Monday, 30 June 2008

Thumbs Up for Jamaican says University Lecturers

The Jamaican language has got supporters of its development form our 3 universities. I've starting to compile a list. I've managed to jot down 5 names so far.

  1. Clive Forrester - UWI
  2. Hubert Devonish - UWI
  3. Gosnell Yorke – NCU
  4. Desrine Cayol – NCU
  5. Rohan Lewis – UTECH

Friday, 27 June 2008

Jiizas Wilin - Matyu 8:1-4, 17

1 Wen Jiizas kom dong aafa i moutn Ii did a tiich pan waa uol hiip a piipl did a fala bak a Im. 2 Roun da taim de, waa man wid waa bad-bad skin diziiz kum op tu Jiizas, bow dong in front a Im fi shuo ii rispek aa se, “Laad, ef Yu waant fi mek mi get kliin, Yu wel aa ielb fi dwiit.” 3 Jiizas trech out Ii an, toch di man aa se tu im, “Mi waa fi dwiit. Ton kliin.” Siem taim di man skin beta-op.

4 Aafta dat apn Jiizas se tu im, “Mek shuor se yu no tel nobadi bout we mi jos du; ongl go shuo yuself tu di priis aa tek wid yu di afring Muoziz se piipl fi tek wid dem wen dee skin diziiz get beta. I gwai bi a proof tu di piipl dem.

17 Jiizas do dis so dat wa Aizaya di prafit did se kuda kom chuu. A dis Aizaya did se:

“Ii tek we wi siknis dem
an Ii kya we wi diziiz dem.”

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Jamaican Creole Newscast? Well, Not Really!

OnThursday, 26th June, the Jamaica Observer misinformed its readers that one of our leading television stations, CVM TV would have, as of Monday 30th June, broadcast a section of its nightly newscast in Jamaican Creole. Read the article ya so!

In a letter to the Observer, CVM denied it plans to broadcast news in Jamaican. Jennifer Grant, vice president of broadcast services said, "'a sampling of news presented in patois' will be part of a three-part series looking at the role of media in communication and the use of patois in education."

To read the Observer's correction to its news item on the TV station's plan go ya so.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Jamaican Bible - A Waste of Money?

Many persons have taken issue with the amount of money the Bible Society and its partners are willing to spend on translating the Bible into Jamaican Creole - $60 million JMD. Not a few persons have deemed the venture a reckless stewardship of money and have joyfully volunteered their financial expertise to the Society. Use the funds to remedy the temporary needs of our poor and needy, some have argued. This is exemplified in an interesting letter addressed to the editor of the Jamaican Gleaner by one Joan Davis. The letter is entitled "Patois Bible? How about these priorities!"

Indeed, this is not a critique new to Bible translation organizations. Why is this? Wycliffe Bible Translator, Dr Margaret Hill, in her article “Speaking to the Heart: Translation as Mission” lists several reasons why some people believe the present day effort to translate the Bible is an unwise venture / an unwise investment of mission resources: 1) the over 4,000 remaining languages which are in need of Scripture represent only 3 or 4% of the world’s population (196 million out of 6.5 billion people); 2) it is predicted (though unsubstantiated by data) that 50 – 90% of the world’s languages will die out in this century; 3) English, or perhaps Chinese will soon be spoken by everyone; 4) Bible translation into non-national languages threaten national and church unity (I've been told the former is one of the fears of Burmise government); 5) the development of local languages is a retrograde step as it locks people in their past furthermore it makes them unable to engage and benefit from the wider world.

So far in the Jamaican Bible debate, I’ve heard the many of these concerns over and over again. One could add issues relating to orthography and literacy.

I’ll come back to this issue later… For now, it's only worth recognising that the critique reminds us there is "nothing new under the sun."

Thumbs Up for the Jamaican Bible say Church Leaders

Every experienced translator knows that it’s of vital importance that local church leaders support a Bible translation project. If not, the translator will have a hard time with issues such as acceptability, distribution and Scripture use.

I’m elated a number of prominent Jamaican church leaders (members) are in support of the Jamaican Creole Translation Project. Here’s a list of some leaders who’ve expressed their approval of the Project.
  1. Gosnell Yorke - Professor of Theology at the Seventh-day Adventist run Northern Caribbean University;
  2. Rev'd Carl Johnson - President of the Jamaica Council of Churches;
  3. Rev'd Peter Garth - Head of the Jamaica Association of Evangelicals;
  4. Father Michael Lewis - Roman Catholic Church;
  5. Pastor Glen Samuels - President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in western Jamaica;

I'll continue adding names as I come across them in the future. Hopefully, I'll hear some favourable news from the Trinitarian and Oneness Pentecostal folk.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Our Language, Captured by the English!

“…if some Jamaicans are uncertain about the legitimacy of Jamaican patois and whether it should be used to translate the Bible, academics in the United Kingdom are embracing it as a full-fledged language. Last year, the University of Birmingham introduced a Jamaican patois course, the first of its kind in the world.

Lynette Mitchell, a student at Birmingham University who was born in England to Jamaican parents, was required to take the Jamaican patois course as a core part of her PhD studies on black vernacular as a reading strategy for interpreting the Bible.

She told the Sunday Observer that Level One to Three of the patois course required a minimum of 150 tuition hours. "Level One and Two of the course are equivalent to our GCSE (General Certificate in Secondary Education) here in the UK, and Level Three of it, is equivalent to 'A' Levels here. Once you reach level three, you can move on to a Diploma in Public Service Interpreting, specialising in Jamaican (patois). This is because the Institute of Linguistics in the UK has given the Jamaican official declaration as a language."

Taken from the Sunday Observer. To read the full article, click here.

Jamaican Creole Bible - More Fire!

On 16th June one of our leading newspapers, the Jamaican Observer, revealed the Bible Society of the West Indies’ (BSWI) plan to translate the Christian Scriptures into the heart-language of the Jamaican people. To read the article click here.

As I expected, the proposal has created a firestorm - Jamaicans, both here and in the Diaspora, have voiced opinions for and against the project. Persons “for,” sometimes accuse those “against” of being unpatriotic, ashamed of our Jamaican culture, Euro-centric, elitists, and the like; those “against,” usually characterise Jamaican enthusiasts as being sacrilegious, globally insensitive, economically disadvantageous, anti-progressive, anti-English language, self-aggrandisers and a host of other emotive expressions.

I think the thing persons have really taken an issue with is the proposed cost - $60 million JMD! ($5 million per annum). The money, it is generally argued could be used to promote a million and one needy social initiatives. I do not deny the project is expensive and that the Church could use that amount of money to quench the financial thirst being experienced by many individuals and charity organisations in our country.

Some of questions are, however: “how much money/resources does the Jamaican Church spend on national development each year?” Think of all the learning institutions, medical facilities and programmes, housing initiatives, food programmes, community activities, social services, etc, etc… Can we not spend some money to enhance our understanding our understanding of God's word? Does not having the Scriptures in our language have "social" benefits as well?.....

I'll make the various articles and responses available soon. So far, one of the better contributions to the debate has been that of R. Anthony Lewis. To read Anthony's article click here.

Friday, 13 June 2008

23rd Psalm in Jamaican Patois - Good Try

Two Jamaican schoolgirls recite the 23rd Psalm in (semi)Jamaican.

They are SO cute!

To see the vid, click here.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Jamaican Creole - An Interesting Video

I came across this video in a Facebook groups I'm a member of. The vid is about the Jamaican language and its use in our unique poetic expression - Dub Poetry. It also deals with issues such as the increase use of Jamaican in the written media, as well as the possibility of Jamaican becoming an official language.

To view the vid, click here.