The Greek that is translated as “harbor” (or “harbour”) in English is translated in Kouya as “big canoe stopping place.”

Philip Saunders (p. 231) explains:

“Acts chapter 27 was a challenge! It describes Paul’s sea voyage to Italy, and finally Rome. There is a storm at sea and a shipwreck on Malta, and the chapter includes much detailed nautical vocabulary. How do you translate this for a landlocked people group, most of whom have never seen the ocean? All they know are small rivers and dugout canoes.

“We knew that we could later insert some illustrations during the final paging process which would help the Kouya readers to picture what was happening, but meanwhile we struggled to find or invent meaningful terms. The ‘ship’ was a ‘big canoe’ and the ‘passengers’ were ‘the people in the big canoe’; the ‘crew’ were the ‘workers in the big canoe’; the ‘pilot’ was the ‘driver of the big canoe’; the ‘big canoe stopping place’ was the ‘harbour’, and the ‘big canoe stopping metal’ was the ‘anchor’!”

In Amele, “harbor” is translated as “sea corner” (source: John Roberts) and in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac as “boat resting place” (source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.).

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