INUKTITUT BIBLE HELPS BORE AND TERRIFY INUIT CHILDREN IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE
After 35 years and 1.5 million dollars, an entire Christian Bible has been translated into Inuktitut, the language of Inuit people. For the first time in Canadian history, Inuktitut speaking Christians in the Northwest Territories can now can bore and terrify their children in their native tongue.
“This Bible breaks down language barriers.” Says Howard Friesen of the Canadian Bible Society and project coordinator. “Now when Inuit people tell their children Old Testament stories such as Abraham’s blind willingness to murder his own son, or Lot’s daughters raping and becoming pregnant by their own drunken father, they can do so in their mother tongue. At last. Praise Jesus.”
However, the project was not without its pitfalls due to cultural differences between present day Inuit People and Middle-Eastern people of 2000 years ago.
For instance, the passage in Leviticus stating; “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” (Leviticus 20:13) posed serious challenges in translation as it is traditional in Inuit communities for men to lie together to survive the harsh winters. “We hope they can clarify that it’s just the disgusting homos who ought to be murdered, not just two cold Eskimos” chuckles Friesen. “We wouldn’t want them getting the wrong end of the stick on who they should be hating.”
Said Friesen; “We believe that it is important for any society that when they tell their children that if their parents weren’t married when they were born they aren’t really human and will never enter Heaven and neither will any of their children or grandchildren” they should be told that in their own language. That’s just basic human respect.”
He added; “That’s progress.”