Category: Language

The Rowbory/Nigeria Family Blog

Another ‘eggcorn’ or ‘cat phrase’: Hand your head in shame

Reading a comment here criticising Apple the writer finished with a surprising rhetorical flourish: “Go hand your head in shame, Apple: you’re still not doing software engineering right.” Now, when you’re lambasting someone for doing something stupidly wrong, wouldn’t you try to make sure you don’t do the same thing yourself? Of course in true …

Did you know… William Tyndale

It’s rather easy for us to forget that some things very familiar and obvious to us are not so widely known. So we’re going to start a regular ‘did you know’ section to our newsletter, so you can show off to your friends be well informed. Did you know, that… A hundred years or so …

Did you know… John Wycliffe

It’s rather easy for us to forget that some things very familiar and obvious to us are not so widely known. So we’re going to start a regular ‘did you know’ section to our newsletter, so you can show off to your friends be well informed. Did you know, that… Wycliffe Bible Translators is named …

Village visit

In late April, four of the Ashɛ translation team were in Gardi — deep inside Ashɛ land — to greet chiefs and others, and to participate in an Ishɛ language service on the Sunday. While Arams often complains about how things aren’t as they used to be, many children and adults swamped Moses’ house to …

Why discourse study makes great translator training

2018 was something of a departure from normal patterns for Ashe and for me. To the surprise of many, I did almost no checking of translation with Ashe, but focussed on studying 6 Ashe stories – some true, some folk tales. I had reasons to think this was absolutely necessary, and even though it’s taken …

Biblish Idioms: Hearts melting

Here’s a challenge: Read this first sentence: Our hearts melted as we saw them approach. Then consider what we expect to come next… Which seems more suitable? The little children looked so cute, we couldn’t be angry any more. The warriors were armed to the teeth and utterly fearsome. They’re quite different aren’t they?

A Host of Problems

In the course of trying to compare the style of natural storytelling in Koro Wachi language with what’s in the Bible, we looked at a seasonally appropriate passage:   “That time, angels that accepted strangers in heaven many appeared and they came with the angels.” Luke 2:13, the Koro Wachi translation draft, as explained in …

Languages of Wilder Confusion: Peculiar

Every week I drive past Peculiar International College and a shop titled Peculiar Cuts/Drycleaning. There’s a school bus (above) emblazoned with Peculiar Child. Why do I find this odd?

In Christ

I had an interesting chat over the summer with someone wrestling with how to communicate ‘in Christ‘ in his location/language. This is an ongoing and troubling translation issue, because clearly ‘in Christ’ is an important topic in Paul’s writing and yet a little difficult to talk about clearly because it’s actually rather odd English. ‘In …

Languages of Wilder Confusion: Win

Would you encourage Christians to want to win people for Christ? Yes! Would you suggest they fight and kill them to do this? What?!! And yet that could very easily be a conclusion people reach. How? Well in Nigerian English people use ‘win’ where British English uses ‘defeat’. Source 1: Sunday school ‘this small group …