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Bible Japanese Webpage

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Bible Japanese Webpage

Postby berean_315 » Wed 02.15.2012 7:52 am


This is not a post to start a religious discussion, so if this does not interest you please ignore.

I have been trying to read the Bible in Japanese to help learn the language. If you've read the Bible before you are already familiar with what's written in it which helps in reading it in Japanese. This could be said for other books as well.

I have a webpage called "Bible Japanese" with the Gospel of John online in English/Japanese + furigana. There's also some language learning programs & apps on the home page as well as a separate page with Japanese language learning links I've compiled. A number of the links are probably outdated, and I'll update them in the near future. I've also started a Bible Japanese YouTube page where I will be posting videos reading through verses from various books of the Bible, translating them and breaking down the grammar. See below for links to the webpage and YouTube site.


The YouTube page has two videos so far:

(1) Using the Rikaichan plugin to read Japanese webpages
(2) Intro to the Bible Japanese page

If you're interested check them out.


Gerald 8)
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Re: Bible Japanese Webpage

Postby phreadom » Wed 02.15.2012 4:28 pm

So long as people understand that the language being used isn't something that's going to be useful to them in a day to day setting.

It's no problem to post about learning this kind of Japanese, as long as people don't get the impression that this is a good way to learn useful day to day Japanese.

This is specifically archaic language used both because the source material is the written records of middle eastern beliefs/traditions from thousands of years ago which includes many words for concepts that are rather unique to the Abrahamic religions and simply don't exist in modern secular society ( http://www.biblejapanese.com/terms.html being a good example of this very point), and because people want to keep it sounding that way in part to try to stay as close to the source material as possible for "accuracy", and more so because it gives it an esoteric feel that makes it feel "special". So this is only going to really be useful to people that are specifically interested in archaic formal Japanese, or specifically in trying to evangelize Christianity in Japan.

Which brings us to our second point. There is a rule against discussing religion on TJP due in part to the fact that we have such diverse beliefs and a very large number of non-religious people and even people who are offended by religion and the idea of spreading Christianity to Japan. So while discussing the language here from an academic language learning standpoint is fine and within the rules, any hint of proselytizing will be removed and the thread locked.

So let's please keep this on-topic. :bow:

(PS: there's a typo on your website: You have "Click Here to take you to the Bible Japanese YouTube page" for both the YouTube AND the Facebook link. The one for Facebook should be changed to say "Click Here to take you to the Bible Japanese Facebook page". :)

Also, your link to your youtube videos just pulled up a blank page for me? But http://www.youtube.com/user/biblejapanese/ works.)
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Re: Bible Japanese Webpage

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 02.15.2012 10:13 pm

Actually the language isn't archaic; recent translations of the Bible are done into modern language.

The worst thing you can say against it is that the translations tend to be very literal -- they stick to Western language word order as much as possible and insert subjects and objects even when they wouldn't be normally used. The result is fairly unnatural Japanese. So I guess I tend to agree with Phreadom that studying the Bible in Japanese is mostly useful if you are going to be doing things related to Christianity in Japan. If you're just thinking "Hey, I'm Christian and have read the Bible, so this would be a good way to learn", there are better resources out there.
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Re: Bible Japanese Webpage

Postby berean_315 » Thu 02.16.2012 9:58 pm

There are a couple of fairly recent translations as Yudan Taiteki mentioned that are done in modern language and are not archaic. The 新共同訳 (Shinkyoudoyaku) and 新改訳 (Shinkaiyaku) I believe are the most popular Japanese Bibles used in Japan. The 口話訳 (Kougoyaku) is an older translation from the 1950's. I did a brief comparison of verses from several NT books and found the three translations mentioned above to be fairly similar. There is also a Living Bible version in Japanese that is modern, but I haven't really looked at it. There are some versions that were published around the turn of the century and before that I would say use archaic language, but doubt hardly anybody uses.

I'm predominantly using the Japanese Bible to practice reading/translating and not speaking. I agree there are better ways to learn speaking if that's what your focus is (mine isn't). I've studied Japanese off and on over the years and a key is to try and find what works for you and keeps your interest. Some people swear by the Heisig method and his materials. I tried them, but for whatever reason weren't for me. Everybody learns differently and this is working for me (along with my trusty iPod reader to peruse Japanese news sites). If a few others find it useful for them and keeps them interested and motivated in learning Japanese then that's great. If not, then find what works for you. There are numerous resources out there to pick from. This was the intent of my original post and not proselytizing. However I can see how someone may have become uneasy by it.

phreadom, thanks for the catches on the webpage, they've been fixed.

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Re: Bible Japanese Webpage

Postby baskerville » Fri 05.10.2013 8:21 am

I am loving the website already :)
But I think I am getting a problem viewing the "Shinkaiyaku & NIV translations". It gives me this error:

Not Found

The requested URL /pub/0153/index.htm was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
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Re: Bible Japanese Webpage

Postby Pork Chop » Fri 05.10.2013 2:35 pm

Not to hijack, but I thought I'd keep religiously-oriented language learning materials in the same thread.
I am curious if anyone has any recommendations for good Buddhism-related books written in contemporary Japanese?
My understanding is that most sutras are maintained in classical Chinese and/or medieval Japanese.
Something a little bit more vernacular or at least modern would be preferable.
Thanks in advance.
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