net

The Greek terms that are used for what is translated as “net” in English are translated in languages like Navajo where fishing with nets is not known as “instruments to catch (or: bring out) the fish.” (Source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)

In Rundi the term urusenga is used. Rosemary Guillebaud (in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 15ff.) tells this story:

“[People living close to lakes] produced further problems for us over fishing terms when we reached the revision of the Gospels. Fishing is practically unknown in the mountain streams and rivers, so there is hardly any vocabulary for it up-country. In Mat. 4:18 we read that Jesus saw two brethren “casting a net into the sea.” The word we used for net (urusenga) is used all over Rundi for a fishing net, whatever it is like, but when I read this to some people who live by the lake they said it was the wrong word, as from the context this happened during the daytime, and urusenga-fishing is only done at night. It appears that the urusenga is something like a shrimping net, and is used on moonless nights, when the fishermen hold flares over the side of the boat and attract a certain variety of very small fish which swim about in shoals. The net they use for day-time fishing is something like a drag-net and is called urukwabu. On enquiry inland, I never discovered a single person who knew this word. It was obviously the right one, technically speaking, but we felt that the few thousand lake-dwellers could not be weighed against almost the entire population of the country, so we had to employ the up-country word, putting an explanatory note in the margin that by the lake this net is called urukwabu.”

Click or tap here to see a short video clip showing net-fishing in biblical times (source: Bible Lands 2012)

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