‘Taglish’ New Testament brings Bible closer to youth – Thomasian scholars

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The "Taglish" version of the New Testament published by the Philippine Bible Society

THOMASIAN scholars lauded the “Pinoy version” of the New Testament launched by the Philippine Bible Society last Sept. 13 at the 39th Manila International Book Fair, saying it would be an effective tool to encourage the youth to read the Bible.

The New Testament, which has the imprimatur of Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, was translated in contemporary Filipino or “Taglish,” the linguistic phenomenon of codeswitching English and Filipino words.

For instance, the version translates Galatians 1:16 to: “Sobrang nashock ako sa inyo… [I]magine, sobrang bait niya at pinadala niya si Christ sa atin. Ang Diyos mismo ang pumili sa inyo, tapos ngayon, ine-entertain niyo ang ibang gospel?”

Fr. Efren Rivera, O.P., professor of sacred scriptures at the Faculty of Sacred Theology, stressed that the Pinoy version was only fulfilling the Church’s call “to provide easy access of sacred scriptures for the Christian faithful.”

“Bible reading has to be for everybody, not just for professional people, or those people who know the classical languages, but also teenagers. And the language of the young people of today is what we call ‘Pinoy,’” Rivera said.

Rivera noted that the new translation was not intended for liturgical functions that require “a more dignified language.” Echoing Rivera, Leo Ocampo, a theology professor, said the new translation’s use of heterogenous language was a way to gradually introduce the Bible to the youth.

“Sa panahon ngayon kung gusto mong mabasa, kailangan mabenta. Kung mapabili man lang o mapabasa yung mga bata, then I think its effective enough; it has served his purpose,” Ocampo told the Varsitarian.

Alvin Ringgo Reyes, Filipino professor and chairman of the University’s Department of Teacher Education, said the Pinoy version would give an opportunity for people not fluent in Filipino to understand the Bible.

Hindi ako tumututol, bilang isang eksperto sa wika, na hayaan ang ganyang bersyon dahil nagpapakita ‘yan ng variability ng potential ng wika; na ang wika pala ay pwedeng marinig sa anyo kung paano magsalita ang karaniwang kabataan,” Reyes said.

The Philippine Bible Society launched the Pinoy Version project in 2007 to translate books of the Bible in the language of the youth, with a team of translators from various faiths.

The Pinoy version sells for only P85 per copy, as a result of tax perks from the National Book Development Board for imported paper. E.D.Aboy O.P.

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