Da Jesus Book

In the recent influx of books I’ve received from my father-in-law, I came across one a couple of days ago that piqued my interest. It’s entitled Da Jesus Book and it’s actually a translation of the NT in the Hawaiin Pidjin dialect. I have read through a few select passages and find myself somewhat amused at the extremely slangy nature of the dialect. It’s made me laugh on more than a few verses, but not because I think it’s silly. Reading the introduction, the translators state just how important this translation is for those who speak this style of English. Evidently these speakers had trouble understanding modern translations (irony!) but were overjoyed having a translation in their tongue. I have enjoyed this NT and will try to read through more of it as time allows, but for now here are a few select passages to give you a taste of their speech.

John 1:1 – Da time everyting had start, had one Guy. “God’s Talk,” dass who him. Dat Guy an God, dey stay todedda, an da Guy stay God fo real kine.

John 3:16 – “God wen get so plenny love an aloha fo da peopo inside da world, dat he wen send me, his one an ony Boy, so dat everybody dat trus me no get cut off from God, but get da real kine life dat stay to da max foeva.”

John 11:43 – Afta he say dat, he talk real loud, “Lazarus, come outa dea!”

Jesus Guys/Acts 2:42 – Dey wen stick wit all da stuff da guys dat Jesus wen send wen teach dem. An dey all wen stay togedda, an eat togedda, an wen pray.

Da Letta From Paul Fo Da Rome Peopo/Romans 1:16 – I no shame notting bout da Good Kine Stuff From God. Dat stuff get plenny power from God, fo take peopo outa da bad kine stuff dey stay doing, wen dey trus him. Was da Jewish peopo dat wen find out bout um furst, an afta dem, all da odda peopos from diffren places too.

Romans 6:23 – Dis da deal: Wen you do da tings you not suppose to do, den you cut yoaself off from God. But gen one nodda deal dat God get fo you. He like give you someting dass plenny good–da real kine life dat stay to da max foeva. An you get dis wen you stay tight wit Jesus Christ, our Boss.

Fo Da Philippi Peopo/Philippians 2:6 – Jesus, he everytime stay jalike God. But no matta, He neva tink he gotta go hang on to dat.

There are so many well known passages that are quite interesting in this translation; perhaps I’ll post more in the near future.

Αυτω η δοξα,

Jason

8 thoughts on “Da Jesus Book

    1. Yes, for native speakers of Americanized English, I would say it would get annoying. Apparently those who thrive on this dialect found it to be a welcome translation.

      I perused your review of the Soul Infinity New Testament–yikes! I think that this is a little different in that it was translated because of a major shortcoming with more formal English as opposed to what seems to be mere slang that allowed its speakers to communicate on a deeper level. This dialect seems to be beyond mere slang–it’s a considerable retooling of English. In the front matter the translators stated that the speakers of Hawaiian Pidjin just didn’t grasp more formal, or perhaps even conversational, English. I guess in some sense it’s similar to using the language of inner-city folks.

  1. I’m curious, with regard to the rendering of John 1:1, “Da time everyting had start, had one Guy. “God’s Talk,” dass who him. Dat Guy an God, dey stay todedda, an da Guy stay God fo real kine,” how would you express this in modern English.

    Agape, Alan.

    1. Hi, Alan. I think most modern translations get it right. In my opinion, there aren’t very many ways to translate the Greek without becoming overly verbose.

      Looking at some of the more popular translations (ESV, HCSB, KJV, NAB, NASB95, NKJV, NLT, RSV, NRSV), they are all virtually identical.
      I especially like the NET’s rendering–“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God.” (emphasis mine)

  2. Dear Jason,

    Yes, as you must know, I am quite familiar with the ways in which many have opted to render this verse from the original Greek.

    Even so, what I was asking was in particular with respect to the way in which the “Da Jesus Book” the NT in the Hawaiin Pidjin dialect had rendered this verse.

    Again, my question is this: With regard to the rendering of John 1:1 within that work (as, “Da time everyting had start, had one Guy. “God’s Talk,” dass who him. Dat Guy an God, dey stay todedda, an da Guy stay God fo real kine”) how might this wording be expressed back into modern English?

    Agape, Alan.

    1. If you’re asking me how I might render the Pidjin dialect’s rendering of John 1:1 back into a modern American English, I’m not sure that I could. Prior to reading this NT I was unfamiliar with the dialect. I would base any rendering of this verse on the Greek text. If this doesn’t answer your question, I apologize!

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