by Natalie Monique
So we all know there are many different versions to the Bible..but this one ‘Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testiment’ is new, a Patois translation of the New Testament.
The Patois bible was recently launched at the Jamaican High Commission in London. Reverend Courtney Stewart, General secretary of of the Bible society of the West Indies told the Gleaner, “It was a bit like “colonisation in reverse”. He noted that the Jamaican language came out of 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 (in the UK) 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.”
Apparently, the ‘island-styled’ bible came about through an agreement between the Jamaica Bible Society and the Bible Society in the UK. Over a period of ten years, various translators collaborated on this effort, consisting of theological organizationsthe Department of Lingusitics at the University of the West Indies and the Bible Society.
Currently, there is a huge debate as to whether the native language, Patois should be taught in schools as opposed to the universal Standard English. Patois is somewhat of ‘broken English’, and for the most part is considered un-professional in formal/business like settings.
It will include many of the original bible stories and prayers, written in the Jamaican language ‘Patois’. Also included will be an English translation for each ‘scripture’. Rev. Stewart says the Bible has been getting much positive responses.
An audio version of the Patois bible will be available for download on iTunes on October 28th, and in stores in the United Kingdom on November 12th at a cost of £12.99.
Hmmm, my query though, is this a mere cultural venture or to enable further comprehension of the messages in the Bible…but hey..will you be purchasing your copy?