GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
The desire to make the Bible accessible to all kinds of people has brought some "unusual" versions in the past. Notably, there was Clarence Jordan's Cotton Patch Version that paraphrased certain parts of the Bible in a folksy, grass-roots style. More recently there was the movement to "translate" the Bible into ebonics. Now, in an attempt to further see the Scriptures made readable to all kinds of people, Zondervan Publishing is proposing that the Bible be 'translated' into "Engrish."
"Engrish," as it is known, is essentially English that has been translated from another language, often by a non-native English speaker, and usually very poorly. This is most commonly seen on signs and the packaging of products from China and Japan.
"Engrish is becoming very popular." Said Kurt James, editor in charge of researching the possibility of the translation. "For the longest time Engrish has been nothing but the target of humor and ridicule. Now, we here at Zondervan want to show the world that Engrish is legitimate."
Zondervan estimates that the process would take approximately 7-10 years of intense work to accomplish. It would involve first translating the Bible into Mandarin Chinese from the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. Then, a group of 12-16 year-old Chinese students would be brought in to attempt to translate the entire Bible back into English, thus resulting in an Engrish version.
"We've already been involved developing a prototype of what the Bible would be like, and we're very excited about the results." Said James. "We've worked for the past 6 months translating 1 Corinthians into Mandarin Chinese and then having the students translate it back again. It turned out better than what we had hoped for!"
If approved Zondervan plans to invest some $3.5 million dollars to see the project through to its completion.
"We want this translation to be spread far and wide." Said James. "I'd like to see an Extreme Teen Engrish Bible or possibly a Women's Engrish Study Bible. We just want to see Engrish speakers everywhere be able to enjoy the Scriptures in a way that they can understand."