Translating into the Mumuye Language

When the phonological analysis was made, and a temporary alphabet was created, a draft of Mumuye grammar could be established

 While Ruth Krusi was working out the first reading primers and elaborated a booklet with Mumuye tales, Peter started to make his first attempts in translating some simple stories from the Bible.

Peter Yivo and Peter Krusi translate passages from the New Testament of the Bible. First attempts are best made from the Gospel of Mark.

Nyadobm, David and Peter Yivo record a discussion about the lately translated passages from the New Testament.

Right at the beginning a flood of questions came up. The culture in biblical times was so completely different to the one of Mumuye that the narratives could not be translated 1:1.

Sun, Moon or Allah?
The first query arose about the word for God. The Mumuye God is the sun. The people worship the sun and the moon. The word for sun is La, the one for moon Shella. That could not be the word for the God of the Bible who has created La and Shella according to the narratives in Genesis. The young people called the God of the Bible Allah. They borrowed this expression from the Islamic religion. But they did not really know who he was and what kind of imagination they have to make about him. After many discussions, explanations and studies, the young Christians agreed to call God Kpanti La which means Chief over the sun.

Translation techniques
The New Testament is translated from the Greek text. English and German translations serve as a guide, together with many commentaries about biblical text. The first task is to take a Greek sentence and divide it up in its kernel statements. Next the relationships between the kernel sentences are evaluated. After that the separate statements are translated into Mumuye, always keeping in mind that the correct relationships are set between them.

The translation must not only be correct, but it also should be natural to the Mumuye ear. In addition the translator has to find out the idioms of the language, and be able to integrate them into his translation. The result is a natural and idiomatic translation of the biblical text.

New Testament in Mumuye

In 1974 the translation work was interrupted for several year. Later Danjuma Gambo resumed the language work and translation. After many efforts and hard work, he has translated the New Testament in Mumuye which was published in 1994.

Mumuye New Testament

Dedication service in Jalingo

Gospel of John in Mumuye













A dedication service was held in the new cathedral in Jalingo.

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Another translation project has been realized later. The Jesus film was synchronized into Mumuye. To see the film, click the View the Jesus film button.

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