Darlong Bible Translation Project

Profile of the Darlong

Location

  • Tripura State in northeast India and Bangladesh

Language Family

  • A Kuki-Chin language (part of the Sino-Tibetan family).

Speakers

  • 6,000 in India and 9,000 in Bangladesh, giving a total of 15,000 speakers (Ethnologue)

  • 6,500 in India and 7,200 in Bangladesh (Joshua Project)

Religion

  • 85.3% are Hindu, 7.1% are Muslim, 4.6% are Buddhist, and 3% Christian

Literacy

  • Anne Osborn helped the Darlong people develop literacy. Bibles International is currently producing Old Testament storybooks and conducting training in literacy.

Existing Bible Translations

  • Bibles International’s New Testament was published in 1995. That was the first New Testament available.

  • The Bible Society of India published a New Testament in 1996.

Project Progress

  • Both the New Testament and the Old Testament have been completed. The Bible is currently undergoing quality checks.

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Overview

The history of Christianity among the Darlong Kuki community began with a few new converts won to Christ by the Mizo people in 1919. The new Christians were so persecuted and misunderstood by the then Kuki Raja Bahadur (Chief), that they were finally excommunicated from their villages. These persecuted new Christians lived in their temporary farm huts until the chief allowed them to return after they promised to be faithful to him even though they were Christians.

Bibles International was approached in 1985 by the Darlong people. The first translator was unable to do the work, according to Dr. Henry Osborn’s assessment, and as a result the work actually began in 1986. Henry Osborn began working with Sunga Darlong, who served as the main translator on the project for many years. Sunga was then called to move into church ministries work, and Pastor Hruisanga Darlong took over as the main translator.

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