Saturday 17 November 2012

Bible Stories in Hutterisch

For a number of years now Hutterite children have enjoyed Bible stories in our mother tongue. Together with Dick Mueller, Wycliff Bible Translater/Linguist, I helped translate this set of books. The three that you see here have already been published, with two more coming out at some point in the future. I've heard many sweet stories from parents whose children have these books, how much time they spend with the them and the CD that comes with each one. Or older siblings reading to younger ones - all of which make the long hours spend translating very worthwhile!

 Jakobi and me
Right now I am thoroughly delighted watching my darling nephew, Jakobi listening to these stories.  Every night he brings his parents Book 1 in this series, to read to him, other times he follows along in the book, while listening to the CD. Sometimes I have to joy of reading to him as he's snuggled on my lap. His favourite Bible story is Noah and the Ark. One day he was playing on the floor, placing animals in a bowl. When his mom asked what he was doing he replied, "Oah Ochn." (Noah's Ark) He's just starting to talk and some of his beginning consonants are always missing. So you can imagine how many chuckles we have as he's trying to articulate things, which we sometimes have a hard time deciphering.

At snack one day, his mom, Karen gave him a candy with Santa wrapping. He took one look and announced, "Mein, der Oah!" (My, Noah) He's never heard of Santa, but knows Noah quite well. In all the time spent with this book, nobody ever told him that I am the one narrating the stories. So, one evening while listening he exclaims, "Mama, Linda zellt." (Mama, Linda's telling the story.)

A few days ago I was babysitting, I noticed that he was talking to himself, while stacking blocks on the floor. I listened closer and he said, "Huchn Turm. Aufn, aufn, aufn, Hibbi.)" (High tower, up, up, up to heaven.) Just as he'd heard it many times from his book. Not only is he learning Bible stories, but building his Hutterisch vocabulary, with practically the only books he'll be able to do this with!

Jakobi, fast asleep with his favourite book.

A clip of mommy reading, with Jakobi chiming in, click here.
If there's a Hutterite child in your life, Bible stories in the language they know best would be an ideal and special Christmas gift. The books are available at HB Book Centre.


  1. What a lovely, lovely time! You are so talented to translate such valuable literature so well, and what a blessing it must be to be able to see first hand the fruits of your labors in that precious boy~

  2. Thanks, Shelly! It really is a blessing, not only to see 'the fruits of my labours' but also that I had the opportunity to be involved in this worthwhile project. My Christmas wish for every Hutterite child is that they get the chance to read/hear Bible stories in their own language.

  3. Linda, do you realize what you have done? For future generations and on and on, you are preserving your language. That is wonderful. Your beautiful nephew is very patient at his age to listen to a book being read to him. Blessings to all of you.

  4. Thanks Susan! He's loved books since long before he could walk.


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