Miao: Miao diocese has released the New Testament in Wancho, one of tribal dialects of Arunachal Pradesh, a northeastern Indian state.
A group of translators led by Salesian Father T J Francis took three years to complete the work. The book was released during the Chrism Mass on March 26 at Minthong, one of the parishes in the diocese.
“I am very happy that my hard work for the past three years has seen the light today,” said Father Francis who had earlier translated the four Gospels in Wancho dialect. He took up the translation of the entire New Testament at the request of Bishop George Pallipparampil of Miao.
Wancho is the most prominent dialect of Longding district. It is also spoken in some parts of Tirap district.
Father Francis said the Fiat Mission had sponsored the printing of the work.
Releasing the book, Bishop Pallipparampil commended Father Francis for his dedication and commitment for this translation work. “It must inspire many of us to take up similar responsibility to translate the Message of the Gospel to the language of the people we serve,” the Salesian prelate said.
He told priests and nuns working in the diocese to make liturgy more beautiful. “We must learn to live the Mass and must make it beautiful with wise combination of silence and music,” he suggested.
Father Francis has also brought out Rangtim Lam, a Prayer cum Hymn Book in the same dialect.
Arunachal Pradesh has chosen English as its official language since its 1.25 million people speak between 30 to 50 languages and innumerable dialects. Prominent among the languages are Nyishi, Dafla, Miji, Adi, Gallong, Wancho, Tagin, Hill Miri, Mishui, Mohpa, Nocte, Aka, Tangsa, Khamti.
Vast majority of them belong to the Tibeto-Burman language family. Hindi is making constant inroads. Nagamese is fairly widely used as a link language in some areas.