people in the village do not speak or not know their Nawakura dialect. With this exercise, we are able to capture the dialect and preserve it. They will now have their Bible written in their own language and it keeps them engaged in their dialect,” Ratu Marika said.

Reverend Apenisa Lewatoro said it was the first time in Fiji for another dialect, apart from the Bau dialect, to have a Bible in their language.

“The Bible was written in the Maumi dialect to preserve the language. The important thing about the Bible is that it can be in any language but the message remains the same,” Reverend Lewatoro said.

The idea to translate the Bible in their dialect was birthed and communicated to the elders of the village in 2007, but work did not start until 2009.

The actual translation started in 2010 with the book of James and carried on until August 2018, when all the books were done.

The finished text was sent to South Korea, to the Korean Bible Society for printing.

This is a milestone achievement for the village and the Bible Society, to see the fruit of their hard work come to fruition.

The event is in partnership with Bible Society of the South Pacific. Translation started in 2009 and was printed in South Korea.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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