THE BIBLE IN AN INDIAN SETTING

by J. Wijngaards, ‘The Bible in an Indian Setting’, in The Bible is for All, ed. J. Rhymer, Collins, Glasgow 1973, pp. 154-175

The principles of dynamic translation extend far beyond the discovery of appropriate phrases and language patterns to convey the original meaning of Scripture to another age and another people. It involves penetration into the very heart of both cultures the biblical one and the one into which the translation is to be made. Unless the ‘inner language’ of the culture is grasped, the translation will be at best ineffective and at worst positively misleading.

It would seem that the message of the Bible has not penetrated the ‘inner language’ of most Asian cultures, or of the Christian living in those cultures. This can be illustrated by an analysis of the process of biblical assimilation in one prominent Asian language, Telugu. For the purpose of this analysis, nine key components of ‘inner language’ have been examined. In language as a daily medium of expression, jive of these components are: concepts; syntax; metaphors; literary styles; and interpretations of experience. These find expression in the remaining four components, which are the literary units by which the experience is expressed and transmitted: proverbs; stories; songs; and prayers.

By contrast, when a translation uses terms that are not in normal use, or even a language that has not been perfectly assimilated (such as English), there will be serious lack of understanding even when the texts have been learned by heart.

The purpose of Father Wijngaards’ paper is to illustrate the need for three degrees of ‘translation’ in biblical work: good linguistic translation; cultural translation into the ‘inner language’; and cultural assimilation.                                                                                      J.R.

 

Asia is culturally a large conglomerate. Its 1,900 million inhabitants populate 45 political states and may be further subdivided into more than eight hundred significant language groups. To date the Bible has, either partly or totally, been translated into 425 languages and dialects.’ Since each of the major language groups possesses its own biblical history and holds out its distinct promise for the biblical apostolate, it is clear that an adequate report on ‘Bible work in Asia’ would require an encyclopaedic amount of information and the experience of a world-wide team to evaluate it. General surveys, with figures, dates and statistics, even if they could be compiled, would hardly do justice to the living reality they are supposed to represent.

It seems to me that the problems and possibilities of Bible work in Asia will be illustrated more effectively and more truthfully in an evaluation of Bible work within one selected language area. The exactness of detail, the depth of the research, the reliability of the conclusions arrived at will more than compensate for the lack of overall statistics. The insights gained will to a great extent apply to other Asian language groups. The apostolic priorities discovered will have their values for those engaged in Bible work elsewhere too.2 The language selected for the purpose is Telugu in Central India. One reason for this choice is my own familiarity with the Telugu cultural situation, which facilitated research and evaluation. The selection is also justified on less opportunistic grounds. With 41 million people who speak it, Telugu ranks as the tenth largest language group in Asia, and the third largest in India. The Christian evangelization of the Telugus began as long as three centuries ago and has resulted in communities totalling over two million adherents. The Telugus possess distinct cultural customs, treasure the record of an independent history and are the proud heirs to a rich literary tradition. Analysing the situation in the apostolate among the Telugus will help us realize the challenge of Bible work in Asia as a whole.

THE BIBLE AND INNER LANGUAGE

The concept of ‘inner language’

There was a time when anthropologists catalogued men according to physique, location or race. It is now generally acknowledged that language has greater importance than race.3 Whoever begins to speak his mother tongue imbibes with it a whole world of cultural legacies, of philosophical and religious values and of ready-made symbols. It is language that forms and predisposes the mind in a particular way.4 Each language presents a world of its own. Languages interpret and order human experience with such a degree of uniqueness and disagreement that they form worlds of thought that are ‘almost mutually impenetrable’. 5

Certain sections of our total language field fall outside our innermost world of thought. These sections include: a second language which has been only partially assimilated; words and constructions one understands but never uses spontaneously; and texts that have been learned by heart but not digested or integrated. For clarity’s sake I will call these sections ‘outer language’, signifying that they are not included within that compass of language that is co-extensive with one’s culture and world outlook. ‘Inner language’, on the other hand, is the sum total of thoughts and principles that make a person what he is. ‘Inner language’ expresses the culture one has assimilated. It is ‘inner language’ that produces creative thought and that can be identified with the intellectual make-up of a personality.6

The Bible will only then have achieved its aim when it has penetrated into the ‘inner language’ of a person or a culture. The more different this ‘inner language’ is from the language of the Bible, the harder it will be for the biblical message to be truly assimilated. It is my conviction that we here touch on the real challenge before the biblical apostolate in Asia. It is a well-established fact that the masses of India ‘have hardly changed since the end of the Neolithic Age’. They have proved exceptionally tenacious in preserving their ‘inner language’: ‘no intellectual or cultural activity has been able to transform either the outlook or the habits of living of the masses.’7 Also Christianity as a whole has not left an appreciable impact on the convictions of the masses.8 The Christian body is looked upon as a westernized group, a remnant of spiritual colonialism, about which an authoritative critic of the Indian scene confidently affirms that it will disappear as ‘an inferior caste in Hindu society’.9 Apparently the Church has failed to make the biblical message enter into the ‘inner language’ of the majority of men. And yet, it is on this that the ultimate success or failure of the apostolate will depend.

To analyse in more detail the elements that make up the ‘inner language’ of a person and to evaluate the extent to which it could and should be penetrated by biblical values,10 nine components of ‘inner language’ can be observed and measured with a certain degree of accuracy. They are: (1) linguistic structure (semantics; syntaxis; logotaxis); (2) terms and concepts; (3) metaphors; (4) literary styles; (5) interpretation of experience; (6) proverbs; (7) prayers; (8) stories; and (9) songs. The first five belong to language as the daily medium of expression. The final group of four contains ready-made literary units that have been totally assimilated. I set myself the task of collecting precise data regarding these components in the Telugu language area, and of evaluating the progress of the biblical apostolate accordingly.

  1. Linguistic structure

By linguistic structure I mean those elements of language that make up its building material: semantics (the meaning of words), logotaxis (the way words are grouped), grammar (the relation of nouns, verbs and other parts of speech) and syntaxis (constructions). It seems obvious that the Bible message will not be understandable to people and will certainly not be readily assimilated by them if it does not conform to the linguistic requirements of the language.

The Bible translations in Telugu have failed to meet this minimum demand. A test on both the Roman Catholic and the Bible Society standard New Testament translations established the following serious shortcomings:

  • an average sentence length almost twice that of ordinary Telugu;
  • an unusual proportion of verbs, nouns and pronouns;
  • far too high a percentage of passive verbs, of conjunctives, and of introductory quotation formulas;
  • serious deviations from the normal pattern of sentence construction (see Appendix, p. 170).

Small wonder that the Bible has acquired a reputation of having been written in very poor Telugu. Half-intelligible westernized language is commonly referred to as ‘Bible Telugu’ among educated Hindus. ‘I wanted to read the Bible, but looking at one page was enough for me,’ characterizes the honest reaction of many Hindu enquirers. Recently a beginning has been made with a Roman Catholic version that seeks to remedy this situation. The good reception of St Matthew’s Gospel in this version illustrates the crying need for a truly ‘Telugu’ Telugu Bible.11

  1. Terms and concepts

When the Christian message is translated into a language culture, much depends on the adoption of accurate and felicitous terms. The problem is an old one. The Christian community in early Rome struggled with it; in some cases it adopted Latin terms and gave them a new meaning (sacramentum; ministerium); in many other cases it stressed the uniqueness of Christian concepts by introducing Greek terms (eucharistia; baptisma; presbyter).12 When the vernacular was replacing church Latin, English authors often explained vernacularized loan-words by joining an authentic English word after them.13 The analysis of Christian terminology in the Bantu languages of East Africa has helped to highlight the problems that face evangelizers everywhere: to what extent should indigenous words be retained? when are loan-words to be preferred? how to ensure uniformity of terminology’?14

There is general recognition of the fact that Christian terminology in Telugu badly needs to be revised. Investigation of the terminology used in the three most widely used texts of instruction: a Bible history for the primary school; the handbook for catechists; and a textbook for high school students, shows that the situation is highly unsatisfactory. Restricting oneself to the sections dealing with original sin,15 one encounters at least twenty-one terms that seem problematic. Many terms are triple or quadruple compound words of Sanskrit origin and therefore difficult for people to learn or remember (e.g., grace: devavaraprasddamu: original justice: parishudhdhamunubhagyamainasthiti). Many terms suggest a mistaken meaning (e.g., the word for ‘sacrament’, devadravyanumdnamu, has proved to convey to many ‘suspicion’ (anumanamu) of ‘God’s treasure’ (devadravyamu).

Unnecessary difficulties arise from the insistence on scholastic distinctions that cannot be understood by people and that have little theological relevance. The words used for ‘will’ and ‘intellect’ are synonymous in Telugu. The distinction between actual and habitual grace requires major terminological acrobatics. Another source of embarrassment is the apparent disregard of the normal semantic connotations of Telugu religious terms. For man’s ‘love’ of God, Christians use a term normally employed for love between husband and wife, or a mother and her children. Moksham means a state of bliss, but Christians speak of it as a place where one can meet people and which one enters by a gate.

Various attempts have been made to promote the proper development of Christian terminology in Telugu.16 In Catholic circles a process of revision was set in motion by the new translation of biblical and liturgical texts, and the preparation of new catechetical handbooks. There is a great need for a well planned and coordinated approach.

  1. Metaphors

Human utterances are always made within a concrete situation, in a context that embraces many factors and that has been called its ‘comparison-field’. In human thinking, metaphors taken from this comparison-field play a decisive role.17 A person who is forced to think in metaphors that are foreign to his own ‘inner language’, will not be able to digest or assimilate the thought fully.

The metaphors of biblical thinking are far removed from those common in Telugu. Animals, for example, have been given distinct characters in Telugu literature, notably in the stories of the PanchaTantra. The wit and wisdom of daily life has added its own verdict on animals and the lessons we can draw from some. Comparison with the function of animal metaphors in the Gospels and ordinary Telugu thought, bears out the following result:

Many animals that occupy an important place in Telugu metaphorical thinking do not occur at all in the gospel message: (in order of importance) the bull; the elephant; the cow; the monkey; the cat; the tiger; the crow; the buffalo; and so on.

Many animals have a different metaphorical function. In Telugu thinking the sheep is not an animal to be pitied, loved and cared for, but the symbol of unthinking, stupid, ‘herd’ behaviour. The situation cannot be remedied by substituting known animals for unknown ones in particular Bible texts, or by footnotes to the text.18 Unless an attempt is made to rethink the Bible message in genuinely Telugu metaphors, it will not become part of Telugu ‘inner language’.

Closely related to thinking in metaphors is the field of liturgical symbols and liturgical art. It is deplorable that both art and liturgy are dominated to a great extent by important Western traditions. Efforts to introduce indigenous forms of art and worship meet with strong resistance from the older Christian communities.

  1. Literary styles

The Bible as a whole is greatly misunderstood by people in India because of their lack of familiarity with its literary styles. The literalist interpretation of all Scripture passages is adhered to by over eighty per cent of the priests and religious and by almost a hundred per cent of the laity. The six-day creation account and evolution, for instance, are thought irreconcilable.19 This situation is due to the fact that up-to-date scriptural views have not as yet been incorporated into the bulk of vernacular writing or teaching on Scripture. The midrashim, aetiologies, tribal traditions, and primitive morality of the Old Testament narrative cause much questioning and anxiety.

The Telugu language has its own literary styles. About some of these we will be speaking in the section on stories (cf. section 8 below). It may be useful to illustrate how the parables of Christ could be transferred into a genuine Indian literary form. The PanchaTantra, and other instructive books of the same genre, employ a form of story that is known as neeti kadha, i.e., ‘story with a moral’. These stories contain four elements: a samita or proverb that summarizes the lesson; the upamdnam or story; the slokam or poetic expression of the lesson; and the neeti, i.e., the application. A recent attempt to present fourteen parables of Christ in the form of neeti kadhalu proved highly successful.20

  1. Interpretation of experience

It has been said that culture may be compared to a floating iceberg of which only the top can be seen and of which 90 per cent remains under water.21 One all-pervading element which normally remains invisible, but which determines the meaning of words and events, is the commonly accepted interpretation of experience. This interpretation is made up of: norms by which persons and things are judged; expectations and aims; the values attributed to situations or events. It is a matter difficult to define, as it belongs to the implicit and subconscious realms of thinking. One can only understand this cultural interpretation of experience by making the culture in question one’s own, by ‘internalizing’ that culture. 22

Examined from this point of view, the Bible presents great problems of interpretation. Practically every single page provokes the Indian reader to doubts and queries. The parable of the marriage feast (Mat 22:1-14) gives rise to at least eleven well-founded questions:

Who are those who received the first invitation? Why is it not said that they are the king’s relatives and friends who are normally invited to marriages?

How could the king commit the impoliteness of sending a verbal invitation through his servants?

Why are they invited to the meal and not to the marriage ceremony? The Telugu invitation formula says, ‘Please, me to impose hands on the bride and bridegroom and ‘hare with us sandalwood, flowers and betelnut’.

Why are the bride and bridegroom not mentioned at all in the parable?

Why this crude mention of the bulls and cows that have been slaughtered? The cow is a sacred animal and the bull such a dear friend that it is buried after death and never eaten.

Why should the readiness of the meal be adduced as a reason for hurry? It would be understandable if the king were to be worried about the passing of the astrologically correct time for the marriage rite.

How can the king take revenge in such a barbaric and naive way, viz. by killing those who refused to accept his invitation?

Why does one have to imagine the guests ‘lying at table’, instead of sitting in rows on the floor as is the Indian custom?

How could the king be so ungracious as to become angry with one of the guests? And, for that matter, what is a ‘wedding garment’?

Why does the king not content himself with a simple removal of the guest from the festive hall? Why this peculiar treatment of ‘binding his hands and feet’ and ‘throwing him into outer darkness’?

From examples such as this one, which could be multiplied indefinitely, it is clear that the Bible message will only become part of Telugu ‘inner language’, if either the biblical culture is totally assimilated, or the message culturally transformed. As the first alternative will only prove possible for a very small number, i.e., only for Christians and among Christians only for those who can be thoroughly instructed, the second alternative will need to be followed.

  1. Proverbs

A proverb has been called ‘the wit of one person, but the wisdom of many’. Proverbs are brief, rhythmic or melodious expressions of generally accepted values. For the Telugus, proverbs contain principles and determine deep-seated convictions of one’s ‘inner language’. An appropriate proverb illustrates a point or even settles an argument.

Hindu religious belief has been firmly anchored in many proverbs. The biblical message cannot coexist with a continued acceptance of quite a few of them, and vice versa, their continued acceptance illustrates that the biblical message has not been properly assimilated. One may take as an example the Hindu concept of woman. The Manusamhita teaches that a woman should always be subject to a man: first to her father, then to her husband, finally to her son. Women cannot pray or sacrifice independently. Their redemption consists solely in faithful servitude towards their husbands. Women are by nature fickle, greedy, unreliable and unfaithful. They should be kept at home and under control.23 This is still the generally accepted persuasion of Hindus all over India, in spite of the efforts of the Government and enlightened circles to bring about a change.24

Among a well-known collection of 8,500 Telugu proverb25 more than a hundred express judgements about women that are contrary to Christian teaching and sentiment. More disconcerting is the fact that 29 of them could be identified as commonly used even in our Christian communities. Some samples will speak for themselves:

A boy that is born is like gold; a girl, dust on the road.

Even if the child dies in birth, it is better if it is a boy.

A woman’s assurance is a parcel of water.

Even if she is the maharaja’s daughter, she’ll be subject to her husband.

A woman is spoiled if she leaves the house; a man if he stays at home.

Leadership by a woman is like sacrifice offered by the sacristan.

Within her threshold she remains a woman; outside she is a donkey.

It is better to be born a shrub in the desert than to be born a woman.

The use of such proverbs clearly constitutes an enormous barrier to the acceptance of Christian values. On the other hand, a fully matured Christian ‘inner language’ should contain truly Christian Telugu proverbs.26

  1. Prayers

Spontaneous prayers and prayers that have been thoroughly assimilated form another component of ‘inner language’. Telugu culture possesses very few original prayers or prayer forms. Orthodox Brahmins recite their daily prayers in Sanskrit, many without properly understanding their meaning. For the ordinary man Hindu religion has little more to offer than a few stereotype invocations and half a dozen prayerful poetic stanzas. ‘Teach me how to pray’, is one of the most frequent requests on the part of Hindu enquirers.27

Analysing the practice of prayer among Catholics, one might characterize it as strongly devotional, hardly biblical and constantly in danger of becoming formalistic. Knowledge of the Our Father, Hail Mary and Apostles’ Creed is insisted on as a minimum requirement for admission to adult baptism, first communion or marriage. Frequently the correct memorization is stressed at the expense of teaching genuine Christian prayer habits. Better instructed Catholics make use of a 290-page Telugu prayerbook, which contains morning and evening prayers, the new Mass, prayers of preparation for communion and confession, the way of the cross, 80 pages of hymns, and 48 pages of prayers and litanies in honour of the saints.28 Enquiries among college and high school students, and other data, justify the conclusion that of every three Catholics who possess the prayer- book, only one possesses the New Testament.29 Practising Catholics certainly lead a devout prayer-life; but it does not include regular Bible reading, biblical devotions or spontaneous prayer in response to biblical texts.30 The new liturgical revival may herald a new future in this respect.

  1. Stories

Ancient Indian literature was a paradise of fables and popular tales. Thirteen Sanskrit tale ‘cycles are known with a wealth of over six hundred distinct stories.31 The stories brim over with Indian humour, zest and wisdom. The epic histories of the Ramayana and the MahaBharata add another 120,000 stanzas of war stories, romances and animal tales. The 36 Major and Minor Puranas contain an unbelievable mass of myths, legends and epic histories (adding up to 400,000 verses). Much of this material was translated into Telugu. Instruction on Hindu beliefs is communicated almost exclusively by a recounting of and commentary on these epics and stories. Five forms are still in common practice:

 

Harikatha:  A Brahmin recites the exploits of a god or a hero, interrupting the ancient text for commentaries and practical applications;

Puranakalakshepam:   Reading from the Puranas by a leader who adds an occasional word of explanation;

Kathakalakshepam:   The simple narration of ancient stories;

Burakatha:   A team of three singers recounts a traditional story, making use of dialogue, enacted scenes, dances and the accompaniment of drums;

Bhajana:   A singer recites a story, accompanying himself on an instrument and making his audience repeat well- chosen refrains.

To these ancient forms must be added modern printed versions and representations in films.

Successful use has been made of some of these traditional means to communicate the biblical message.32 However, it is significant that Catholic children, when asked to tell stories, will frequently draw from Hindu sources rather than from Christian or biblical ones.33 I have observed children re-narrate lengthy and complicated traditional stories after having heard them only once; they did not seem capable of doing the same regarding the biblical stories. It is obvious that the cultural difference must be seen as the major cause of the discrepancy.

  1. Songs

Songs, whether in Karnatic or Hindustani music, have traditionally been used to express deep feelings in drama and community celebrations. Today no Telugu film is produced that does not contain half a dozen new songs elaborating the theme of the film. Songs do very much belong to the ‘inner language’ of the Telugu.

It is a pleasure to note how the Protestant communities have made much of the potentiality of songs for assimilating the biblical message. The common songbook lists 626 Telugu Christian hymns.34 With the help of some friends I was able to ascertain that congregations in central parishes know as many as 228 songs, and in outstations 135. In contents the songs contain the whole spectrum of the Gospels. Of the 250 songs that are most popular, as many as 68 sing , about Christ, his Passion (21), birth (17), divinity (13), love (l0), etc. Other major sections include: aspects of Christian living (57), praise of God (32), and Gospel themes (26). All through the spirit and the words breathe the Scriptures. The only drawback may possibly be the fact that a good number of tunes do no longer appeal to modern youth.

By contrast the Catholic community gives a less encouraging picture. Research among 25 main parishes and ten outstations from all seven Telugu-speaking dioceses revealed that until 1969 the average congregation of the central parish knew only 68 hymns, in the outstations 44. A breakdown of the hymns in use till then (mostly the 117 of the prayerbook mentioned before28), reveals that the largest group is formed by hymns in honour of the Blessed Virgin (37). Thirty-three songs are in praise of Christ: general (14), birth (10), Passion (6), Resurrection (2) and Advent (1). The other songs refer to communion (10), saints (8), and other topics. In general the hymns are devotional and only biblical in an extended sense.

The need for more and better songs was well illustrated by the response to a new songbook in May 1969.35 Within one year the booklet saw three reprints. After two years of circulation the average parish had learned 38 of its 68 new songs; the average outstation 29. Also in contents the songs show a great improvement: the themes are worship, offertory, praise, and thanksgiving. However, it is still a long way removed from what Christian songs should do to make the Bible part of one’s ‘inner language’.

Evaluation

Analysing the nine observable components of ‘ inner language’ leads us to one overall conclusion: the Bible is still very much a foreign book. In spite of the tremendous apostolic efforts in the past, it has not been sufficiently assimilated by our Telugu Christians, even less so by our Telugu Catholics.36 In the form it is presented in now the Bible message can hardly expect to find an eager hearing and a willing heart with Hindu enquirers.

REQUIRED: A THREEFOLD TRANSFORMATION

Time and space do not permit more than a programmatic outline of what needs to be done:

(a)     Production and distribution of the Bible in good versions

There should be a translation of sacred Scripture in every vernacular. This version should be of very high linguistic and stylistic qualities. Bibles should be made available at low cost, with a target of introducing a copy of the Scriptures into every Christian family. Where possible, this work should be done in cooperation with other Christian Bible Societies.

(b)     Cultural translation of the Bible

Thorough Scripture courses should be given to priests, religious, teachers of religion and catechists in the vernaculars.37 There is a crying need for Scripture commentaries, biblical textbooks and aidbooks in the vernaculars.38

(c)     Cultural assimilation of the Bible

To ensure that the Bible message can become part of the ‘inner language’ of the people, three fields of the apostolate would need to be strengthened. The forms of vernacular liturgy need to be strongly developed with special attention to prayer-life and signing. Every form of Christian literature needs to be encouraged. There should be a planned language catechesis for children in each vernacular.39

 

The planning and execution of such programmes will require the allocation of more personnel and more funds to the biblical apostolate. Bible work in Asia has hardly begun: it now has to conquer the vernaculars.

with special attention to prayer-life and singing. Every form of Christian literature needs to be encouraged. There should be a planned language catechesis for children in each vernacular.”

Appendix:  A comparison of the linguistic structure of the ordinary Telugu and the Telugu of Bible translations.

I

Ordinary good Telugu

II

Bible Society New Testament Translation

III

RC former New Testament Translation

IV

RC New Translation

Average number of words per sentence 7 13 11 8
Proportion of nouns/verbs/pronouns 8/4/1 7/3/2 5/5/2 8/5/1½
Proportion of conjunctives on sentences 1/10 – 1/60 1/3 1/3 1/15
Proportion of passives on every 100 active verbal forms 2/100 12/100 2/100 2/100
Proportion of opening quotation formulas on every 100 closing quotation formulas 1½/100 5/100 20/100 1/100
Proportion of opening clauses on every 100 sentences 12/100 12/100 10/100 7/100
Proportion of participle forms on every 100 verbal forms 25/100 34/100 20/100 26/100

The sources

  1. The standard Bible Society version.
  2. Calculated from standard good novels (Ekavira by V. Satyanarayana ; Vasumathi Vasanthamu by V. Parvatheswarakavula) and good magazine articles.
  3. The standard RC version, translated by Fr Thomas, printed at Nellore.
  4. The new Gospel according to St Matthew, Guntur, 1970.

Evaluation

The figures given above are based on a limited selection of samples. The validity of the comparison is weakened to some extent by the fact that no account has been taken of the difference that may come about by variety in subject matter and literary form. Besides, it has not been sufficiently determined to what extent the individual style of an author may imply linguistic differences.

However, the comparison suffices to show why the standard Bible Society and RC versions are felt as ‘foreign Telugu’ by the ordinary Telugu reader.

NOTES

  1. These figures represent a minimum based on deductions from relevant publications (e.g., The Gospel in Many Tongues, BFBS, London, 1965).
  2. I submitted the draft of this paper to Rev. C. Arangaden, Translations Secretary of the Indian Bible Society, to Rev. S. Amalorpavadas, Director of the RC Indian Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, and to Rev. L. Legrand, Associate Director for the Biblical Centre. All expressed as their opinion that the position described for the Telugu language area seems to apply, in general terms, to the whole of India.
  3. K. Dittmer, Algemeine Volkerkunde, here Dutch tr. (Utrecht, 1962), 31.
  4. Luckmann, ‘The Social Forms of Religion’, in Religion und Gesellschaft, ed. J. Matthes (Hamburg, 1967), pp. 195-6.
  5. G. Mounin, Les problemes theoriques de la traduction (Paris, 1963), 68.
  6. I am aware that I am departing from standard linguistic terminology here. However, the concept of ‘inner language’ itself is implied in many linguistic handbooks. cf. L. Bloomfield, Language (New York, 1933), 42-56; E. Sapir, Language (New York, 1921), pp. 207-31.
  7. C. Chaudhuri, The Intellectual in India (New Delhi, 1967), pp. 27-8.
  8. This does not apply to some regions of long-standing Christian traditions, such as Kerala, Goa and Mangalore. Recently my attention was drawn to the fact that the age-long presence of a distinct Christian community in Kerala has actually resulted in Some characteristic Malayan vocabulary, even regarding secular topics.
  9. C. Chaudhuri, The Continent of Circe (Bombay, 1967), p.335.
  10. E. A. Nida, Bible Translating (London, 1947); I. A. Richards, ‘Toward a Theory of Translating’, in Studies in Chinese Thought, ed. A. F. Wright (Chicago, 1953), pp. 248-54.
  11. The translation was drafted and corrected with the help of a well-known Telugu author, Sri Kondaveeti Venkata Kavi. The version was praised by accepted literary critics such as Mahak- avi Gadiyaram Venkata Seshaiah Sastry, Bhoyi Bheemanna, D. N. Narayana Reddy, and Y. Srinivasa Rao.
  12. Klauser, ‘Der Ubergang der romischen Kirche von der griechischen zur lateinischen Liturgiesprache’: Miscellanea G. Mercati (Vatican City, 1946), pp. 467-82; Ch. Mohrmann, ‘Les origines de la Latinite chretienne a Rome’: Vigiliae Christianae 3 (1949), pp. 67-106, 163-83; ‘Linguistic Problems in the Early Christian Church’: Vigiliae Christianae 11 (1957), pp. 11-36; Liturgical Latin, its Origin and Character (London, 1959). .
  13. Kellner, ‘Abwechselung und Tautologie: zwei Eigentum- lichkeiten des alt- und mittelenglischen Stiles’: Englische Studien 20 (1895), pp. 1-21; cf. C. H. Kuipers, Quentin Ken- nedy (1520-1564): Two Eucharistic Tracts (Nijmegen, 1964), p.99.
  14. W. Buhlmann, Die Christliche Terminologie als Missions- methodisches Problem (Schoneck, 1950), esp. pp. 375-401.
  15. The passages in question can be found in: Purvaveda Charitra Sanksepam (Bible history) (Nellore, 1947), pp. 6-8; Sathyo- padesha Vyakhyanamu (Catechist manual) (Nellore, 1950), pp. 124-9; Vedantamu (textbook), by Fr Chinnappa (Guntur, 1968), pp. 113-20
  16. Especially helpful are: S. M. Hooper, Greek New Testament Terms in Indian Languages (BSI, Bangalore, 1957); A. B. Masi larnani, A Telugu Theological Glossary (Protestant; 1,500 terms) (Secunderabad, 1965); U. Chinnappa, ‘Catholic Theological Wordlist’ (478; not completed), Bharata Mitram, April-June issues, 1966.
  17. A. Richards, ‘Toward a Theory of Translating’, ibid. (see note 10).
  18. However necessary such action may be in Bible translation itself, cf. E. A. Nida, Bible Translating (London, 1947), pp. t62-5.
  19. This estimate is based on seven years’ experience of giving scriptural courses in many parts of India.
  20. Neetikadhavali, by Sanivarapu SleevaReddy (Secunderabad, 1970).
  21. J. Herkovits, ‘On Cultural and Psychological Reality’, in Social Psychology at the Crossroads by J. H. Rohur and M. Sherif (ed. 1951), p. 153.
  22. A. A. van Doorn and G. J. Lammers, Moderne Sociologie (Utrecht, 1962), pp. 91-2, 218-19.
  23. ‘The faithful wife must constantly worship her husband as a god, even if he be destitute of character or seeking pleasure else- where or is devoid of good qualities …. Women have no sacrifices or fasts ordained for them. Neither are they called upon to perform the To serve and worship their husbands with respect and obedience is their only duty. By the fulfilment of that duty alone they attain heaven …. A woman should never think of independence from her father, her husband or her sons …. When creating women, God allotted to them love of their bed, seat and ornaments, passion, anger, dishonesty, malice and bad conduct …. Woman was created for seducing man and hence there is nothing more detestable than woman.’ Manusamhita, V, nos. 154, 156, 184-9 (ed. Nirnayasgar Press, 1933); cf. K. M. Kapadia, Marriage and Family in India (Bombay, 1966), pp. 255-72.
  24. Cormack, The Hindu Woman (New Delhi, 1961). Rakshan Saran, ‘The Status of Women’: Encyclopaedia of Social Work in India (Government Publication, Vol. n, New Delhi, 1970), pp. 366-75.
  25. Satyanarayana, Telugu Sametalu (Hyderabad, 1965).
  26. Satyanarayana’s collection contains two proverbs that have their roots in the gospel: ‘Your left hand should not know the charitable gift your right hand is distributing’, and ‘Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather’. Such proverbs entered the language through English literature (so Satyanarayana, p. 31). Dr Prabhakar Machwe reports a similar occurrence of stray gospel phrases in Hindi which he too ascribes to the influence of English writings, cf. ‘The Influence of the Bible on Hindi Language and Literature’, in the Silver Jubilee Souvenir of the Bible Society of India (Bangalore, 1967), pp. 6-9.
  27. Annual Report of the Catholic Information Centre (A.P.) (Secunderabad, 1969), p. 15.
  28. Mokshapuvtikili (Nellore, 1st ed. 1940).
  29. One reason for this may be the difference in price. M6k- shapuvdkili costs only Rs. 1,25; the present Catholic New Testament, Rs. 6,00.
  30. The practice of Bible reading and true biblical prayer has decidedly taken deeper roots in other Christian communities. 31. K. Chaitanya, A New History of Sanskrit Literature (Bombay, 1962), pp. 360-75.
  31. To my knowledge approximately sixteen Christian burakathas have appeared in print, and quite a few Christian burakatha teams give performances in the villages during the summer season. The burakatha team of the Catholic Information Centre reached a total audience of over 120,000 in one year (Annual Report for 1970, p. 18).
  32. I had no means of verifying the same among Protestants.
  33. Andhra Kraystava Keertanalu (Madras, 1970 – new arrangement).
  34. Archana Geetika (Nuzwidu, 1969).
  35. Starting from a catechetical point of view, D. A. D’Abreo came to a similar evaluation in 1965. Scanning the condition prevalent among priests, religious, catechists, and teachers of religion he notes ‘a deplorable situation: the lack of biblical knowledge and unfamiliarity with the Sacred Scriptures on all levels’, cf. ‘The Biblical Apostolate in India’: Teaching All Nations 2 (1965), pp. 295-302.
  36. Until recently practically all qualified Bible professors were teaching exclusively in English, in the seminaries, pastoral institutes, during re-orientation courses, etc. This has helped create barriers both within language groups (the well-instructed English speakers versus the traditional-minded vernacular speakers) and also within individuals (who frequently could not transfer their ‘enlightened English formation’ into the ver- nacular ministry).
  37. In the Telugu language area the Protestants produced a T: lugu Bible Dictionary (Madras, Ist 1897), brief commentaries on individual books (from 1924 onwards) and general works on Scripture. There is no Catholic literature of this kind at all, except for two small booklets produced three years ago, und a twenty-lesson course on the Gospels that is in preparation. This seems to present more or less the situation all over India,
  38. This language catechesis consists in gradually introducing biblical concepts and realities, in response to the needs of the children at their particular age. cf. H. Lubienska de Lenval, Kinder Leben aus der Bibel (Vienna, 1958); M. O. Knechtle, Glaubensvertiefung durch das Symbol (Freiburg, 1963).