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Kingston, Jamaica (AP) - Plans to translate the Bible into patois — Jamaica's unofficial language — have ignited a fiery debate that stretches beyond the shores of this island nation.Some Jamaicans object to the project because they say patois is an obscure dialect that dilutes the sanctity of Scripture.Although English is the official language of Jamaica, some people find it difficult to converse using this language.Patois or Jamaican, as linguists call it, is the language that is used and understood by most Jamaicans.Others view the translation as an empowering statement that affirms their heritage.The debate continues as a Caribbean-based religious group searches for translators to help with the

Kingston, Jamaica (AP) - Plans to translate the Bible into patois — Jamaica's unofficial language — have ignited a fiery debate that stretches beyond the shores of this island nation.Some Jamaicans object to the project because they say patois is an obscure dialect that dilutes the sanctity of Scripture.Although English is the official language of Jamaica, some people find it difficult to converse using this language.Patois or Jamaican, as linguists call it, is the language that is used and understood by most Jamaicans.Others view the translation as an empowering statement that affirms their heritage.The debate continues as a Caribbean-based religious group searches for translators to help with the $1 million project.Religious leaders say the audio translation would make the Bible accessible to average churchgoers and to those who might not read it otherwise.Despite the firestorm of criticism, the organisation responsible for the translation of the Bible into the Jamaican dialect, patois, is forging ahead with the $60-million project, saying a pilot of the New Testament book of Luke in audio form should be ready by year-end.

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Kingston, Jamaica (AP) - Plans to translate the Bible into patois — Jamaica's unofficial language — have ignited a fiery debate that stretches beyond the shores of this island nation.

Some Jamaicans object to the project because they say patois is an obscure dialect that dilutes the sanctity of Scripture.

Although English is the official language of Jamaica, some people find it difficult to converse using this language.

Patois or Jamaican, as linguists call it, is the language that is used and understood by most Jamaicans.

Others view the translation as an empowering statement that affirms their heritage.

The debate continues as a Caribbean-based religious group searches for translators to help with the $1 million project.

million project.Religious leaders say the audio translation would make the Bible accessible to average churchgoers and to those who might not read it otherwise.Despite the firestorm of criticism, the organisation responsible for the translation of the Bible into the Jamaican dialect, patois, is forging ahead with the -million project, saying a pilot of the New Testament book of Luke in audio form should be ready by year-end.

The project is aimed at determining the most effective means of encouraging full bilingualism for primary-level students at grades one to four in Jamaican Creole and Standard Jamaican English.The languages of the Caribbean are amongst the most modern languages in the world and bring grammatical features from languages in Western and Central Africa, with vocabulary from the European sailors, enslavers and plantation overseers mixed with local Caribbean and African words.It is essential that as some of the most modern languages in the world and languages which had such traumatic origins, that these languages are now recognised, respected and studied.We are establishing both an Advisory Group (with wider membership) and a Steering Group (of activists) and inviting the following people and others: is the title of the first commercial publication that was released by the Jamaican Language Unit (JLU), UWI, Mona on Wednesday June 1 2009 at 6 pm at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, UWI, Mona.The launch featured a combination of digital and live performances, including budding dancehall artiste, Nickesha Dawkins, aka Gem Stone.

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