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Later this spring, an entire Bible in Inuktitut, the language of Inuit people and the most widely spoken aboriginal tongue in Canada’s Arctic, will. Bible resources for Inuktitut. Links to websites containing the Bible in Inuktitut sorted by popularity Other resources for the Bible in the Inuktitut Language. It has taken an un-Genesis-like 34 years to create, but Inuit communities in Canada’s Eastern Arctic can now read the complete Bible in their.

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The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Hart Wiens is in charge of translation projects at the Canadian Bible Society where they have, with the use of their own software, recently completed translating an inuktitut version.

It has taken an un-Genesis-like 34 years to create, but Inuit communities in Canada’s Biboe Arctic can now read the complete Bible in their own language.

Inuit-language bible finished after 34-year project

A consecration ceremony to mark the translation of the King James Version into Inuktitut — the official language in Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut — was inukritut Sunday at the new St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral in Iqaluit, Nunavut. But it took two decades of painstaking work to produce the entire Bible in a single 1,page, hardcover volume, available to the region’s 30, Inuktitut speakers. Chris Trott, an expert on Inuit culture at the University of Manitoba. This will round out their access to the Old Testament stories, give them access to the same information that white communities have, solidify native control of the church, and provide reading material to adults in Inuktitut to a region that is short of it.

The text, aboutwords, is printed in syllabics, the consonant-based alphabet used to write several Aboriginal languages. The inukhitut script was introduced by an Anglican priest, the Rev. Edmund Peck, in the late 19th century. But now, for the first time in Canada, the translation work was done not by missionaries that had learned a foreign language, but by Inuit for whom Inuktitut is the mother tongue: The translators faced several linguistic obstacles, dealing with Old Testament words and concepts that do not exist in Inuktitut.


For example, the language simply has no words for camel, sheep or many other animals mentioned in the Bible, nor for varieties of trees and other flora.

It’s a landscape and a whole way of life that does not match up with what they know. On the other hand, says Mr. Trott, some Biblical concepts translate very well. The Hebrew word ruachhe notes, which means spirit or wind, is very close to the Inuktitut word aniniqwhich translates as breath or life force.

profile: Inuktitut, Eastern Canadian

But Inuit ideas of laws and customs fit very well with the Old Testament. The Deuteronomic notion — love God, follow the law and live — accords very well with the Inuit belief that if you break those laws, there inktitut consequences. Wiens believes, should help boost Inuit self-esteem.

God is finally speaking in their language. That’s a very affirming moment. Wiens also believes the finished product will help sustain the language.

Try to imagine English without the King James Version. In the early years, the actual translation work was done in the Arctic. Later, the Society installed Paratext — a software program that can allows for easy manipulation of Hebrew and Greek Biblical text — at its Kitchener, Ont.

That accelerated the pace of translation and improved the quality of the product. Wiens, “I’m sure we will find errors. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe. If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters globeandmail.


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Translation makes Bible available to Inuktitut speakers

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