TORONTO, Ontario — (CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE) — The Inuktitut Bible is being revised.
Inuktitut is the language of some 30,000 Inuit living in the Eastern Arctic and Northern Quebec.
The translation of the whole Bible into Inuktitut was completed 3 years ago, the fruit of a 25 year collaboration between the Anglican Church of Canada (Diocese of the Arctic) and the Canadian Bible Society.
Speaking of the old Labrador Inuit translation (a different dialect from Inuktitut), Reverend Jonas Allooloo affirms: “God used the old translation, even though it was not perfect. God still used it to make new disciples. With the new translation we have produced, it is better understood now. Many people are overjoyed.” Reverend Allooloo is Dean of St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral, in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and is one of the long term members of the Inuktitut translation team.
The Inuktitut Bible marked the first time in Canada that a translation was done by first-language speakers of Inuktitut rather than by missionaries.
As the Church used the new translation, it became clear that minor revisions were needed. The revision process began at a recent planning meeting in Iqaluit between the Canadian Bible Society and the Inuktitut translation team. The active translation team is comprised of veteran translators Rev. Jonas Allooloo and Bishop Andrew Atagotaaluk of the Anglican Church, who will also draw on input from the lay people and clergy who have been using the Bible.
“The revision will involve cycles of review by Inuktitut readers in the parishes of the Eastern Arctic,” says Dr. Myles Leitch, Director of Scripture Translations for the Canadian Bible Society. “There will be a phase of gathering input, involving a read-through of all the books of the Bible. Then the data will be collected and collated and a Review Committee will approve the changes to be made to the text. These changes will include typos, spelling corrections, and more substantive rewordings.”
Leitch adds that the church has requested that the revised Bible include a concordance.
The revision work will begin in the fall of 2016 and is expected to take approximately two years, after which the revised Bible and concordance will be typeset and reprinted.
“We are honored to be involved in this ongoing work of helping the Inuit church have the scriptures in the language of their hearts,” says Leitch. “The Church in the Arctic is alive and thriving, and having the scriptures in Inuktitut is a crucial part of that.”
Inuktitut Bible facts:
Original cost of translation: $1.75 million
Words in Bible: 577 000
Initial printing: 5000 copies
Photo of Inuktitut Bible translation team, left to right: Dr Myles Leitch CBS, Right Reverend Andrew Atagotaaluk, Suffragan Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Arctic, Reverend Jonas Allooloo, Dean of St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral, Iqaluit, Nunavut