Monday, October 22, 2007

The new Chinese Book of Mormon is out!

10/22/2007. I just received my first shipment of the new translation of the traditional Chinese Book of Mormon, catalog # 34407-265. This is in "traditional script" which is in use in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. For people from mainland China, the Book of Mormon in "simplified script" is appropriate, with catalog suffix -266. I expect the simplified script version of the new translation/edition will be forthcoming.

This new edition has the "Guide to the Scriptures" and footnotes. The "Guide to the Scriptures" is printed western-style, left-to-right, and starts at what we consider the front of the book. The Book of Mormon proper is still printed traditional style, top to bottom, and right-to-left, starting at what we consider to be the back of the book. Therefore, the book reads "outside in".

The font is also larger than the previous traditional script edition that was printed in Taiwan or Hong Kong.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!


At 10/22/2007 11:57:00 AM, Blogger Steve M. said...

I've been hearing rumors about this new version for a while.

A couple questions: Is the translation different from the old version? If so, how's it compare to the simplified character translation?

At 10/22/2007 12:59:00 PM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

Yes, there are some obvious changes between the old -265 (traditional) edition and the new -265 (traditional). I don't know Chinese so I can't tell the significance.

There are some commas added in the new edition too.

I just compared the old simplified script (35607-266, copyright 2001), and it is different from both the old -265 and the new -265.

So it looks like all three are slightly different at the detail level.

It looks like some re-translating occured between the old traditional 33572-265 (copyright 1965) and the old simplified 35607-266 (2001), and then more changes to get to the 34407-265 (copyright 2007).

To complete the cycle, they still need to come out with a 34407-266, which would be the simplified version, containing footnotes, the Guide to the Scriptures, and the translation tweaking that took place between 2001 and 2007.

I still have a dozen of the old 33572-265 if anyone wants to buy one to study or for historical or personal reasons.

At 10/22/2007 02:31:00 PM, Blogger Steve M. said...

I just ordered the new traditional version. Can't wait to take a look.

I thought the simplified BoM translation was a significant improvement over the traditional translation. I thought it made much better use of Chinese idioms than did the traditional Bom, which, in my opinion, is better than insisting on a direct translation of every last word. (But then, it also included the phrase "And it came to pass," which the traditional version entirely omitted.) It will be interesting to see how the new traditional version handles things.

Of course, this further confuses the translation situation for Chinese members. On my mission, virtually all of the investigators and most of the members I worked with were from the Mainland, so we primarily worked with the simplified BoM. But then, if they wanted it triple combination, their only choice was the traditional BoM. And when you asked someone to read a scripture in Sunday School, you never knew which version they were going to read from, which created a good deal of confusion for investigators and new members who were following along in a different version.

While I appreciate the effort to cater to the needs of mainland Chinese, I think it would be okay to print a single translation, but in traditional and simplified character versions.

At 10/23/2007 06:17:00 PM, Blogger Joseph Antley said...

Thanks for the update about this. I had also heard that a new edition may be coming out and I'm excited to see it.

At 10/25/2007 06:15:00 PM, Blogger Erik said...

Just in case you meet anyone from Singapore, they use simplified characters there.

At 10/25/2007 07:17:00 PM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

Thanks for the correction.


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