Wycliffe Bible Translators — the same people who brought us the immensely popular “Da Jesus Book: Hawaiian Pidgin New Testament” — have spent the last 20 years translating the Old Testament from the original Hebrew into contemporary local Pidgin English under the careful guidance of the Rev. Earl Morihara and linguistics professor Joseph Grimes.
“Da Good An Spesho Book” is the Hawaiian Pidgin version of both Old and New Testaments, making it the first-ever comprehensive translation of the Holy Bible into the local speaking language of those raised in Hawai‘i.
Having been privileged to be the one of the first to carry it, we can relate firsthand that people have said it was well worth the wait.
Within two days, every copy of the first delivery we had in the store was sold out, with folks buying them for friends and family — and for good reason.
As the translators themselves explain:
“Da English language like use fancy kine hybolic words fo ery idea, an get times wen dat make um hard fo undastan. But da peopo dat talk da local language no like high makamaka kine hybolic words! Dea language like put ony regula-kine words togedda dat erybody know, so all da peopo undastan da ideas.”
Opening up to the table of contents, you’ll see their translation philosophy right away:
Genesis is “Da Start,” Exodus becomes “Outa Egypt,” Leviticus is “Da Prieses,” Numbers becomes “Da Census,” Deuteronomy is “Da Rules Second Time,” Judges is “Da Local Leadas,” Chronicles is “Records,” Psalms becomes “Songs Fo God,” Proverbs is “Smart Guys,” Ecclesiastes is “Da Teacha,” Lamentations is “Da Sad Song,” and Acts becomes “Jesus Guys.”
To us, this is likely to be one Bible translation that will be cherished in Hawai‘i for generations.
Ed Justus is the owner of Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe. Yuriko and Ed Justus are Kalaheo residents. Talk Story Bookstore is open weekdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.