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Bible in Asturian received the award for best translation

“The award recognises the impressive work carried out for over thirty years by around forty collaborators. We thank God for all”, said the Bible Society in a statement.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus GIJÓN 04 DE MAYO DE 2022 13:20 h
The winners during the award ceremony. /SB.

On Saturday 23 April, Book Day in Spain, the Bible in Asturian, published by the Bible Society of Spain, received the Florina Alías award for the best translation into Asturian.

The gala presentation of the literary awards granted by the regional government of Asturias, recognises the authors awarded in the calls of the Directorate General of Linguistic Policy throughout the year 2021.

The president of the Bible Society of Spain, Manuel Álvarez, and the director general, Luis Fajardo, attended the award ceremony.

“The award recognises the impressive work carried out for over thirty years by around forty collaborators. We thank God for all”, said the Bible Society in a statement.


“The quality and richness of the translated text”

The Jury mainly assesses the quality of the work, the cultural and social value of the original work and the contribution of its translation to the cultural heritage of Asturias, of each work submitted.

They had previously highlighted “the philological apparatus developed to translate from the original languages, the immense work carried out over more than 30 years, and its complexity”.

The judges also stressed “the quality and richness of the translated text, a key work of universal culture”.

The prize honours Florina Alías, a poetess and storyteller who wrote several books in Asturian. Alías is a reference in Spanish post-Civil War literature written in Asturian.

Asturian is mainly spoken in the region of Asturias, in the North of Spain, but there are also minorities in the Spanish regions of Leon and Cantabria, as well as in Portugal, who speak the language.


A long-awaited edition

The idea of translating the Bible into Asturian was encouraged in 1988 by the Jesuit Federico González-Fierro Botas, the evangelical pastor Rubén Fernández-Valle, both now deceased, and José Luis Andavert, then the director of the Spanish Bible Society.

For more than three decades, a team of experts in biblical languages and Asturian have carried out the process of translating the Bible, supervised by the philologist Ramón de Andrés Díaz.

The Bible in Asturian uses the dynamic equivalence method, which makes the text not only true to the originals, but also understandable and close to the colloquial use of the language.


Arduous work, big reward

The translation process has been “arduous” but “gratifying”, the coordinator of translations of the Bible Society, Ricardo Moraleja, told Spanish news website Protestante Digital.

“Of all the projects I have had the privilege of working on, perhaps the Bible in Asturian is one of the most complicated”, he added.

There have been many complications, such as lack of financial resources and the loss of staff members due to death. Furthermore, “the Asturian language is in a phase of linguistic normalisation”, making it “difficult for translators and linguists to reach an agreement”.

The translation from the original languages, Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek was another challenge.

“It was difficult to find people with training in Asturian and Hebrew. We had to teach Hebrew to Asturian linguists, so that they could carry out the translation”, explained Moraleja.


Wide participation of the Asturian community

This project has been carried out with the wide participation of all the Asturian community. Religious entities -the Evangelical Council of Asturias and the Archbishopric-, social and educational entities -the University of Oviedo- and state entities -Academy of the Asturian Language, Department of Linguistic Policy- have been involved.

Moraleja pointed out that “over 30 people from several backgrounds and sensibilities have directly participated: seminary, university and secondary school teachers, writers, theologians, pastors, have shared their knowledge as reviewers and consultants, making a work of literary quality and religious sensitivity, with no precedent in Asturias” .

We would like the Bible to become a reference for the good use of the Asturian language. We want it to be the reference text in both the ecclesiastical and civil spheres”, concluded the coordinator of translations of the Bible Society.




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