Support the Café

Search our Site

Gwich’in New Testament: even colors are verbs

Gwich’in New Testament: even colors are verbs

The Fairbanks NewsMiner notes the completion of the translation of the New Testament into the Gwich’in language:

The gold-lettered title of the plain-covered book reads “Vit’eegwijyahchy’aa: Vagwandak Nizii,” Gwich’in for, “God: His Good News.”

“Remember the words of our Lord are blessed to give and to receive,” said St. Matthew’s rector, the Rev. Scott Fisher, following the announcement Sunday that the translation of the New Testament to the Gwich’in Athabascan language is available.

The 11 a.m. service was a joyous occasion for the diverse congregation. There was an adult Baptism and more than a dozen parishioners were confirmed by Alaska Episcopal Bishop Mark Lattime.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – Healy couple translates New Testament to Gwich’in language.

“Gwich’in is rated as one of the most difficult languages in the world, probably harder than Chinese,” Meggie said. “There are 24 vowels and 46 consonants and the majority of words are verbs; even colors are verbs.”


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Thomas Thurman

“…the majority of words are verbs; even colors are verbs.”

I’m no expert on indigenous American languages, but I thought this was true of most or all of the Athabaskan family, including Navajo, rather than being a particular oddity of Gwich’in. Does anyone know more?

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café