The Word Made Fresh: Taglish Bible Translation Brings Streets of Manila into Church

After 16 years and plenty of controversy, the Philippine Bible Society completes its Pinoy Version.

When the Philippines Bible Society (PBS) first released the New Testament translated into Taglish—a mix of Tagalog and English used by urban dwellers in the Philippines—five years ago, Filipino Christians were in an uproar on social media. Many decried it as irreverent or blasphemous to translate the Word of God into a colloquial language more commonly seen on the Internet or heard at the supermarket.

So Anicia del Corro, a PBS translation consultant who spearheaded the project, started holding talks, giving interviews, and writing articles outlining how her team conducted research and painstakingly translated the New Testament from the original Greek. She stressed that the Bible’s target audience was Gen Z and milennials in Metro Manila, a region made up of 16 cities and 13 million people.

In contrast, when PBS launched the entire Bible translated into Taglish earlier this month called Ang Bible Pinoy Version, Del Corro felt relieved that the burden was no longer on her to do the explaining: At a launch party attended by nearly 500 people, pastors and leaders shared their personal experience using and preaching from the Pinoy Version. Jayson Genanda, pastor of Malaya House Church, said that when he leads a Bible study he makes sure to look at the Taglish translation to get the meaning of a passage.

“The users themselves are the ones promoting it,” Del Corro said. “They know people who can’t understand the Word in other translations can use Ang Bible Pinoy Version.” (Ang mean “the” in Tagalog and Pinoy is an informal term referring to the Philippines or Filipinos.)

Ang Bible Pinoy Version, which took 16 years to complete, is the first completed Bible translation in …

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