Lo and behold, another recorded New Testament in a charming language

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Regular readers will know that one of my favourite sources of audio with matching text for rare languages is this site here with the entire New Testament recorded in at least a few hundred languages, including a good number of creoles (Tok Pisin, Bislama, Haitian Creole, more) and rare languages like Ossetian/Ossetic, and Kalmyk. Just a year or two ago the amount of free online content with matching audio for these languages was virtually nonexistent. The site now even has a version in (Church) Latin.

They have announcements on the front page on new languages that have been added, but much of the time they neglect to mention every time a new language has been added. Such was the case with Latin: around August or September I read an article on the recording in Latin and that it would be released around October, then in October it was nowhere to be found, and later on in November, lo and behold, the Latin version of the New Testament had been snuck into the list of languages.

Because of this, every few weeks I will tend to do searches for languages I know and like, and sometimes even scroll through the entire list to see if anything jumps out. This week I noticed a language that wasn't there before: Portuguese.

Portuguese - well, that's certainly going to be Brazilian Portuguese, because it's always Brazilian Portuguese. Nevertheless I clicked on the language and had a listen...and it turned out that it was European Portuguese, a wonderful surprise given its relative rarity.

Next question was: which translation? According to the site it is a Bíblia para todos, which sounds like a new translation, and it is. That translation's official site also has a piece of news dated 25 November about the recording. Part of it goes as follows:

The New Testament now can be heard in Portuguese, recorded in Portugal. The 27 books that make up this part of the Bible are now available in audio format, in an effort that came from the hand of the Sociedade Bíblica...it has the impressive duration of approximately 21 hours and is the result of a month and a half of recordings, in which 25 professional actors gave their voice to all the characters in the New Testament. Jesus Christ was done by the actor Simon Frankel, known to the public as the voice actor for the Portuguese Tintin in the movie "The Adventures of Tintin". Adelaide de Sousa (Samaritan woman), Fernando Luís (Satan) and Heitor Lourenço are other recognizable voices..."a Bíblia para todos" is the most current Biblical text in Portuguese, and has been available in book form since 2009. This version is characterized by the usage of current and accessible language to people with different ages and instructional levels...the translation took 30 years and was done by Catholics and Protestants.
...and so on. To make a long story short, this is a great resource to have for learners of European Portuguese.

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