Karen Version of the Scriptures
Karen Version Of The Scriptures Karen is a language spoken by the Kareens, Karenes, or Careians, a wild and simple people scattered over all parts of the Burmese territories, and of the British provinces of Tenasserim; they are also found in the western portions of Siam, and northward among the Shyans. See Bible of Every Land, page 15.
Till a comparatively recent period, however, Karen, which is remarkably harmonious and well adapted for poetry, was totally unknown to Europeans. About 1835, the missionaries of the American Baptist Missionary Society, Wade and Mason, acquired the language, and for the first time reduced it to writing, by employing the Burmese alphabet, with a few additional characters to express the peculiar sounds of the language. These two missionaries translated the entire New Test. into Karen, which was printed, in 1843, at Tavoy, by the aid of the American and Foreign Bible Society. Besides the translation into the Karen, translations into the different dialects prevalent among the Karens were made. The Karen has four principal dialects, the Bghai, Sgau, Pwo, and Mopgha. Into the latter dialect nothing has as yet been translated. As for the others, there exist in the
Bghai-Karen, parts of the Bible published since 1859, and at present there are published Genesis. and twenty chapters of Exodus, Psalms, St. James and St. John's epistles.
Pwo-Karen, Psalms, Daniel, and Jonah since 1861, added to which was Isaiah.
Sau-Karen, the Pentateuch since 1864. The Karen language has been treated by Wade, in Grammar of the Karen Language (1861). (B.P.)