Canarese (or Karnata) Version
Canarese (Or Karnata) Version.
The Canarese is-spoken by about seven millions throughout the My-sore, also in the province of Canara, and as far north as the Kistna River. The first attempt towards a Canarese version of the Scriptures was made at Serampore in 1808, and it was not till 1822 that the New Test. was completed at press. A version of the Old Test. was also undertaken, and partly executed by the Serampore missionaries. But, on finding that others had undertaken a similar work, they relinquished it. In 1817, Mr. Hands, of Bellary, an agent of the London Missionary Society, made it known to those concerned that he had translated the whole of the New Test. into Canarese. Of this translation the Gospels and the Acts were printed at Madras under the immediate eve of the translator. In order that the translator might not be longer detained from his station, the types and printing materials were sent to Bellary, and the entire New Test. was completed in 1821. At this period Mr. Hands had likewise completed the translation of the Old Test., while his friend and coadjutor, the Rev. Wm. Reeve, had engaged in a separate translation of the Penitateuch, with the view of comparing it with that of Mr. Hands, and of securing thus a more correct and idiomatic version. In 1822, while these two laborers were conjointly engaged in their undertaking, the Madras Bible Committee, upon whom the superintendence of this translation had devolved, invited them to associate themselves with major A. D. Campbell and R. C. Gosling, so as to form 'a sub-committee of translation. Under the care of this sub-committee, the version of the Old Test. was continued. In 1832 the Old Test. left the press. As it was afterwards found desirable to submit the entire Canarese Scriptures to a further and more elaborate revision, the Rev. G. H. Weigel was engaged by the British and Foreign Bible Society, at the instance of the Madras Committee of Revision, to devote his whole time to the work. Under this arrangement a thoroughly revised translation of the Canarese New Test. was completed in 1853, and two large editions were published, one at Bellary and the other at Bangalore. A like revision of the Old Test. has subsequently been accomplished, and was, according to the report for the year 1860, in the hands of the Canarese missionaries and the people. This edition seemed to have been only tentative, for, in the report for 1866, we read the following account given by the Rev. B. Rice, secretary to the Canarese Revision Committee:
The printing of the Quato Reference Bible in Canarese has been completed during the past year, and is now in circulation. This brings to a conclusion the labors of the Revision Committee, who commenced the work twenty years ago. During that period, some who took part in this new translation (for such it really is, and not simply a revision of the previously existing version), have been removed by sickness, death, or -other causes; but it is matter for thankfulness that several of the members have been spared to assist in the work from the commencement to the close. It is the work chiefly of the following missionaries: Rev. G. H.Weigel and Rev. Dr. MScling, of the German mission.; Rev. D. Sanderson, of the Wesleyan mission ; and the Rev. C. Campbell and Rev. B. Rice, of the London mission. It may be worth while to place on record that the entire New Test., with the books of Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, were completed by the brethren collectively in committee, which held repeated sittings for that purpose of two and three months duration each time, at Mysore, Utakamund, and Bangalore. The historical books of the Old Testament, together with Job, were revised by the Rev. C. Campbell, partly on the basis of the old version, and partly on the basis of a new translation by the Rev. G. H. Weigel. The prophetical books were revised by the Rev. B. Rice, wholly on the basis of the new translation by Mr. Weigel. The whole was circulated for some time in a tentative edition, before a large edition was printed," According to the report for 1881. there were circulated in the Canarese up to March 31,1881, two hundred and ninety-eight thousand portions of Scriptures. See Bible of Every Land, p. 141.
Linguistic helps are, Boutcloup, Grammatica CanaricoLatina ad usum Scholarum (Bangalore, 1869); Holson. An Elementary Grammar of the Karnata or Canarese Language (ibid, 1864); M'Kerrell, A Grammar of the Carnata Language (Madras, 1820)., (B. P.)