A NEW version of the Bible’s New Testament, written in vibrant Jamaican patois was launched recently at the Jamaican High Commission in London.
Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testiment, launched amid huge excitement and humour and features some of the Bible’s most renowned stories, including the life of Jesus and the Lord’s Prayer, written in the language spoken by Jamaicans.
Beside the verses is an English interpretation.
The General Secretary of the Bible Society of the West Indies, Reverend Courtney Stewart noted that the Jamaican language was produced from the country’s British colonial experience, and that the patois translation was done by Jamaicans for Jamaicans in “our own language”.
“We have come of age. We are doing the launch because of the strong ties. Our relatives live here and the Jamaican community is quite strong. So we thought it was appropriate that in the 50th year since our political independence, this was a most appropriate place to do the launch and to show that we have come of age and that we have a history and a language together,” he said.
An audio version of the Bible will all be released in Jamaica on October 28 on ITunes, as well as other mobile communication mediums.
Rev. Stewart told the audience, “All will understand what it means that we have two languages in our country, that is, patois, the mother tongue and Standard English, the second language, with bi- lingual education being the order of the day. Our children will leave school fluent and literate in both Jamiekan and English, the crisis of illiteracy will be passed and over,’ he said.
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