Translation

GILLBT has done numerous mother-tongue translations in Ghanaian languages, including the Scriptures, government documents, and materials for general public awareness-raising and information such as on health and gender issues.

Translation workshop with translation consultant

The New Testament has been translated into 22 Ghanaian languages and the whole Bible into a further seven (three of those will be dedicated in 2015). GILLBT has ongoing translation work in a number of languages. See the table below for details. Our goal is to translate the whole Bible into the languages of Ghana where no such translation exists. We have also helped to review and translate the 1992 abridged Ghanaian Constitution into 30 local languages. In collaboration with the International Federation of Women Lawyers, we also translated the ‘Rights of Ghanaian Women’ into selected local languages. Over the past 50 years, the dedicated services of GILLBT’s expert consultants and technical staff have contributed greatly to success in our tasks of language development and Bible translation. Throughout 2012, we are marking this milestone with a series of events to celebrate of our Golden Jubilee.

Impact of Bible translation

Reading the New Testament at its dedication celebration

When people are able to read the Scriptures in their mother tongue, it is like a door being opened or a light coming on. Church groups are set up and established churches are strengthened. When people become Christians, they join a family that bridges differences of language and culture. A number of evaluations confirm the anecdotal information we have on the impact of the translations. They include a doctoral thesis. The evaluations confirm that Bible translation has resulted in church growth, the emergence of local church leadership, greater opportunities for women, and the abandonment of harmful traditional practices. In addition, translation and literacy in the mother tongue has changed the perception of some in northern Ghana that Christianity is not a religion for them. As a chief said, presented with a Bible in his mother tongue, “This is the greatest gift you have given us, God’s Word.”

 

Completed Full Bibles

No. Language Year completed
1 Konkomba 1997
2 Tampulma 1999
3 Bimoba 2004
4 Farefare 2008
5 Chumburung 2010
6 Sisaali 2014
7 Lelemi 2014
8 Kasem 2015
9 Gonja 2015
10 Kussal 2015
11 Nafaanra 2015
12 Deg 2015
13 Buli 2016 (at Typesetting stage)
14 Vagal 2016 ( At final read-through stage)

 

Completed New Testaments

(with ongoing Old Testament translations)

No Language Year Completed
1 Hanga 1993
2 Adele 1996
3 Mampruli 2001
4 Paasaal 2002
5 Koma 2005
6 Anufo 2006
7 Birifor 2006
8 Ntrubo 2006
9 Gikyode 2006
10 Ahanta 2008
11 Selee 2008
12 Sekpele 2008
13 Siwu 2008
14 Tuwuli 2008
15 Nkonya 2010
16 Nawuri 2012

 

Ongoing New Testament Translations

No Language
1 Avatime
2 Krachi
3 Safaliba
4 Kenyen
5 Logba
6 Nyangbo
7 Tafi