Bible Translation Literacy Center which translated Lusuba Bible in Mfangano Island
Photo: Gilbert Busolo, 2016
The Suba language is classified as endangered in the UNESCO’s Red Book of Endangered Languages (2003). The language is on the verge of extinction as a result of assimilation and intermarriage with the Luo and influence of the people they interacted with along their migration routes. The Suba language is mainly spoken by the elderly and middle aged. Efforts have been made since 2004 to salvage the language through teaching adults and children, to enable the community to embrace and speak their language. This has been done by the Bible Translation and Literacy Center (BTL).
The Mfangano dialect was used to translate the New Testament (Endagano Empia) into Olusuba. The BTL project was led by Hon. Naphtaly Matta as the project coordinator with Boniface Musaswa as chief editor. The Bible was launched in 2011 and plans are underway to translate the Old Testament as well. BTL has also developed Suba language primers, a series of books for teaching, reading and writing for beginners and semi-literate learners. Other channels being used include radio programmes.
Source: www.UNESCO.org; Elimu Asilia workshop in April 2015 & BTL April 2016