4543063042_6fdfde32e4_zZulu Chritians must be happy about the recently commissioned Zulu bible translation, but so are literary folks like us.

Since the bible is so much about stories, poetry, ideas, literary form, and the politics of language, a Zulu bible is very much a literary triumph.

Here is what is pretty amazing about the project. The translation will be done directly from the biblical languages—Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.

Translating directly from the original languages of the bible into Zulu is a huge deal since most bibles in African languages are translated from English and other non-biblical languages.

A translation on such a scale is bound to bring in a lot of good literary energy and a wealth of new words, style, and ideas into Zulu.

These kinds of projects take time and cost a lot of money. Bishop Mlungisi Pius Dlungwane, who broke the news on  BBC Radio, says it will take at least ten years to complete. He also seemed quite pleased with the financial contributions so far and highlighted the 50,000 dollar donation made by the Jacob Zuma foundation

The Kenyan author, Ngugi wa Thiongo, has always advocated the translation of canonical texts into African languages. A Zulu bible sounds like something that will make him quite pleased.

What we need now is a Yoruba translation of Shakespeare and a Wolof Translation of Aristotle.

Listen to Bishop Mlungisi Pius Dlungwane on BBC Radio

 

****************

Image by Ryk Neethling via Flickr.

Tags: , , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

Homecoming | By Dami Lare | A Mosaic of Torn Places

a mosaic of torn places

In May, we published A Mosaic of Torn Places, an anthology of stories by young Nigerian writers. Dami Lare’s “Homecoming” […]

Opportunity for African Writers | Enter for the 2018 Costa Short Story Award

The 2018 Costa Short Story Award is open for submissions. Founded in 2012 and funded by Costa Coffee, the £3,500 award […]

EVENT: Binyavanga Wainaina to Speak at University of the Witwatersrand

Binya Poster_25 July 2017_final

Binyavanga Wainaina will be speaking at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He will be in conversation with the researcher […]

On Cultural Constraints on Human Rights | Interview with Farah Ahamed, Winner of the 2017 Gerald Kraak Award

farah ahamed

Days ago, we announced that Africa in Dialogue has published an e-book of interviews with the twelve writers and photographers […]

Opportunity for African Writers | Enter for This £30,000 Short Story Award

Submissions have begun for the 2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. Founded in 2010 and run by The Society of […]

On Helen Oyeyemi | An Essay

helen oyeyemi (1)

It was Helen Oyeyemi who first made me realize what I’d always found dissatisfying about short stories. A short story […]