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High Noon: Di Gud Nyuuz

The first page of the Gospel according to St. Luke, or the “Di Gud Nyuuz bout Jiizas azkaadn tu Luuk.” (Associated Press)
The first page of the Gospel according to St. Luke, or the “Di Gud Nyuuz bout Jiizas azkaadn tu Luuk.” (Associated Press)

The first page of the Gospel according to St. Luke, or the “Di Gud Nyuuz bout Jiizas azkaadn tu Luuk.”

KINGSTON, Jamaica – When English teacher Faith Linton first proposed translating the Bible into Jamaica’s patois tongue in the late 1950s, most people shook their heads.

Some on the deeply Christian island believed it was sacrilegious. Others opposed it because the mixture of English and West African languages was widely disdained by the elites as a coarse linguistic stepchild to English, the only official language in this former British colony.

“There was shock at the mere suggestion,” said Linton, now 81, a longtime board member of the Bible Society of the West Indies. “People were deeply ashamed of their mother tongue. It was always associated with illiteracy and social deprivation.”

Decades later, Linton’s vision is becoming a reality: After years of meticulous translation from the original Greek, the Bible Society is releasing in Jamaica print and audio CD versions of the first patois translation of the New Testament, or “Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testiment.” Full story.

I saw an LOL Cats version of the Bible this weekend. Do you have a favorite version?




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Cindy Hval
Cindy Hval is a freelance columnist for the Voices neighborhood sections. Her Front Porch column appears twice a month in the Thursday Voice.