The Jamaican Patois translation of the New Testament of the Holy Bible had its official launch in London recently at the Jamaican High Commission.
General secretary of the Bible Society of the West Indies, the Reverend Courtney Stewart, told JIS news that the launch, held on October 9, was an acknowledgement of the strong ties between Jamaica and the United Kingdom (UK).
Rev Stewart, who is promoting the translation in the UK, said it was a bit like "colonisation in reverse". He noted that the Jamaican language came out of the country's British colonial experience, and that the Patois translation was done by Jamaicans for Jamaicans in "our own language".
"We have come of age. We are doing the launch (in the UK) because of the strong ties. Our relatives live here and the Jamaican community is quite strong. So we thought it was appropriate that in the 50th year since our political Independence, this was a most appropriate place to do the launch and to show that we have come of age and that we have a history and a language together," he said.
The promotions tour, which has seen Rev Stewart appearing on the BBC Radio, will include visits to Manchester, Bristol and Sheffield, as well as Brixton in London.
He said that the response has been very good and that it was wonderful to see the respect that is being shown to the Jamaican language.
An electronic audio version of the Bible is also to be launched in Jamaica on October 28 on iTunes, as well as mobile phone applications.
Director of the Bible Society in England and Wales, Pat Marks, speaking at the launch, said the audio edition is being produced by Faith Comes by Hearing, a global organisation based in the United States.
The launch was attended by members of the clergy from both the West Indian and British communities, during which Stewart presented Jamaican High Commissioner Aloun Assamba with a copy of Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testament.