Modern Church, Translations of the Book of Mormon
The complete Book of Mormon has been translated into Japanese no fewer than three times. The first translation was done by a young American missionary, Alma O. Taylor, the second by Sat Tatsui, the first native Japanese person to undertake the challenge, and the third after World War II by a committee appointed by the First Presidency. The challenges of translating concepts such as God, Spirit, or atonement into a language that shares no linguistic or cultural commonalities with the language of the inspired translation of the Book of Mormon are overwhelming. When attempting to communicate in a culture that does not acknowledge supreme deity or the kinship connection between God and man or life after death, a simple concept such as damnation can be challenging to convey. In addition, dramatic changes have occurred in the Japanese language over past century. The written Japanese language has changed with a rapidity that is unfathomable in English.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Gessel, Van C.
"“Strange Characters and Expressions”: Three Japanese Translations of the Book of Mormon,"
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Vol. 14:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/jbms/vol14/iss1/5