Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New Translations of the Book of Mormon and Triple Combinations

The Church announced in a letter from the First Presidency dated October 9th that the Book of Mormon and the Triple Combination (e.g. Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price) will be translated into 34 additional languages. Languages in which the Book of Mormon will be translated include:
  • Burmese
  • Efik (select passages already available)
  • Georgian
  • Navajo (select passages already available)
  • Pohnpeian (select passages already available)
  • Sesotho
  • Tshiluba
The letter noted that the Georgian translation of the Book of Mormon is nearing completion.

Languages into which the Church will translate the Triple Combination include:
  • American Sign Language
  • Afrikaans
  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Bislama
  • Burmese
  • Efik
  • Georgian
  • Greek
  • Hiligaynon 
  • Hindi
  • Hmong
  • Lao
  • Lingala
  • Malay
  • Navajo
  • Persian (Farsi)
  • Pohnpeian
  • Polish
  • Serbian
  • Sesotho
  • Setswana
  • Sinhala
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Tahitian
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Tok Pisin
  • Turkish
  • Twi
  • Urdu
  • Yoruba 
 The following languages are nearing completion for Triple Combinations:
  • Afrikaans
  • Hmong
  • Lao
  • Malay
  • Polish
  • Serbian
  • Slovak
  • Slovenia
  • Tamil
Several of these languages have previously had the Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price translated. However, none of these languages have appeared to have had these scriptures translated into a single Triple Combination book.

With these new translations, the Church will have translated select passages or the entire Book of Mormon into 115 languages.

27 comments:

James said...

That is great news indeed, Matt! Thanks for sharing. How amazing it must be for those who speak & read in such languages to finally have access to this sacred text. That will surely be a blessing for so many. I don't know how true this might be for anyone else, but from the school year that started four months before my 12th birthday until 12 years later when I started dating the woman I would marry before the end of that year, I was very diligent in my commitment to read my scriptures daily. In the almost-seven years since, I have not been able to keep that up. But in remembering the wonder I found in that regular study of my English scriptures, it is easy for me to imagine how the Saints who will be benefitted by these translations feel. Thanks again, Matt!

L. Chris Jones said...

Awesome. The work continues to grow and expand for more of our Heavenly father's children.

Adam said...

American sign language? Can deaf people not read? Do they wear costumes?

Gracie said...

English is just a different language than American Sign Language -- there is a different grammar, sentence structure, and obviously a different vocabulary. Deaf culture is in many ways a separate culture and independently complete enough that some have no desire to spend a lot of difficult years in specialized education learning a language based on sounds; a language that they don't need. Now, imagine you have a deaf 5-year-old who can't read English, you can't read the Book of Mormon aloud to her, you would put on the Book of Mormon ASL DVD for her and sign to her about her questions, right? Children aside, a lot of deaf adults can't read English well. This is providing scriptures for them in their native language.
The signing is done by people wearing non-detracting clothes in solid colors that contrast with their skin color.

James Anderson said...

JUST IN: They had to close the Oakland Temple, at least for today, due to the smoke plume from the nearby fires passing over it, the smoke is likely overwhelming the air filtration systems or filters if they have any of that

Kevin Wanderlan said...

I couldn't find more information about, so if anyone here could confirm...

Is it true that we have no Afrikaner speaking wards in SA? I heard that from a south African woman. I'm sure they are a minority among the already minority whites, but that would be kind of surprising to me

L. Chris Jones said...

ASL is an entirely different language. It is not anywhere close to English. They may learn to read English. But it is not thier native language. My last ward was a combined English/deaf ward. We had interpreters in sacrament meeting and the fifth sunday but they hold thier own priesthood, relief society, and Sunday school meetings.

The Accountant said...

To my surprise, on ldschurchtemples.com was what I will assume is a rendering of the renovated Memphis temple. Can anyone give me some background on this rendering. Will all the small temples that are closing look similar to this rendering. I really like it.

James said...

As far as that rendering goes, I know that several sources noted that for the Memphis temple, the renovation process would involve changing both the interior and exterior look of the temple. I didn't know until reading the comment above that the design was going to be that much different. But it would appear that the redesign for this temple may be because other newer buildings in the vicinity of that temple have had that architectural design, so the redesign of the temple is conforming with that, as was done with the Ogden temple.

But in terms of your question about the other new temples scheduled for renovation, here is what I know: The Oklahoma City renovation is anticipated mainly to change the exterior look of the temple, but the extent of those changes is unknown. Once this temple closes for renovation (it is set to do so this Sunday, but will obviously mark its official closure at the end of the last shift on Saturday), more details will be available.

The Asuncion Paraguay Temple renovation plans are not known. In fact, the Church's website for that temple does not even make mention of the closure of that temple at the end of this month. I don't know what that means in terms of what the actual plans for that temple might be.

With the Raleigh North Carolina and Baton Rouge Louisiana temples, both are set to close early next year. I heard from a member contact in North Carolina that that renovation will likely not involve an expansion of any kind. But the interior and exterior of that temple could easily be altered. With the Baton Rouge closure set to take place in less than four months, I haven't heard a lot about the plans there. But the appearance of that temple could potentially be changed as well.

Thanks for sharing that tidbit on the Memphis rendering. I had not been aware that that was available. It will be awesome to see what happens with that process.

John Pack Lambert said...

I have to admit I had no clue what Tshiluba was, although I saw Luba and knew that related to part of the DR Congo. It is an official language of the DR Congo with over 6 million native speakers. It is most common in the Kasai region where one of the 3 DR Congo missions is based.

Historically Tshiluba is not often taught in schools. I am quite encouraged by this development as well as by several other ones reported here.

I am a bit surprised the Efik language of Calabar lacked a full translation of the Book of Mormon.

John Pack Lambert said...

Tui'one Pulotu, the set designer for "Johnny Lingo" recently gave a devotional at BYU-Hawaii. His wife is named Mahana. Oulotu first came to Hawaii from Tonga as a building missionary to work on the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Christopher Nicholson said...

A quick Google search tells me that Navajo has approximately only 170,000 speakers and only 7,600 monolingual speakers. I imagine most of those aren't LDS. I'm surprised the Church is going to this much effort for it. I suppose it is part of the commission to take the gospel to the Lamanites.

OC Surfer said...

There's a pretty sizeable LDS population with the Navajos. Most towns and trading posts have at least a LDS branch or ward. Even though the younger generation speaks primarily English and knows little Navajo, having the entire Triple Combination translated into Navajo sends a message, the Church is culturally mindful of the Navajos, and helps the Navajos know the Church just isn't a "White Man's" Church.

John Pack Lambert said...

A few years ago the New York Times ran an article on how the LDS Church was making positive inroads among the Navajo. When I was at BYU I had multiple classes with the daughter of the then stake president of the Chinle Arizona Stake, the only stake completely on the Navajo Reservation. She was a fellow history najor.

Her father, the stake president, was a white man of mainly Scottish descent. However her mom was a Navajo and her grandfather had been one of the Navajo code talkers as well as a member of the Navajo council. One class I had with her was Native American history. Her grandfather came in and spoke to us on one occasion.

My guess is that probably about 60,000 speakers of Navajo are baptized members of the Church, less those in the sample not yet 8. I might be guessing to high but 1/3rd of the Native American population baptized is what the Church news estimated for San Juan County Utah at the time of the Monticello Temple dedication. It may not be that high in other areas.

170,000 is higher than the popularion of Tonga.

Taking a look at the list Pohnpeian has less than 50,000 narive speakers. There were only 31,000 native speakers in 2001.

language use has strong cultural meaning. We are also told the gospel will be preached ro every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Weather this means there needs to be a translation Ket with 210 native speakers is hard to say. Considering that Navajo is probably the most spoken US based Native language, only Cherokees are more numerous but there are less than 15,000 native speakwrs of Cherokee to 170,000 native speakers of Navajo, making a Navajo Book of Mormon makes total sense.

John Pack Lambert said...

Yet enen the about 12,000 native speakers of Cherokee is far above other languages. Mohawk only has 3,000 speakers and is the most prevalent northern Iroquois language.

John Pack Lambert said...

In the US and Canada combined Navajo is the most common native language. Next comes Cree with 120,000 speakers.

Cree is however spoken in a swath of land in northern Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, M anitoba, Sascachewan and Alberta and in a small part of the Northwest Territories. It is one of 11 official languafes in the Northwest Territories and has some level of recognition in parts of northern Quebec. This area is spread over I believe 5 missions and tge Church has little presence in any Cree areas. I do not know of much outreach to Cree.

James Anderson said...

The Church, according to a Church News article in the late 1990s, said it had acquired around 5,000 written alphabets and character sets that they said covered every language on earth, and that in the future they could also reproduce them digitally as at the time, the Internet was just beginning to take off.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I wonder if the spirits of the souls in the afterlife are affected by the translation works of their native languages.

Gracie said...

This is wonderful, about Memphis being remodeled. It's difficult for me whenever any 2 (or more) temples look alike and I assumed that those 1999-2003 in the small temple plan, that are nearly identical, would eventually be remodeled on the exteriors to be made distinct and to look like they belong in their cities style-wise.
There are very many purposes for temples that are more or less crucial; it's important that the temples were provided when they were in need. But one purpose of temples is teaching by symbolism, and one symbolic characteristic I wish they all had is to represent the individuals for whom temple work is done everyday. So, I would love for them all to look like a distinct individual with its own messages/themes, a personality maybe even and like an individual who looks the part of where they live completely.

James said...

I agree that, where possible, temple architecture and design should reflect local styles and motifs, but I can understand that it may be more important in areas not near enough to existing temples to have a uniformly similar look that will allow swift construction which could be later redesigned in a more unique way. I also imagine that, with President Hinckley's announced intention to more than double the number of operating temples in a few short years played into the designs of temples dedicated during that time. In the 20 years that have folliowed, the local landscape has changed, necessittating a design overhaul for such temples. It's awesome that can be done.

James said...

I agree that, where possible, temple architecture and design should reflect local styles and motifs, but I can understand that it may be more important in areas not near enough to existing temples to have a uniformly similar look that will allow swift construction which could be later redesigned in a more unique way. I also imagine that, with President Hinckley's announced intention to more than double the number of operating temples in a few short years played into the designs of temples dedicated during that time. In the 20 years that have folliowed, the local landscape has changed, necessittating a design overhaul for such temples. It's awesome that can be done.

twinnumerouno said...

I did not know there were that many Cree speakers. When I was on my mission in Canada (Montreal, Spanish-speaking) I had a Cree woman as an investigator. (She was living with a man from El Salvador which is the reason my companion and I were called in, as he was having a little trouble with English and didn't speak French, as I recall- I don't remember learning how the two of them got together!) Anyway, she told us she was from Churchill, Manitoba and did not know how to speak Cree- but could understand it when her mother spoke it to her.

We both thought they were going to be baptized, but then I was transferred to another zone and it was about four months later that I found out they had stopped the discussions and had not been baptized, I don't remember why.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Does anybody know how to track numbers of converts per mission, per year? Their social media websites?
Perhaps a whole blog could be dedicated to tracking stats on websites from mission blogs. I would love to read something like that. Numbers and stories and reports of growth across the world.

Bryce said...

Now that these projects have been announced, I'd love to hear any insights from Dan (user "maklelan"). Dan is a scripture translation supervisor for the Church who told us about these projects back in September 2016 (see post on Sat 9/10/16 titled "Lack of Progress Translating LDS Materials into Additional Languages").
I was excited to note the extent of these projects, although I couldn't help noticing the absence of plans to translate the BoM or triple into Bengali. Perhaps by the time these major projects are completed there will be more demand for Bengali, and maybe even a Central Asian language.

John Pack Lambert said...

Apparently there are selections of the Book of Mormon available in Bengali. With somewhere around 240 million speakers, Bengali does have a very high number of speakers. There is a branch in my stake that has lots of Bengali speakers living in its boundaries, so I wonder if Bengali outreach might be a wise move in that branch.

Bryce said...

Thanks JPL, I meant to acknowledge that there are selections of the Book of Mormon available in Bengali, and that's why the absence of a project to complete a translation was noticeable. Noticeable because there's only been selections available for decades, and because the Church is working on other languages in nearby India. I'm guessing here, but maybe the branch in Bangladesh mostly speaks another language (like English)? Or perhaps there are not enough members who speak Bengali for it to be a priority (although as Matt has pointed out numerous times, this is circular logic). Another reason could be that Dan stated in the blog that translators must be temple worthy and fully fluent in both English and Bengali, so perhaps there's not enough members who fit those requirements right now. But I agree, there are millions of Bengali speakers who a full translation could impact.

John Pack Lambert said...

I came aceoss a 1983 Ensign article on the translation of the Book of Mormon into Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. The Telugu translation was done by a baptist minister whose daughter had joined the Ch7rch in Samoa along with her husband. They were in Samoa as agricultural advisors to the government or something along those lines. I believe the father who did the translation died before it was published. The couple that joined the Church in Samoa were then sent back to India as missionaries.