« Noire, belle » : Kàddug Yàlla gi, une traduction nouvelle de la Bible en wolof

After more than 50 years, a Wolof biblical translation Kaddu Yàlla gi (The Word of God) is projected for completion in 2023.  The translation team, made up of “evangelical” protestants, works under the auspices of the Christian missionary organization WorldVenture.  The team’s “missionary” objective does not compromise the quality of its linguistic work.  The translators, native speakers of Wolof (except for the American coordinator of the Evangelical translation team—abbreviation ÉÉ), have access to biblical languages and draw from Hebrew and Greek editions of the Old and New Testaments as well as from contemporary exegetical works.  The translation is written in what the missionaries call “advanced regional Wolof.”  The translation is not conceived of as a step towards an ecumenical translation with Roman Catholics.  In the following pages after a presentation of the translators’ backgrounds and methods, we shall concentrate on three representative examples chosen successively from the 1) Epistle to the Romans: the vocabulary of justification by faith as the evangelical protestants understand it; 2) the Song of Songs: strategies to avoid racial connotations in the translation of 1,5; 3) the Gospel of John: ways to avoid possible confusions with Koranic vocabulary and local Wolof religious practices. The missionaries’ preparatory work for this edition is in itself a contribution to contemporary research on the Wolof language. Kàddug Yàlla gi will enrich the Wolof literary patrimony.