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The Bible Translated into Gullah

from United Press International

St. Helena Island, S.C. - Descendants of slaves brought to the Sea Islands off South Carolina have helped translate the Bible into Gullah--the language of their ancestors.

The Los Angeles Times reported De Nyew Testament was unveiled in South Carolina last month at an annual festival to celebrate Gullah culture. The Gullah gospel was written by descendants of slaves under the direction of traveling missionaries. Gullah developed as a way for 17th-century slaves brought to the islands from West Africa to communicate with one another. The islands were so isolated that Gullah never evolved toward standard English.

No more than 10,000 people speak Gullah as their primary language; most are elderly and isolated on the Sea Islands off the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

The newspaper said Gullah sounds a bit like the modern African-American vernacular known as Ebonics, but scholars say Gullah is a distinct language.


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