South GumuzOld Testament Translation

Use of the New Testament is high among the Gumuz. Keep the momentum going by supporting the Old Testament translation and ultimately the full South Gumuz Bible.

Bible Translation


  • Ethiopia


  • East Africa

Language Population


The Full Bible is Needed by the South Gumuz

The South Gumuz New Testament is in use! Yet, there is a vital need for the Old Testament. A full Bible is critical to understand the foundation of their Christian faith as depicted through God’s actions in the Old Testament. A full Bible is also a tool for outreach to Muslim neighbors, as the Old Testament shares many common stories with the Qur’an. 

As there are many Gumuz people, this project focuses on the Kamashi Zone, which is why they are noted as being South Gumuz. Christianity is prevalent in the Kamashi zone of the Gumuz people. There are also a small number of Muslims and, in very remote areas, some traditional African religions continue.

Church and community leaders lead this project. Together, they formed a translation committee to establish a translation office and team; they also gathered the resources needed to begin.

The Scripture materials produced assist church leaders as they preach and teach through worship activities. The full South Gumuz Bible will enhance ministry, providing spiritual nourishment throughout the language community.

Empower Local Leaders with your support

We believe that every community should have the chance to read the Bible in the language they know best, led by people they trust and respect. Your financial gifts and prayers help local leaders in Ethiopia translate the Bible into the South Gumuz language.

Program Goals

  1. Draft 1 & 2 Kings, Ezra, Psalms, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes.
  2. Offer summer study for the translators to upgrade/develop their skill for better translation work. 
  3. Secure community ownership and sustainability of the ministry.

Program Plan

Step 1

Translate and draft Old Testament books.

Step 2

Conduct the team check and community reviews.

Step 3

Process through the consultant check.

Meet the Local Team

Meet the Local Team

Two full-time translators work according to the schedule given by the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus – Bible Translation (EECMY-BT) division.

A project coordinator functions as a link between the Bible translation team members. 

One program manager at EECMY-BT serves as the link between the project coordinator and Lutheran Bible Translators.

Partner Organizations

Honoring the Language

The language has both ejective consonants and implosives. Ejective consonants are usually voiceless consonants that are pronounced with a glottalic egressive airstream. Implosives are a group of stop consonants (and possibly also some affricates) with a mixed glottalic ingressive and pulmonic egressive airstream mechanism.

Tones are high and low, with downsteps. 

The tap [ɾ] mainly occurs in morpheme-internal positions, and not in word-initial position. It also occurs as an allophone of /ɗ/ in intervocalic and word-final positions.

A trill [r] may occur from ideophones or as a result of loanwords from Amharic.

Program Progress

  • A new translator was hired and a new computer was purchased for this translator.
  • Plans are underway to hire a second new translator.

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