Thankfully, the full Bible has been translated into the trade languages of Azeri, Farsi, and Russian. Many Talysh can read one or more of these languages. However, it has been shown in other parts of the world it makes a big difference when one can read the Word of God in his or her heart language – the language in which one thinks, dreams, and prays.
Translation of the Bible into the Talysh language is underway; but there are many challenges.
A few Scripture portions have already been translated and printed, but have not been widely distributed. Governmental restrictions on religious literature in both Iran and Azerbaijan create many difficulties for those trying to put God’s Word into their hands. Those who are involved in translating, printing, transporting, storing and distributing Bibles do so at great risk.
Talysh is mainly a spoken language and very few people are accustomed to reading it. Although Azerbaijan and Iran both have very high literacy rates, formal education is done only in the national language (Azeri in Azerbaijan and Farsi in Iran). Very little is published in the Talysh language, so most Talysh feel a little bit awkward at first when reading their mother tongue.
Another challenge to Scripture translation is the linguistic differences among Talysh. The many dialects of Talysh are divided into three main clusters: Northern, Central and Southern. In addition, there are two scripts needed. Those living in Azerbaijan are literate in Azeri (a Turkic language which uses a modified form of the Latin script) and those living in Iran are literate in Farsi (the language used throughout Iran, which uses a modified form of the Arabic script.)
There are many challenges, but with God nothing is impossible!
Pray God provides wisdom and protection for those involved in translating, printing, transporting, storing and distributing the Scriptures.
Pray God’s Word will go forth and the Holy Spirit will impart understanding to all who read it, bringing light to those living in darkness.
Pray the Talysh will have a deep thirst for the Scriptures.
“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.” Psalm 119:130-131