striped / speckled / spotted

The Hebrew that is translated as “striped, speckled, and spotted” in English did not have an immediately accessible translation in Orma.

George Payton tells about how the translation team went about finding the right terms: “In Gen. 30 Jacob is living with uncle Laban taking care of Laban’s livestock. Then when Jacob complained about what his payment should be, Laban said that Jacob could keep all the livestock that were spotted, speckled or striped, but the solid colors white and black belonged to Laban. The trouble was how to translate ‘speckled, spotted, striped.’ The people we were translating for were herdsmen; they kept goats, sheep and cattle. They told me that they have one set of words for colors and patterns for describing the cattle, and a different set of vocabulary when talking about goats and sheep. I thought maybe we could tap into their rich ‘goat’ vocabulary and use some of their words in Genesis. So we went to a friend’s livestock to see the animals. I saw a pattern that was ‘strip-ish’ and asked what they called that pattern. Then I did the same for ‘spot-ish’ and ‘speckle-ish.’ Our goal was not to get an exact representation of the patterns mentioned in the Bible, but to give a general picture of some common patterns that people would know. So we used those terms in the translation and it read very well. When we tested it, no one asked what those words meant because everyone knew them.”

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