A communication was presented from the Rev. Franklin M. Price at present in Oakland, Cal., (January 6, 1905) presenting a specimen of some translations of Scripture in the Chamorro language
spoken in the Island of Guam, and asking if the society is willing after it is completed to pay for printing it in Yokohama. The Committee expressed to the Board that in their judgment this work was manifestly desirable and needs to be done, but making no recommendation in view of the financial necessities of the Society, but directing further correspondence to be held with Mr. Price.
The Secretaries informed the Committee that they were in corespondence with the Rev. Mr. Price of Guam and the Rev. Dr. Judson Smith of the Amer. Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions as to the wisdom and adequacy of translating the Gospels and some other portions of the Scriptures into Chamorro rather than the whole New Testament at present.
Letters under date of September 1, 1905 from Mr. Price and of August 9, 1905 from Mr. Loomis of Japan, giving brief and satisfactory information as to the desirability and cost of an edition of one thousand copies of the translation of the Gospels and Psalms into Chamorro by the Rev. Mr. Price, a missionary of the American Board in Guam, were read to the Committee, and the Committee recommend that the Gospels and Psalms in Chamorro in an edition not to exceed a thousand copies be published in Japan at a cost including Mr. Prices expenses in Japan in seeing the edition through the press, of not to exceed $225.
8. Reported: Both the General Baptists and the Seventh Day Adventists have been asking for Scriptures in Chamorro. The need seems to be greatest on Saipan where English is not as well understood as on Guam. The General Baptist Women's Mission Board has offered to contribute $500 toward the publication of 1,000 copies of the Gospels and Acts. The Adventists offer to assist in the publication of an entire Bible, giving the population of the Mariannas as 66,000 of Chamorro speakers. They would also welcome a reprint of the existing text. The Baptists quote a Rev. Sablan as authority for the satisfactory nature of the present text although previously we had another opinion from him that the style of the Gospels was "high" and not in the vernacular so that a revised text was desirable.
VOTED: TO RECOMMEND TO THE BOARD
THAT in order that the people may have some part of the Scriptures either the four Gospels and the Acts or one of the synoptic Gospels, John and the Acts in Chamorro be reprinted from the existing text.
59. Presented: A copy of the reprint of the Gospels and Acts. (Previous Minutes; 10/19/50)
54. Reported: Dr. Nida reported (11/1/52) that a questioning of various people in Guam would indicate that the current text of the Gospels could be used by only about possibly 50 old people who do not know any English. Although everyone speaks Chamarro, there is no written use of the language, and the younger generation all know English fairly well. The people on Saipan and Rota know much less English, but there seems to be no work among them. The present translation appears to be extremely unsatisfactory due to the fact that the missionaries did not know the language very well and the guamanians who worked on the translation had a very limited knowledge of English. It is recommended that because of the poor quality of the present translation, we should not reprint this text. (Previous Minutes; 10/31/51)
Note 1: American Board: American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
Note 2: The Rev. Franklin M. Price in the Version Committee Minutes, January 28, 1905 is Francis Marion Price.
Note 3: Chamarro in the Version Committee Minutes, April 22, 1953 is Chamorro.