Friar Amaral Bernardo Amaral’s translation of the Bible into Gitonga (Mozambique 1984-2014)

  • Fernando Caldeira da Silva University of South Africa


Even if Mozambique has only Portuguese as the official language there are many languages spoken in the country. That is the case of the Gitonga spoken in the Inhambane region about “470 kmâ€Â north of Maputo. The Bible Society of Mozambique has supported the bible translation to serve the Tonga people in their own language Gitonga. This task has been undertaken by Franciscan friar Amaral Bernardo Amaral since 1984 and is still on its course.        

This article will address the case of the historical episode by the son of a Methodist pastor, converted to Catholicism who is translating the bible into Gitonga with the support auspices of the Mozambican Bible Society.

As part of the methodology used to collect the data to inform this article I interviewed Friar Amaral Bernardo Amaral while in his work with the team he leads to translate the bible. Further research was conducted surveying a few online portals over the Internet as well as some telephonic interviews to certify the various elements conducive to the realization of the project.