Proclaiming the Way in Japanese: The 1909 Translation of the Book of Mormon

Title

Proclaiming the Way in Japanese: The 1909 Translation of the Book of Mormon

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication

2009

Authors

Takagi, Shinji (Primary)

Journal

Journal of Book of Mormon Studies

Pagination

18-37

Volume

18

Issue

2

Terms of use

Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.

Bibliographic Citation

Takagi, Shinji. "Proclaiming the Way in Japanese: The 1909 Translation of the Book of Mormon" In Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol. 18. 2009:18-37.

Abstract

The early twentieth century found the Japanese language in a state of flux—colloquial Japanese was very slowly beginning to replace classical written Japanese, whose grammar had remained relatively intact for centuries. At this time of change Elder Alma O. Taylor began his 1909 translation of the Book of Mormon. He choose initially to render the text into the colloquial style; however, prodded by his Japanese reviewers, Taylor quickly realized that no publicly praiseworthy translation could be made in colloquial Japanese. The choice to translate the Book of Mormon in the classical language, as well as to have successful Japanese author, Choko Ikuta, review and edit the translation, allowed the 1909 text to accurately portray doctrine as well as to be considered a major literary achievement.

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