Bible Society of Ghana to launch Bono-Twi Bible on July 28 

 By Benjamin Akoto, GNA 


Sunyani, July 10, GNA – The Bible Society of Ghana in its commitment to promote reading of the Bible in the Bono local dialect has scheduled to launch the Bono-Twi Bible in Sunyani on July 28, 2024. 


Reverend Dr Isaac Boaheng, a translator, during a press conference in Sunyani, said the word of God was meant to save mankind, hence the need to be accessible in a language that everyone could understand. 


By reading the Bible in their own dialect, the Bono people would have a deeper appreciation for God’s word and be better equipped to apply it in their lives, he said. 


Providing an overview of the Bono-Twi Bible translation project, Rev. Dr. Boaheng said the initiative began in October 2017 and expected to be completed by 2027. 


He explained the first four years were dedicated to translating and publishing the New Testament, while the subsequent six-years would focus on translating and publishing the Old Testament alongside the New Testament to create a complete Bible. 


Rev. Dr. Boaheng explained that prior to commencing the project, there was no standardised orthography for the Bono dialect and, therefore, the translators had to develop an orthography specifically for the Bono-Twi dialect. 


This included unique letters such as ‘v’ and ‘z’, as seen in words like “mvuom” (farm) and “ananze” (the spider), saying the translators conducted extensive fieldwork and consultations to ensure a harmonised Bono-Twi orthography was established, similar to that of the Fante dialect. 


Rev. Dr Boaheng, addressing the sub-dialectical differences, stressed the dynamic nature of language, constantly evolving to meet the needs of its speakers to reflect the diversity within the communities. 


He said the primary objective of translating the Bible was to create a version that was accessible and meaningful to as many people as possible. 


However, the task presented challenges as it was impossible to perfectly capture every variation and preference. 


He said the translation team encountered obstacles in selecting words and phrases that would resonate with a broad audience, resulting in certain sub-dialectical nuances not being fully represented. 


Rev. Dr. Boaheng cited the use of three words for the English definite article (the) in Bono-Twi speaking communities, ‘he’, ‘ke’, and no, saying a field survey revealed that the majority used ‘he,’ leading to the decision to use ‘he’ as the definite article in the Bono-Twi Bible. 


He then announced that all the 27 books of the New Testament had undergone the necessary procedures and had been published as Bono-Twi Apam Foforo. 


As part of its mission to make the Bible accessible to diverse linguistic communities, the Bible Society of Ghana has completed nine translations of the Bible in local dialects such as Asante-Twi, Akuapem, Fante, Ga, Ewe, Esahie, Dagbani, Damgbe, and Nzema. 


The Society has ongoing projects in local dialects such as Bono-Twi, Effutu, Gurundi, and Okere.