Assamese Bible

Language classification:
Assamese is mainly spoken in Assam state and closely related to Bengali and Oriya languages belonging to Indo-Aryan family. Assamese has its own script akin to Bengali. Hinduism is the main religion. Christians are a minority.

Total population:  13,160,785 
Literacy: 64.28%

Beginning of Bible Translation:

The Serampore translation in Assamese, begun in 1810, suffered in the fire of 1812; but the New Testament appeared in 1819 and the whole Bible in 1832. It proved to be of little practical use, largely through carelessness and perversity of the pandit who was employed, and through containing too large an element of Sanskrit words. Later it was pursued by the American Baptist Mission (ABM) and in 1847 Nathan Brown's version of the New Testament was issued. From 1860 onwards portions of the Old Testament were issued as they were translated by various hands, though it was not till 1903 that the completed Old Testament, revised by A.K. Gurney of ABM, was published.

Any important translation issue: The Bible Society had been responsible for the expense of Old Testament publication from the first, but until 1913 the Baptists had published the New Testament, as they wished to have their own translation of the word baptizo. In that year, however, it was agreed that the word should be transliterated and the way was thus opened for the Bible Society to issue the New as well as the Old Testaments. Dr. W.A. Tuttle and the Rev. J. Selander were prominently associated with a revision of the Bible which was published in one volume in 1935. This was followed by a further revision under the care of Rev. J. Selander, issued in 1954.

Present state and/or future of Bible translation in the language:  A Common Language translation has been underway since 1980 in association with the Roman Catholic Church.  The chief translator, Rev. Giridhar Borah passed away recently while he was proofreading the typeset text.  However, the proofreading process is continuing.  The Bible is likely to be published by the end of 2014. 


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