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Mar 6, 2013

‘Hohlih Mohziz’ New Testament of the Bible in Creole

Religious and cultural history was made today with the launching of the New Testament of the Bible in Creole. The formal presentation took place during an inspirational mass at a fitting venue, the two hundred year old St. John’s Anglican Cathedral in Belize City. The finished products, a written version and a spoken version on CD, are the result of years of commitment and hard work by the National Creole Council, and a handful of persons both local and foreign working under the Belize Creole Project. The service was attended by members of the clergy of different denominations, government officials and a wide cross-section of Belizean society. News Five was a part of history today and freelance reporter Mike Rudon has the story.

 

Lauren Burgess

Lauren Burgess, Voice on CD

“Man God good. Today is a day of rejoicing for us; today is a day of great joy. I happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy. I neva think I mi wah live fi see the day.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

But that day did come. After nearly two decades of hard work, there is a full Creole version of the New Testament of the bible, from Matthew to Revelations. Speaking Creole is easy, but translating the bible, and doing it the right way, was another matter entirely.

 

Yvette Herrera

Yvette Herrera, Lead Translator

“We had to get some training of course and we had to work with the original Greek. We had a Greek inter-linear bible weh word fi word with the Greek. And we had to translate from a meaning base; dah noh just words right soh. And we had consultants weh come from abroad weh dah the experts weh come check everything. We had wah couple weh mi di work with wi; dehn learn Creole and we worked along with them. We did the original drafting, dehn check it and then we go over it again and tweak it. It was a long process.”

 

And today Belizeans enjoyed the fruits of that long process, in an almost three hour service complete with scripture readings and songs. The emotion of those involved in the project was clear, and that passion translated to those who took part in the making of history today.

 

Phillip Wright

Phillip Wright, Anglican Bishop

“It does give me great pleasure to formally launch this undertaking that we’ve heard about many years, many people making the sacrifices and now we are here at this point in time. And I think it is truly a moment to give god thanks. If one could use one’s imagination, I could even see heaven smiling.”

 

Myrna Manzanares

Myrna Manzanares, National Kriol Council

“Bwai I di tell yo, my heart feel like—as a matter of fact, right now ih feel like wah burden come off of mi shoulder because soh long we di try and try and like people put wi down. But todeh I feel good. I thank god that it is finish; we got it cross.”

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“This is a wonderful thing that all Belizeans should hold on to and love and appreciate because dah fi we language and I put my full support behind it as the Minister of Education and of course the government put ih full support behind it.”

 

Yvette Herrera

“Aye, ih mek mi heart full because we really gone through a lot. We take wah lotta flack from the public, from different churches and soh, but we had to keep wi goal in sight.”

 

Silvaana Udz

Silvaana Udz, National Kriol Council

“The next you ask, revise and do wah next version of the dictionary; update it. Begin, I guess, the work on the Old Testament, but that wah take commitment. And then also writer’s workshop; goh capture the story—the rich, rich story weh people have—and put it ina di spelling system weh wi got so we preserve it and use it. And in terms of the school, you hear weh Mister of Education say, dehn endorse it, dehn understand it. The structure fi then make it workable fi wah teacher dah something fi work pan next.”

 

Philip Wright

“It might not be tomorrow, it might not be next year, but there will come a time when the usage will increase. As people grow more comfortable with it, I think as people hear it read, a lot of attitude I am sure will change and people will grow a lot more comfortable with it.”

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber

“The school dehn could use it now; we got wah lot of religious instructions weh di goh on ina di class dehn. And so if the teachers dehn get wah copy of the Creole bible, I noh see nothing wrong in dehn use it fi read fi di pickney dehn because that dah something good. I mean that wah mek dehn understand better; lotta dehn noh di understand the complicated language weh di bible write ina right now. And so teachers should feel free to use it however dehn think it wah help. But it could certainly help wi society nowadays and I mi particularly happy fi hear the pastor pray just now fi di lee bwai and di lee gial dehn and the pickney dehn ina this country because that is where we really got fi focus fi make sure that we have wah future ina di country and the bible could help wi get deh faster.”

 

And with those endorsements from the clergy and the state, the Creole version of the New Testament is well on its way to becoming an integral part of religious life in Belize. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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11 Responses for “‘Hohlih Mohziz’ New Testament of the Bible in Creole”

  1. Trouble says:

    Not comfortable with this………hmmmm

  2. me says:

    news flash! not all belizeans believe in the bible. and who pays for all this? i sure hope my tax money did not go into paying for this!

  3. Ricky Malthus says:

    It is all gibberish! Krioll is just bastardiized bad slave English. If you have to use the English alphabet to give meaning to your words, then it is English. Not even the krioll people can read that version. You don’t believe it, just try reading it.

  4. jeeboo says:

    Laaaaad. Anyone know where I can buy these? I want to get to heaven before Rod.

  5. Johns says:

    What a complete waste of time and resources. And then we ask why is our education system failing.

  6. junito says:

    Ok this is more of a collectors item than and an actual source of information for most Belizean swhich certainly know how to read english but not kriol. Its one thing to talk it and another to read it. Plus i think the stories sound comical like an anansi story when they are read in Kriol.

  7. Storm says:

    I appreciate the great effort, and if it saves one person, it will be good.

  8. Initiate says:

    I imagine listening to the CD would be lost of fun and inspiration. Its not a waste of time, and like Storm says, if it helps/enlightens/councils/reminds one person than its good!! kudos!!

  9. Belizean Pride says:

    I don’t see this as a bad thing they did but a more important thing is that now the bible is being translated in kriol makes the reader more responsible for his/her life before the Lord Almighty.
    Let the world know that the Lord is Lord so if they have to do this to make the kriol community learn more about God let it be but no soul will be innocent about the word of God before He come back.

  10. Tashybze says:

    I love this. What is wrong with us getting dis bible, not one thing. It’s in all other kind of version. And besides goh walkabout Belize,All most everybody the talk kriol. Mostly English is written. I love it. And I di spend mi money pan dis.

  11. rickymalthusthefool says:

    Ricky using english alphabet to give words meaning to words is not only English as you suppose. How about these English alphabet words “pendejo”

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