First Sonaha New Testament

Bible Translation in Nepal


Sonaha is one of the marginalised ethnic groups living close to the Nepali/Indian border in south western Nepal. The first- ever Sonaha New Testament is close to completion, and the goal of this project is to finish the translation and distribute this precious book to each community member through churches and Christian organisations.

The Need

Nepali is the national language of Nepal but very few local Sonaha people speak Nepali. Their Sonaha language was officially recognised as a separate language in the 2011 census and it is believed that there are up to 20,000 Sonaha speakers in Nepal. Sonaha is taught at school but many of the children do not attend school due to their poverty and nomadic way of life.

This project is specifically addressing the needs of people living within an ethnic population of 14,700 near the town of Rajapur in this south western region. Nepal Bible Society (NBS) undertook a formal field visit and informal research on the Sonaha language use several years ago, discovering that the Sonaha people did not have any printed Scripture materials.

Four churches have been established among the Sonaha community with more people attending worship every week. Local pastors and leaders requested a New Testament translation in their mother tongue and they committed to send local translators to assist NBS complete this exciting project.

The New Testament has been undergoing a rigorous translation process by NBS with the support of the UBS Translation Consultants over the last few years, the project is ahead of schedule and now the first Sonaha New Testament is almost ready for printing.

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