Moscow, June 27, 2017
The Institute for Bible Translation has released the updated second edition of its translation of the New Testament into the Altai language with a parallel Russian Synodal Version text, according to the institute’s site.
Gorno-Altai is mainly spoken in Russia’s Altai Republic, which borders Kazakhstan, China, and Mongolia, and Altai Krai. It is usually considered a Turkic language.
The Altai community greeted the institute’s first edition in 2003 with resounding joy, praising the project participants for the use of rich of language, preserving many words that were fading from use, and for the preservation of the Altai language in all its beauty, completeness, and originality. However, a few years after the initial publication, the institute began to receive messages that readers were experiencing difficulties in understanding the text.
In consultation with Christians of various denominations, professional linguists, and writers, it became clear that the main problem was the complex syntax which, although it did not violate the rules of the Altai language, sometimes obscured the meaning of the text. Difficult grammatical constructions were reformulated, certain phrases and expressions were given a more natural feel, and some Biblical terms and archaic words were replaced in the process of refining the text. The new translation also expands Altai vocabulary by introducing Biblical concepts and realities.
The translation is easy to read and accessible to audiences at any level, even those not familiar with religious literature. This new edition also includes a glossary of Biblical concepts, realities, and names, as well as explanatory footnotes.