“Book of Mormon Now in Seventy Languages,” Ensign, Mar. 1986, 86
The latest translation of the Book of Mormon is going out in the language of a small island chain—Vanuatu—located between Australia and Fiji in the South Pacific.
The language is Bislama, a tongue born of a meeting of English and French and based on Melanesian grammar. The islands, formerly known as the New Hebrides, were jointly ruled by the British and French until independent Vanuatu was established in 1980.
In Bislama, the title of the book is Samfala Toktok Blong Buk Blong Mormon. The volume contains selections from the Book of Mormon—passages usually translated first for readers in areas where there are very few Church members.
Work on the Bislama translation was begun in 1980 by missionaries of the Fiji Suva Mission, in which Vanuatu is located. The translation was finished by Philippe Gubbay, an island-born member.