Nigerian Man Releases Pidgin English Translation Of The Bible

by Duke Magazine

Salem Egoh is a Nigerian musician, painter, and music producer who has just translated Bible to Pidgin English.

According to BBC, this is the first printed version although many people have translated from English to Pidgin. It reportedly took Egoh three years to complete the Bible translation.

English is the official language in Nigeria, with most newspapers and books sold in English. However, various ethnic groups widely use and understand Pidgin English. In a bid for the Nigerian translator to ensure all ethnic groups understand what is written in the Bible, he went all out for the translation into Pidgin to be successful and hassle free for all. 

There were times he had to be creative because many words found in English versions of the Bible had no exact equivalent in pidgin, he told Reuters.

Growing up, his father, a devoted Christian, ensured he attended every Sunday school in the church. Egoh would even use the Bible to learn how to write. The result of that has surprised many, including his family who laughed when he first read from his Pidgin Bible.

Today, many pastors and church leaders have embraced the Pidgin Bible, which is on sale across Nigeria. “Most people here, they are not properly schooled, you know, and so we do more pidgin English here,” said pastor Ben Akpevwe, who has been using the Pidgin Bible at his church in Lagos.

“Each time I am reading it in church they are always very excited because it is like identifying with the language of the people.”

Currently, the Pidgin Bible consists of the New Testament, including the Book of Psalms and the Book of Proverbs. Egoh has included a glossary of 1,000 words at the end of his translation. He is currently working on a translation of the rest of the Old Testament and he is optimistic that a complete Bible will be released by the end of the year.

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