Frequently Asked Questions on the Pinoy Version NT
Anicia del Corro, Ph.D.
Philippine Bible Society
The Pinoy Version (PV) is a new translation of the Bible that tries to capture the most natural and contemporary way of speaking.
What is a heterogeneous language?
We, Filipinos, have reached a stage where, many times, the most natural way to speak is to use a heterogeneous language or a mixed language.
This means that instead of just one language, two are used in the translation. These are Filipino (Tagalog) and English. The popular name is Taglish.
Why Two Languages?
This is to retain the natural flow of thought when we speak. There are things easier expressed in English, while some are easier said in Filipino.
How is the PV different from other versions of the Bible?
Other translations use homogeneous language. The PV is very often a heterogeneous language translation. When one wants the contemporary way of speaking, it has to reflect the spoken form of the language so that it is easy to understand. The translation is rendered in the most natural way in its specific context.
Why is the PVNT a good translation?
The PVNT meets all the standards of a UBS Bible translation project: First, it is accurate, being faithful to its textual base, the UBS Greek NT 5th ed. Second, it has no doctrinal bias, and third, it is easy to understand because it chooses the most natural way of saying something.
Who started the Pinoy Version?
The Philippine Bible Society initiated the PVNT through its Translation Dept. (now Publishing Dept), after a thorough analysis of the linguistic situation prevailing in the National Capital Region especially.
Contemporary language but reverent, can they go together?
- Yes, they can go together.
- Usually, written language eventually becomes formal. One usually departs from the written form if one wants to be contemporary.
- Contemporary reflects the spoken form.
- The contemporary, spoken form is usually informal but it can be expressed in reverent language.
Informal but reverent language
Lumayo sya at nag-pray na nakadapa sa lupa, “Tatay, please, kung pwede lang po, wag ko sanang maranasan ang paghihirap na to. Pero hindi po ang gusto ko, kundi ang gusto nyo ang masunod.
Matthew 26:39, Pinoy Version
Lumayo siya nang kaunti, nagpatirapa siya at nanalangin, “Ama ko, kung maaari po, ilayo ninyo sa akin ang kopang ito ng paghihirap. Ngunit hindi po ang kalooban ko, kundi ang kalooban ninyo ang mangyari.”
Matthew 26:39, Magandang Balita Biblia
Why is the Pinoy Version easy to use?
- What is easy to say in Filipino is expressed in Filipino, and in English when it is easy in English
- Words in English not easily expressed in Filipino are expressed in English but the inflection or affixation follows the rules in Filipino.
Yung iba sa kanila, pumupunta sa mga bahay at binibiktima ang mga babaeng madaling mapaniwala. Ang mga babaeng ito ay nagi-guilty sa mga kasalanan nila at nakokontrol ng ibat-ibang pagnanasa,tina-try nilang matuto pero hindi nila maintindihan ang katotohanan.
2 Tim 3.6-7 Pinoy Version
Some examples of affixation following rules in Filipino:
2 Tim 3.17
2 Cor 1.19
2 Tim 2.12
1 Pet 3.15
- First, communicate the meaning. Then, choose the easiest way to say it, usually the shortest for the speaker.
- Easy, natural, contemporary, spoken
- The first was the shift of usage from English to Filipino from 1970’s to 1990. The major ferment of change was the political upheaval brought about by the Martial Law. In language, the shift was from English to Filipino.
- The second shift was spearheaded by the accelerated change brought about by technology from 1990-2005 resulting in the heterogeneous nature of language.
Why did PBS start such a version?
PBS believes that the language used in the Bible translation should be similar to the way people speak. That is what the Pinoy Version is trying to capture, the way people speak. It is more than being contemporary because it approximates the spoken form of the language, not the written form.
What led to PBS starting the Pinoy version?
Dr. Ricardo Jumawan, a former General Secretary of PBS initiated the idea by asking the Translation Dept. to further simplify the Magandang Balita Biblia. With my research and initial studies about heterogeneous language, the Translation Dept. organized the first Translation Workshop with the goal to form a translation team to translate the Gospel of Mark in 2007.
What are the consequences because PV tries to capture the spoken form?
- Pinoy is informal.
- Many words that have been shortened in speech are spelled in their contracted or shortened form.
- Pinoy uses the easiest choice, easy because they are the first to come to one’s memory such as English names, English numbers.
What the Pinoy version is not
- The Pinoy Version is not disrespectful to God, the divine author.
- It does not use vulgar language like natepok or words associated with gay language such as natsugi; or tabloid language such as niratrat, tinira, nakipagbakbakan.
Is the Pinoy NT a paraphrase?
- No, the Pinoy NT is not a paraphrase.
- By definition, a paraphrase is another way of expressing a meaning using different words, or a different arrangement of the words. Or it is called a restatement of the same meaning using other words. Going by this, it could refer to any kind of translation, formal and meaning-based included because when one does a formal translation, one has to use different words, and same is true for a dynamic translation.
- I think it is in the field of Bible translation that translators started to use the term paraphrase differently.
- The distinction is that in a paraphrase, the translator has exercised too much freedom to accommodate a need. For example, Kenneth Taylor admittedly said in the foreword of the Living Bible, that the Living Bible is a paraphrase.
- He was a committed Christian. Every night he led his family, wife and ten children in a Bible Study. He used the 1901 American Standard Version (ASV). To make the lesson understandable, he needed to make the 1901 ASV easier to understand. So, he sometimes had to modify the meaning of what was in the ASV, or made the meaning easy by adding examples. He admits that the Living Bible is a paraphrase. And since then, as far as I know, paraphrase seemed to be a bad word in Bible Translation.
- The Pinoy Version is a dynamic translation or a meaning-based translation of the New Testament. The PV does not change the meaning of the original text. Instead of a formal correspondent translation of the Greek text, the PV gives the meaning of the source text. This entails a departure from the form of the source text precisely because the PV is a meaning-based translation. But even the dynamic translation is a restatement of the meaning of the source text.
The term paraphrase, should be taken as a technical term in Bible Translation. It has developed a meaning that something has been added or subtracted from the original meaning of the text. Below are some examples of verses in the Living Bible and The Message.
Sample Bible translation rendering of Romans 1:17
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith;
Romans 1.17, RSV
For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end.
Romans 1.17, GNT
This Good News tells us that God makes us ready for heaven – makes us right in God’s sight – when we put our faith and trust in Christ to save us. (I consider the words in red as a paraphrase.)
Romans 1.17, Living Translation
Pinapakita kasi ng Magandang Balita kung paano tinatanggap ng Diyos ang tao dahil sa faith nila, at wala nang ibang paraan pa. Gaya ng sinasabi sa scripture, “Ang tinuring ng Diyos na matuwid dahil sa faith ay mabubuhay.” (footnote: o Ang tinuring ng Diyos na matuwid ay mabubuhay dahil sa faith nya.)
Romans 1.17, Pinoy Version
Sample Bible translation rendering of Matthew 6:13
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:13, RSV
Do not bring us to hard testing,
but keep us safe from the Evil One.
Matthew 6:13, GNT
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.
Matthew 6:13, The Message
At wag mong hayaang matukso kami. Pero iligtas mo kami sa Masama! [Dahil sayo ang kaharian, kapangyarihan, at papuri, magpakailanman! Amen.]’
Matthew 6.13, Pinoy Version
Pinagtripan Matthew 27.29
Tapos, gumawa ang mga sundalo ng korona na gawa sa matinik na sanga. Pinatong nila ito sa ulo nya. Tapos, kumuha sila ng stick at nilagay nila sa kanang kamay nya. Lumuhod sila sa harapan nya at pinagtripan sya. “Mabuhay ang Hari ng mga Jews!” sabi nila.
- Greek: ἐνέπαιξαν ridicule, make fun of, trick, deceive
- Revised Standard Version – mocked
- Good News Translation, Contemporary English Version – made fun of
- Magandang Balita Biblia – kinutya
- Pinoy Version – pinagtripan
- Pinagtripan is very appropriate. But some objected because it is associated with the activity of drug use.
- This may have been how the word started to be used, but in language, the etymology of a word fades out. The word develops its own contemporary meaning, unless there is a sustained intention to keep the association. I don’t think such exists for this word.