AUDIO BIBLES.

Although entirely irrelegious myself, I often buy a bible or portion thereof in the languages I study, since the story and much of the wording is familiar, making it an easy read (and of course English translations are readily available if I need a trot). Thanks to Avva, I now have a fantastic resource: online audio bibles in Hebrew, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Polish, Urdu, Hindi, Slovak, and Tagalog, and for lagniappe the Psalms in Arabic! They are mp3 files, broken into chunks for easy downloading; I just spent twenty minutes listening to the first few chapters of Shmot (Exodus) while following along in the New English Bible, and I was astonished at how different the experience was from comparing printed versions. I didn’t have to deal with the alphabet, vowel points, &c., I just let the language surround me, depending on the words I knew to serve as mileposts and keep me oriented. And to hear the Lord say to Moses the exact same phrase I hear from Israelis every day on the streets of New York (Ma zeh? ‘What’s that?’) was not only a kick, it gave me a real feel for the continuity of the Hebrew language. Thanks, Avva!


If you want smaller downloads or only want to listen to a chapter at a time of the Tanakh (Hebrew bible), Avva also provides this site; not all the books are up at any given time, but it’s a very convenient way to hear the material. (Note: Avva has a couple of links to a site, mechon-mamre.org, that he says has the best version of the Tanakh in various forms, including one without vowel diacritics and one with a parallel English translation, but every time I’ve tried to access it it’s crashed my browser. You have been warned.)

Comments

  1. including one without chapter headings
    Without vowel diacritics (nekudot).
    Sorry to hear it’s been crashing your browser. I can access it with IE5.5 without any trouble from here.

  2. I read the Russian too quickly in my haste to get to the goodies. That’s what I get for bragging about my superior OED access. Thanks — I’ll correct it.

  3. Slightly OT — reading your post made me think Hey, I wonder if the Christian Bible is available in Hebrew translation? Any idea?

  4. Hm. I would guess so, for the convenience of Israelis interested in studying it, but maybe any such Israelis are capable of reading it in a European language, so there’s no demand (not to mention the existential queasiness of the idea of Christian scriptures in Hebrew). Avva, if you see this, you must know — leave a message!

  5. There’re several translations of the New Testament into Hebrew, yes. Missionaries have been using them extensively in the 19th century, for example.
    One such version was translated in the second half of 19th century by Isaac Edward Zalkinson, a superb, and unjustly forgotten, translator into Hebrew. I haven’t seen that translation of his (though I know it’s still in print and is used by various organisations such as “Jews for Jesus” etc.), but his translation of “Romeo and Juliet” into Hebrew is magnificent (and, alas, all but forgotten).

  6. Thanks! I guess there must be a lot of competing Shakespeare translations…

  7. Philip Madhavan says:

    I am interested in getting AUDIO NT HINDI NEW TESTAMENT OV
    Can you help

  8. Prakash Shukla says:

    I am Looking for Old & new TESTAMENT in Audio
    Thanks & Regards
    Prakash Shhukla

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