Entireity of New Testament in Tok Pisin available for download.

May 29, 2001 5:04 PM   Subscribe

Entireity of New Testament in Tok Pisin available for download.
Here's the OT. I haven't really looked it over. It seems to lack chapter, book and verse breaks. It does have some SGML like tags strewn about. The files certainly seem long enough to be the whole thing. The links are part of a back end for an open source bible analysis tool. Could be useful...
posted by rschram (8 comments total)
Where is Tok Pisin spoken? Is it a Filipino tongue?
posted by silusGROK at 5:43 PM on May 29, 2001

Close... Papua New Guinea. Here's a Tagalog NT, just for you!
posted by rschram at 6:22 PM on May 29, 2001

Tok Pisin is a semi-standardized version of the pidgin of eastern Papua New Guinea. There are a ton of similar, but not quite identical, "Neo-Melanesian" pidgins spoken in Papua, the Solomons, Vanuatu and other places around the southwest Pacific (I'm sure Ryan can tell us more).

(SDB mode) A pidgin is a language spoken in a contact situation, usually developed to meet the language needs of people who don;t speak the same language. An example would be when Africans came to North America as slaves--they quickly developed a functional language based on English vocabulary, with a very simple syntax. At this stage, most pidgins are very similar. As pidgins become the native speech a group of people, they generally develop more grammatical complexity and are known as "creoles." (Gullah, a moribund variety spoken in the Sea Islands of the Carolinas, is an example. Tok Pisin is another.) Most creoles eventually undergo a process known as "decreolization," in which they gradually converge with the standard speech of the area and end up as local variety--this is the most most widely accepted account of the origin of "Black English Vernacular," though it's a complicated question.

Tok Pisin is relatively unusual in that there never really has been a dominant language standard there, so it never underwent decreolization, but instead has emerged as a standard(ized) language in its own right, with the whole range of literary, governmental, financial and even scientific uses, and the standard is spreading across Melanesia. It may appear crude or laughable at first, but it's really a pretty remarkable development.
posted by rodii at 6:26 PM on May 29, 2001

You can almost read it with the "if only it were English" method:

Bipo bipo tru God i mekim kamap skai na graun na olgeta samting i stap long en.

"Before before true God he make-him come-up sky na ground together something he stop long en"

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
posted by rodii at 6:32 PM on May 29, 2001

Wonderful! Thanks... I'm actually pretty familiar with the concept of pidgin languages. Didn't know about the distinction between creole and pidgin though, very interesting.

As for language interests, I'll stick to Mandarin, French (specifically the urban dialects of Quebec), Danish, and ASL... an interesting online scripture database (and I'm biased, of course) is the one at LDS.org. Another one, that JonVW pointed out to me was the Douey Rheims. Also of interest, our own PixelPony (who hasn't updated his site for a painfully long time) has his own electronic version of the Bible.

My dream is to some day do a searchable version of the Quran... something of a mix between the work of the folks over at Octavo, and the LDS database.
posted by silusGROK at 6:59 PM on May 29, 2001

It's fun.

Here's another example of Tok Pisin.
posted by lagado at 7:21 PM on May 29, 2001

Here's more of the bible in Tagalog, if you're interested. Other languages also available.

One thing that always amuses me about the languages in this region of the world (SE Asia) is how similar they sound. The pigdin tongues are very close to Malaysian, which in turn sounds almost exactly like my own native Tagalog. There are hundreds of similar words with different meanings.
posted by brownpau at 7:31 PM on May 29, 2001

Somewhere there's a video clip of Queen Elizabeth speaking in Tok Pisin, but I haven't been able to find it.
posted by rschram at 11:39 AM on May 31, 2001

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