wise as serpents

The Greek that is translated in English as “wise as serpents” is translated in Bambam as “take-guard like a langkasi (= a small animal similar to a squirrel).”

Phil Campbell explains: “The Bambam people just could not connect with the snakes as being shrewd, but they have a lot of traditional folk tales of a shrewd squirrel-like-animal. We did add a footnote to explain the literal meaning in the original.”

In Komba, the extended phrase that is translated in English as “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” was translated as “live without falsity and with wisdom and straightness” since “the picture was too strange.” (Source: Deibler / Taylor 1977, p. 1076f.)

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