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New Bible translation targets Filipino millennials

New translation reflects spoken form of language to make it easier to understand
New Bible translation targets Filipino millennials

A new translation of the New Testament aims to target young Filipino readers. (Photo supplied)

Published: September 26, 2018 04:28 AM GMT
Updated: September 26, 2018 04:29 AM GMT

A new Filipino translation of the Bible's New Testament aims to attract young readers by using what its publishers described as "heterogenous language," which is characterized by a mix of Filipino and English.

Anicia del Corro, a translation consultant from the Philippine Bible Society, said the new translation is designed to reflect the spoken form of the Filipino language so that it is easy to understand.

"[We] believe that the language used in the Bible translation should be similar to the way people speak," she said during the launch of the Pinoy Version of the New Testament on Sept. 24.

She said the new translation tries to capture the way Filipinos speak today. 

She said the "new version" maintains "respect for the Word of God" despite the use of informal language.

"Even if we say its informal there's a limit to that informality because we try to maintain that respect because God is the author of the Word of God," Corro said.

She said the new translation "may be informal ... but it is not irreverent."

Nora Lucero, general secretary of the Philippine Bible Society, said the new translation has drawn mixed reactions but she noted that young people, the so-called millennials, welcomed it.

"We are happy that there are millennials who are very accepting," said Lucero. 

"They said that they are connecting to the Word because they could now understand it," she added.

Lucero said the "mission" of the Philippine Bible Society is to make the Bible "relevant today in the language that majority of our people are speaking."

I hope it will be appreciated," she said.

The new translation came about after years of research and consultations. "It was a painstaking meticulous process," said Lucero.

"It was not just a spur of the moment or whim of the Bible Society.... It is a product of deep research and wider review," she said.

The publisher said they would let the new translation "speak for itself."

"Let the reader tell us, especially the millennials, whether [the new translation] is connecting to them," said Lucero.

What is important, she said, is for young people to understand the Word of God and that it speaks to their hearts through the help of the Bible.

"When they have that, they can know God in a better way and there can be transformation in people's lives," she said.

The Pinoy Version of the New Testament was launched this month during the Manila International Book Fair.

Of the 5,000 copies that were printed, half were sold during the fair while the remaining copies are still available at the Philippine Bible Society office in Manila at US$20 each.

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