Setswana, spoken in Botswana, is also the mother tongue of some 4 million people living in South Africa.
The pioneer translator of the Bible into Setswana was Robert Moffat. He started translating the Bible soon after his arrival in Kuruman in 1817. Setswana was the first South African language to receive a complete Bible.
In 1830 the Gospel of Luke was translated into Setswana for the very first time. The translation of the New Testament followed in 1840. It too was translated by Robert Moffat, and printed under his supervision during a visit to England. In 1857 the first complete Bible in Setswana appeared. As Moffat finished translating each section of the Bible it was printed on a missionary press at Kuruman. In 1872 this translation was published in a single volume. In 1908 a revision of this Bible mainly done by Alfred Wookey was published.
The most recent translation under the auspices of the Bible Society of South Africa dates back to 1970.