April 6, 2018
Have you ever heard or read a Bible verse that sounds like a conversation with your next-door neighbor or the jeepney drivers you encounter everyday? If you haven’t, you will soon get to read the New Testament in a familiar tone! Readers, get ready for the Pinoy Version.
Check out this sample passage from Galatians:
The first of its kind in the Philippines, this unique contemporary version uses the modern Filipino language variety that is commonly used by the younger generation. According to PBS’s Translation Consultant Dr. Anicia del Corro, “To capture the way the contemporary Filipino speaks, especially among the youth, this Pinoy Version is made available as an alternative version.”
Dr. Del Corro was a United Bible Societies (UBS) Translation Consultant for 23 years before joining PBS, and has worked on several foreign Bible translation projects in countries like Pakistan, Thailand, and Micronesia. Locally, she was involved in translations such as the Pampango Popular Version and Standard Waray New Testament Revision. Her experience as a linguist has equipped her with deeper perspective of how language is being used today. She especially values how the Pinoy version fits today’s Bible readers.
Dr. Del Corro says, “There is a new variety of the Filipino language that is emerging, and is used by the young urbanite, usually educated, and very much a user of the Internet. But this language is easy to use, simple, and nevertheless communicative.”
The target audience—that is, people in their teens to early thirties who are reading the Bible for the first time—will find the version easy to read. However modern in its form, even sounding informal to most readers, the Pinoy Version is a faithful translation employing the method of dynamic equivalence, also used in other meaning-based translations such as the Magandang Balita Biblia (MBB), Good News Translation (GNT), and Contemporary English Version (CEV).
Since the project was initiated in 2008, the Gospel of Mark and Paul’s Letter to the Galatians have been available as Scripture portions of the Pinoy Version. The whole New Testament in Pinoy Version will be released in 2018.
Members of the New Testament (NT) translation team attest that the project was accomplished with extreme caution and with reverence for God’s Word. “We had our audience in mind as we did the translation—their level of understanding, range of experiences, and specific words they use in conversations,” says Hazel Crizaldo, one of the translators. “We considered everything to get the meaning of the verses: exegesis, grammar, and others. It’s really a technical job. We did our work seriously.”
The rest of the Pinoy NT agreed from their own experiences. Pastor Alvin Molito commented: “Although it’s not the traditional Bible that we read, God’s Word has impact and power once understood by its readers.” Hopeful remarks came from Cristhine Ibasco, who said: “We usually read the Bible when we are going through difficulty. Because the language of the Pinoy Version relates to the younger people, it will help them understand Bible passages just by plainly reading.”
As though to echo the PBS ethos as a whole, translator Jasmin Crismo said: “I’m excited to be able to hand someone a Bible and say, ‘You can relate to this. You don’t have to be alienated or lost in difficult words or phrases anymore.’”