complete verse (2Tim. 2:20-21) / Natügu

“Instead of the unnatural picture of some dishes being for noble use and others for ignoble, [the Natügu translators] used a related picture which is much more meaningful in the culture: ‘In our way, when a big man comes to our house, we give him very nice food, in our honouring him. But when we stay alone, we don’t habitually eat food like that given to him. And this is the talk-picture that we must follow. And we also will be like that good food if we purify ourselves from those bad things. Because it is we who are chosen to help our Lord. So, we are already prepared to do very nice things.'”

vision

The Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek that is translated as “vision” in English is translated in a variety in the following languages:

  • Chol: “as if in a dream” (source: Robert Bascom)
  • Obolo: ilaak ọkpọchieen̄ or “dreaming awake” (source: Enene Enene)
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “a showing like dreams”
  • Desano: “see in a dream what God will send”
  • Rincón Zapotec: “see what God shows”
  • Mayo: “see things from God as in a dream”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “dream how it is going to be”
  • Chuj: “like dreaming they see”
  • San Mateo del Mar Huave: “understand what they see as if in a dream”
  • Ayutla Mixtec: “see that which will happen” (source for this and seven above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
  • Tagbanwa: “being caused to dream by God” (source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Chichewa: azidzaona zinthu m’masomphenya: “they will see things as if face-to-face” (interconfessional translation, publ. 1999) (Source: Wendland 1998, p. 69)

The Greek in the books of Revelation and Acts is translated as obq-rmwible: “look-dream” in Natügu. Brenda Boerger (in Beerle-Moor / Voinov, p. 162ff.) tells the story of that translation: “In the book of Revelation, the author, John, talks about having visions. Mr. Simon [the native language translator] and I discussed what this meant and he invented the compound verb obq-rmwible ‘look-dream’ to express it. Interestingly, during village testing no one ever had to ask what this neologism meant.”

See also see a vision.

complete Psalm 150 (Natügu)

The Natügu translation of Psalm 150 features “indigenous instruments and body movements associated with [a traditional] dance to reflect the high praise of the composition.” The English back-translation follows (the Natügu original can be read right here ):

1 Let’s exalt Yahweh in his being in the House-for-worshipping.
And in his being in the High Heaven.
2 Let’s make-songs-about him for his exceeding greatness
In doing powerful things.
3-5 Let’s dance to him with leg-rattles
and strongly beat the drum to him.
Let’s dance to him by our banging things,
our smacking things, and by our shaking things in our hands.
Let’s blow the conch shell and bamboo flutes (to him).
And let’s strum the guitar and ukulele in our exalting him.
6 We who are alive should rejoice in Yahweh.
Our praising Yahweh is forever and ever.

(Source: Brenda Boerger in Open Theology 2016, p. 179ff. )

banner

The Hebrew that is typically translated as “banner” in English is translated in Natügu as nc nqngq: “rooster tail.”

Brenda Boerger (in Beerle-Moor / Voinov, p. 164) tells the story of that translation:

“Both bushes and trees use nc ‘tree’ as the first part of their compound forms. The nc nqngq or ‘rooster tail’ is a waist-high bush having long, narrow reddish leaves. While translating a battle text from the Psalms, we needed to find a translation equivalent to ‘banner’ or ‘standard’. Mr. Simon [the native language translator] told me that, previously, a war leader would cut rooster tail branches and put them in the back waistband of his loincloth to identify himself as the nqrlrvea ‘war leader’ during battle. The red color of the leaves made it easy for his warriors to find and follow him during battle. The war leader could also remove the leaves from his waistband and wave them in the air to rally his men to him. Alternatively, he could tie the branches to a stick to be flown as a battle standard. These two latter actions were what gave the secondary meaning of ‘banner’ or ‘standard’. Therefore, we used this concept to translate Psalm 60:4, which reads: Kxetu, nim ngrlrvea ngrgr. Glalzm nc nqngq bagr. ‘Bigman, you are our war leader. Lift up the ‘rooster tail banner’ for us.’

“As it turns out, even though inter-clan warfare is no longer practiced on Santa Cruz, younger people are still able to understand the practice today because the nc nqngq is integrally related to Santa Cruz’s most culturally significant dance, the nelc dance. Those who lead the dance wear nc nqngq branches just like the war leaders did previously. The senior translator’s testing of the passage in several villages confirmed that the meaning is accessible to younger speakers who can derive the accurate meaning from context based on their knowledge of the use of the leafy branches in the nelc dance.

“Turning to another tree metaphor, the sea trumpet or beach cordi is called nc niglq in Natügu. It grows close to the sea and can become quite tall, with thick, spreading branches. It has light orange trumpet-shaped flowers, which are favored by the small, red-colored mzngra bird. This habitat is significant because the feathers of this bird species are used to make either Irdq red feather money coils or nceapu red feather money sticks.

“To Santa Cruz people, a man who has a niglq tree where the mzngra birds are found has a good chance of acquiring wealth. As a result, the tree name is associated with wealth and prestige and has acquired four metonymic meanings in which the name of the tree is substituted for other nouns. The four metonymies are: important person, important person’s house, treasure, and throne. So, someone having this tree near his home is an important person, and he can be said to come and go to the tree, rather than to the house. Further, he has access to treasure since the tree is a means to wealth. And finally, nc niglq can also mean ‘throne’ or ‘seat of power’, in that an important man who has a niglq tree on his property might sit at its base to converse with others, and by association, the place where the important one sits is his throne.”

“In addition to the red feather money coils which were previously used for paying bride price, the red feathers also come in a stick form, called nceapu, where they are glued to a stick about 10-12 inches long. The red feather money stick itself also has the metaphorical meaning of ‘rich, wise man,’ which was used to describe King Solomon in the Natügu scriptures.”

acrostic in Psalm 112

The Hebrew text of Psalms 9/10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145 uses acrostics, a literary form in which each verse is started with one of the successive 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. According to Brenda Boerger (in Open Theology 2016, p. 179ff. ) there are three different reasons for acrostics in the Hebrew text: “for ease of memorization,” the representation “of the full breadth and depth of a topic, all the way from aleph to taw (tav),” and the perception of “the acrostic form as aesthetically attractive.” (p. 191)

While most translations mention the existence of an acrostic in a note or a comment, few implement it in their translation. The Natügu translation is one such exception. Boerger (see above) cites a strong tradition in singing the psalms and the fact that Natügu, like Hebrew, also has 22 possible initial letters as motivating factors to maintain the acrostics in that language.

Click or tap here for the complete psalm in Natügu

1 Awibzku mz Yawe! Murde amrlzle ncblo kx
Bilvzle natqde x amrluele nide.
2 Clvele mrnyzde kcng naxplrng mz nzaclve-krdr.
Doa nedeng kxnztubqng, sa na-amrlz Gct.
3 Esalz-ngrbz Gct bade da kxmrlzting kxkqlu.
Gct okatrle nide murde natubq.
4 Ipq ncblo lc kztedeng mz nzvz-nqblq-krde zmrlz ngrde, nzryckr drtwrde, x nztubq-krde.
Jzsle da kx naokatrle leplz kc-kzng, mz nzngini-krbzle lrpzki badr.
5 Kabzle da kxkqlu mz krkcng trnzrngiscung.
Lalztqbzle mz Gct x alele da kx rsakrlrngr mz nzwz-krde.
6 Murde ncblo kxtubq kxtr-rnrcti-lzbqu
Nadcpx zvz mz drtwr leplz.
7 Obqtipx-zvzle Yawe x
Prlxpxle kx nabzde trtaprlzpuu mz nrpa kxtrka.
8?Rnrcti-lzbq-ngrde? Trtingr, a’ tu-amqngile.
Sa namcle nzaovxiokr Yawe enqmi rdeng.
9 Tresakiu nzrka-krbzle da mz kxrsuti drtwr.
Vz zvz nzayzlu-krbz Gct bade mz nqmq krde lc tqtubq.
Wxbu me matq mz mzlir leplz.
10 X angya drtwr kxdrka’-ngrng mzli kc namc-ngrdr nide.
Ycpwz pipz kxdrka’-ngrng lcng sa namrbr, x mane nzmadqti-krdr nqngidr mz zngya.
Zbz da amrlx kcng tqmrlzbz badr sa nangitx brmrda x sa na-apulr zsikapu kx ngilia.

© 2008, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Danish Bibelen på Hverdagsdansk (publ. 1985, rev. 2015 et al.) also translated Psalm 112 into an acrostic. Due to the higher number of Danish letters, it skips the Danish letters C, Q, W, X, Z, Å, and Ø.

Click or tap here for the complete psalm in Danish

1 At adlyde Herren giver velsignelse.
Budene er til for at blive overholdt.
2 Du og dine efterkommere får fremgang og magt,
enhver, der handler ret, bliver velsignet.
3 Familien vil opleve velstand,
gode mennesker vil altid blive husket.
4 Herren gør de gudfrygtige til et lys midt i mørket,
især når de er venlige og barmhjertige.
5 Ja, velsignet er de gavmilde og hjælpsomme,
kendetegnet på deres handlinger er ærlighed.
6 Lever de sådan, får de styrke og fasthed,
mennesker med et godt ry bliver husket længe.
7 Når modgangen kommer, som kunne skabe frygt,
opgiver de ikke, for de stoler på Herren.
8 På trods af fjendens angreb
rider de stormen af og ender med sejr.
9 Sådanne mennesker giver gavmildt til dem, der er i nød,
taknemmelighed og ære bliver dem til del,
uselvisk godhed vil aldrig blive glemt.
10 Ved at se en sådan velsignelse bliver de gudløse vrede.
Ynkeligt sidder de tilbage med tomme hænder,
ærgrelsen står malet i deres ansigter.

Copyright © 1985, 1992, 2005, 2013, 2015 by Biblica, Inc.®

In the Zürich German dialect (Züritüütsch) of Swiss German, the Psalms were translated while maintaining the acrostic by Josua Boesch (publ. 2009 ).

Click or tap here for the complete psalm in Zürich German

1 Halleluja!
Am beschte gaat s dèm, wo uufrächt vor IMM labt,
Bi siine wiisige bliibt vo ganzem hèrze.
2 Chasch dèm sini naachkome gaar nüme zele.
Die wèrded gsägnet als gschlächt vo de graade.
3 Er hat au riichtum und woolschtand im huus.
Für siini bewèèrig mues me nöd soorge, die blübt.
4 Graade straalt imer es liecht im tunkle:
Hoffnig, vertrouen und liebi.
5 Iich glaube dèm lieber, wo vo hdrze vertleent,
Kän fuule drèè macht mit sine sache.
6 Lueg nu, de uufrichtig cha me nöd legge.
Me wiird an en tänke dur gänerazione.
7 Nüüt mues er füürche vom bööse gschwätz.
Ooni en wank vertrout er uf INN.
8 Pass uuf, dè bliibt getrooscht, er hat ja nüüt z füürche.
Ruig chan er waarten uf s änd vo de find.
9 Still täilt er den aarmen und dürftigen uus.
Tröi bliibt d grächtigkäit biin em für imer.
Und gachtet wiird er vo ale.
10 Vill z tänke und èèrger git daas bi de rueche.
Wie sell s die nöd pötzli verjage vor wuet!
Zietscht schwiint ene jedi hoffnig uf s glück, wo s gmäint händ chönid s erzwänge.

The English Bible translation by Ronald Knox (publ. 1950) maintains almost every Hebrew acrostic (even though Knox’s translation itself is based on the Latin text of the Vulgate rather than the Hebrew). Due to the higher number of letters in the English alphabet, it skips the letter K, X, Y, and Z.

1 A blessed man is he, who fears the Lord, bearing great love to his commandments.
2 Children of his shall win renown in their country; do right, and thy sons shall find a blessing.
3 Ease shall dwell in his house, and great prosperity; fame shall ever record his bounty.
4 Good men see a light dawn in darkness; his light, who is merciful, kind and faithful.
5 It goes well with the man who lends in pity, just and merciful in his dealings.
6 Length of days shall leave him still unshaken; men will remember the just for ever.
7 No fear shall he have of evil tidings; on the Lord his hope is fixed unchangeably.
8 Patient his heart remains and steadfast, quietly he waits for the downfall of his enemies.
9 Rich are his alms to the needy; still his bounty abides in memory. The Lord will lift up his head in triumph;
10 ungodly men are ill content to see it. Vainly they gnash their teeth in envy; worldly hopes must fade and perish. (Source )

acrostic in Psalms 9/10

Psalms 9 and 10 constitute one psalm in the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate translations. Accordingly all Orthodox and some Catholic translations also treat it as one psalm. One indication that it might in fact have been intended to be one psalm is the fact that both Psalm 9 and 10 together constitute one acrostic, a literary form in which each verse is started with one of the successive 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. According to Brenda Boerger (in Open Theology 2016, p. 179ff. ) there are three different reasons for acrostics in the Hebrew text: “for ease of memorization,” the representation “of the full breadth and depth of a topic, all the way from aleph to taw (tav),” and the perception of “the acrostic form as aesthetically attractive.” (p. 191)

While most translations mention the existence of the acrostic in a note or a comment, few implement it in their translation. The Natügu translation is one such exception. Boerger (see above) cites a strong tradition in singing the psalms and the fact that Natügu, like Hebrew, also has 22 possible initial letters as motivating factors to maintain the acrostics in that language.

Click or tap here for both Psalm 9 and 10 successively in Natügu

Psalm 9
1 Awi Yawe! Naglqpx-atwrnr-ngrne nim.
Ale-zvzq da kcng tzkctipxng, x napipxxng.
2 Angrlvzx drtqm.
Bilvzx nim kc tqmyalz-esz’ngr.
3 Brngzvxitx nzyzlukr enqmi rnge mz nzmc-krde nim.
Bz x tao-ngrde nzulrm.
4 Clvetio-lzbqx x rpiq kx tubqx.
Clveq leplz amrlx mz nzwxbuo-krme mz tron, x ayzlu-ngrbzme da badr.
5 Dalr nrlc nzmailzlr kxdrka’-ngrng.
Delc napnanati-ngrn nidr x
Drtqdr na-amrbrtx-alobzme.
6 Doa ngr alwx lcng nzyrkrtrpeng.
Enqmi rngeng trpengr nzdcpx-krdr mz drtwr leplz x mztea nyzdr amznrpe-ngrnq.
7 Eu, a’ Yawe ngini-alom King.
Elalvzx nzwxbuo-krme mz tron nyzm murde nzayzlu-krbzme da mz leplz tubq.
8 Eu, murde nzaclve-krm nrlc tubq-esz’ngr,
Esakrlrngr nzpipx-krm nztubqkr leplz o trtingr.
9 Gct, nim lrpalvc nyz kxnzobqszong.
Glxx kx nim me nzrlakitrkr mzli kx prtzngr da.
10 Gct, krkcng tzkrlzlr nim nzabrtrpzlr drtwrdr bam.
Itoto x doa amrlx kcng tzrtangrtilr nim, trmrbrtru mz drtwrm.
11 Itoto x nigu amrlx napipxbzku mz kxnzmnc-mrbrng da kcng tqale Yawe.
Jerusalem ngi mzteadau nyzde mrkc tqmnc-ngrde. Na-angrlvzku nide.
12 Jzsle krkcng tzrnibqting leplz mz nzayzlu-kr-mopwzle badr da kcng tqtrka tzalelr.
Kxnzmncng mz drtq kxetq sa na-ayzlu-kzpzle badr natq ngr nzyrni-krbzlr bade.
13 Kxetu, nayc mz drtwrm ninge x mcom kxmu nzaetq-krm enqmi rngeng drtqnge.
Kxrpalz, bzkq rlrpx-ngrn nzbz-krnge.
14 Kxarlapx, naelalz-ngrm drtwrnge nzarlapx-krm ninge.
Leplz kxkqlu Jerusalem sa naxlrlr nzglqlz-krnge nim.
15-16 Lalztqmamu! Yawe aelwapx-lzbqngr mz nztubqkr nzayzlu-krbzle da mz leplz.
Murde lr mrkzbleng nztao-moung mz gq kx nzekqtilr.
Mz br kx nzatu-kapqlr, nzdwatr-moung elr.
Mz trtxki kx nzamwilr, nzprtz mou kxdrka’-ngrng elr.
17 Mz nzesablqti-krdr Gct,
Nabz-ngrdr leplz ngr nrlc.
18 Nzmu nakxpung, trtxpnzngr nzmrbrtitrkr drtwr Gct nidr.
Nzobqtipxngr kxtrnzrngiscung trtxpnzngr nzbotxpx-krde.
19 Natulzme Yawe, mz nzaryplapx-krm lr mrkzbleng amrlx.
Na-aelwapx-ngrn kx drtwr kxnzetung amrlx ngi brmrda.
20 Namwxlrtilr x na-amrluelr nim.
Nakrlzlr kx nidr leplz txneng, x sa nabzng.

Psalm 10
1 Opxm kx mncme rlru, Yawe.
Opxm kz kx mnc-kapqq mzli kc tqkxpu-ngrgr.
2 Obqm! Kxdrka’ngr glqpx-lzbqmile nzayoti-krde leplz kxnzkxpung.
Pnz drtwrnge kx sa namwati-lzbq mz br scde.
3 Pipxle kx nzaotikr drtwrde da kxtrka zlwz ngi da kxmrlz mz nzbilvz-zvz-krdele.
Pivxile Yawe x pxtxpx-ngrde nide, a’ amrlzle leplz kx nztrkibrng.
4 Rblx nzrtangrti-krde Gct murde glqpx-lzbq.
Rblx nzrmcti-krde Gct murde mz drtwrde trtxpnzngr Gct.
5 Rlr! Xplrmi-zlwzle nzmncngr kxtrka, a’ pxtxpx-ngrde me pnz drtwrm.
Suti txpwz drtwrde nzyrpalelvz-krde enqmi rdeng.
6 Sc tqrpipele kx, “Trpnzngr da kxtrka kx naprtzm bange,
X trpnzngr nzodatingr ninge kalr.”
7 Sc tqglqlz-zvzle alwx x nzpokiangr.
Natqdeng amrlx ngi dalr nzrpikitingr, nzrpibqtingr, x nzrpilzngr. Rom 3:14
8 Trmrlzu nzmnc-kapq-aepztr-krde mztea mz nzrnibq-krde kx nabzdr lq.
Tu zvz mz nzaenzli-krde ncblo kxesz’nebz.
9 Tqtu-kapq apule laion kc
Tqtcngzpxm mz gq nyzde mz nzkivzti-krde ncblo kx trxplru.
10 Vz zvz nzxplr-zlwz-krde.
Vz zvz nzatrkati-krde nzmnckr kxnzkxpung.
11 Vz-rbr kxdrka’ngr mz nzrpi-krde kx, “Gct trobqpepuu bange.
Wzx a’ trkrlzleu da kcng trka tqalex.”
12 Wztitxpxbz nzwzkr ncblo kxdrka’ngr, kx Yawe, mz nzayrplapx-krm nide.
Wai-ngrn da lc murde bzkq mrbrtr mz drtwrm kxnzkxpung.
13 Wai-ngrdele kxdrka’ngr pxtxpx-ngrde nim.
X rpile kx, “Gct trtxpnzngr nzayrplapx-krde ninge.”
14 Xlqkqamu nimu kxdrka’-ngrng, murde Gct mcle da kxtrka lcng amrlx tqaleamu.
X oliqtile nzokatr-krde kxnzkxpung kcng tzrtangrtilr nide.
Xlrle nidr murde nide kc tqokatr zvz kxnzobqszong.
15 Yawe, katxpxbz zmatq ngr kxdrka’-ngrng.
Yrpalelvz nidr x ayrplapxng mz da kxtrka kcng tzalelr, navz x naesaki zpwx.
16 Yawe, nim King.
Yc zvz nzaclve-krm nrlc.
Yrlqtxpx mz drtc’ nyzm krkcng trnzangiolru nim.
17 Zmatq ngrm etu-esz’ngr, murde krlzpe-kaiq nike narlxtibz kxnztubqng.
Zbq kalvz axplrq nidr x kabzme badr nike nzrlxtilr.
18 Zbo ngr leplz kxnzobqszong x kxnzkxpung, sa na-arlapxbzmeng mz zmatq ngr leplz mz nrlc ka.
Zmwxlr amrlx sa na-aesaki-zvzq.

© 2008, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. All rights reserved.

complete Psalm 148 (Natügu)

The traditional Natügu song form uses stanzas of four lines (“quatrains”) “in which the first and last lines exhibit verbatim repetition in the words (…). Given that repetition, the form requires that the clause of the first line also be able to function syntactically as a final clause in the fourth line, or as an independent sentence. And because the lines of the quatrain are rather short, it involves a distillation of the message into one or two short sentences. The number of syllables in each set of two lines is usually in the 12-15 syllable range.” (Source: Brenda Boerger in Open Theology 2016, p. 179ff. )

Psalm 148 “with its extensive repetition” provided an ideal text to use the traditional Natügu literary form. Following is a back-translation from Natügu that follows the stanzas of four lines with the first and last line repeated (the Natügu original can be read right here ):

1-2 Ever exalt Yahweh, all you heavenly ones.
You his angels, ever exalt Yahweh.
3 Ever exalt Yahweh, sun and moon.
And all you stars, ever exalt Yahweh.
4 Ever exalt him, everything in the sky.
And you upper waters, ever exalt him.
5 Ever exalt his name. He who made you,
By the word he gave. Ever exalt Yahweh.
6 His word’s eternal. He set for each one
Where you’ll ever be. His word’s eternal.
7 Ever exalt Yahweh, you fish and monsters
Of the sea and deeps. Ever exalt Yahweh.
8 You obey his word, lightning and hail.
Clouds, wind and rain, you obey his word.
9 Ever exalt Yahweh, all mountains and hills.
You trees of the bush, ever exalt Yahweh.
10 Ever exalt him, all animals and birds.
And things that crawl, ever exalt Yahweh.
11 Let’s exalt Yahweh too, all of us in the world.
VIPs and leaders, we must also exalt Yahweh.
12 Let’s exalt him too, us lads and lasses.
Babes and elders, let’s exalt him too.
13 Let’s exalt his name, all of us.
His name is high. Let’s exalt his name.
His greatness surpasses the land
And the sky too. His greatness!
14 Let’s ever exalt Yahweh,
All us his Israelites.
He saves and loves us.
Let’s ever exalt Yahweh.

acrostic in Psalm 25

The Hebrew text of Psalms 9/10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145 uses acrostics, a literary form in which each verse is started with one of the successive 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. According to Brenda Boerger (in Open Theology 2016, p. 179ff. ) there are three different reasons for acrostics in the Hebrew text: “for ease of memorization,” the representation “of the full breadth and depth of a topic, all the way from aleph to taw (tav),” and the perception of “the acrostic form as aesthetically attractive.” (p. 191)

While most translations mention the existence of an acrostic in a note or a comment, few implement it in their translation. The Natügu translation is one such exception. Boerger (see above) cites a strong tradition in singing the psalms and the fact that Natügu, like Hebrew, also has 22 possible initial letters as motivating factors to maintain the acrostics in that language.

Click or tap here for the complete psalm in Natügu

1-2 Awi Yawe mz nzngini-krm Gct rnge.
Abrtr-zvzbo drtwrnge bam mz nzkrka’-krbo bam.
Bzkq rlr-ngrbzme mz enqmi rngeng nzaovxio-krdr ninge.
Bzkq nzamyatimlr drtqnge.
3 Clvebz doa kc tqabrtr-zvzbzle drtwrde bam, murde drtqde ma tzamyatibz.
Clveti-lzbq zvz doa lc, a’ mrlx kx ani txpwz nzota-krmu ncdr, mrlz nzmyakr drtqde.
4 Da kx sutitx-zlwzbz drtwrnge bam, nzalvztr-krme bange nqmq krmqng amrlx.
Delc nakrlz-zpwx-ngrne lrpzki rm.
5 Elalvzx nzokatr-krme ninge mz nzvz-nqblq-krnge natqm.
Eu. Murde nim Gct rnge kc tqarlapxle ninge, x tqabrkitr-zvzx drtwrnge nim.
6 Gct, aelwapx-zvzm nzaodu-krm x nivz lrm bange.
Gct, ale da lc, da kc tqwai-pnzq mzli kc bqnc.
7 Ipq ninge mz alwx kcng tqalexng mzli kc tqngini-ngrne obla, murde nim mrlz-esz’ngr.
Ipqpx nzvz-rbr-krngeng amrlx mz nzdcpxkr mz drtwrm nzaodu-zvz-krm.
8 Jzs-zvzq leplz mz nzmncngr kxmrlz x kxtubq.
Jzsiq mz nzalvztr-krm kxnzaleng alwx, murde nao-zlilr nzti rm.
9 Kxrmailz, aelwapx-ngrbzme mz kxnzavzo-lzbqng da kxtubq.
Kxakrlz, alvztr-zvz-ngrn nidr me pnz drtwrm.
10 Lrpzki rmqng amrlx nzaelwapxbzlr mz leplz nemqng nzaodu-krm x nzangidati-krm natqm.
Leplz lcng nzyrlq-zvzlr nzalvztr-krm x nzesz’tikr drtwrmu badr.
11 Ma-nqblq natqm kc tqesalz-ngrn mz nzipqpx-krm alwx rngeng,
Murde nzkqlu-zlwzng.
12 Nekeng nzlxngiti-angidrlr natqm,
Nzo-zlilr lrpzki angidr mz nzalvztr-krm nidr.
13 Olvz x ncblo lcng sa namnc-zpwxng.
Oliqtibz drtc’ kc tqpibzme, murde doa nedrng namnc-kzng elr.
14 Pqtr mz drtwrm leplz kcng tzamrluelr nim.
Pipx-zvzbzme da kx na-alelr mz nzvz-nqblq-krdr nzesz’tikr drtwrmu badr.
Nzkrka’ngr
15 Rtxtrpwo nibrnge bam mz nzmnc-xgle-krnge nim.
Rlapx-zvzx mz nzokatr-krm ninge.
16 Suti drtwrnge kx naobqme bange x nayc mz drtwrm ninge.
Sutitx drtwrnge murde trpengr kztenge x trmnc-zpwxpewxu.
17 Trte, katxpxbz nztalvzokr nabznge.
Tekqtr drtwrm x arlapxbz ninge mz nzkxpu-krngeng.
18 Vz zvz nzaotikr drtwrm nzkxpu-krnge x nzetqkr drtqnge,
Vzm x ipqpxbz alwx rngeng.
19 Wx-nzlongr nabznge nzkqlu-zlwzkr enqmi rngeng.
Wzpx zlwz mz drtwrdr nzatrkati-krdr ninge.
20 Xplrlvzbz ninge mz enqmi rngeng mz nztu-krme mz nibrnge.
X bzkq rlr-ngrbzme badr nzamyati-krmlr drtqnge, murde nim me rlakitrx.
21 Yawe, arlapx ninge murde tubqx x nabznge lqngi.
Yrlqtr-zvzbo nzlu-krnge bam.
22 Zmatq ngrm, navzm mz nzarlapx-krbzle nigr lr Israel mz
Ztrkang amrlx kcng tqrmctikr mzli ka.

© 2008, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. All rights reserved.

The English Bible translation by Ronald Knox (publ. 1950) maintains most Hebrew acrostics (even though Knox’s translation itself is based on the Latin text of the Vulgate rather than the Hebrew). Due to the higher number of letters in the English alphabet, it skips the letter V, X, Y, and Z.

1 (Of David.) All my heart goes out to thee, O Lord my God.
2 Belie not the trust I have in thee, let not my enemies boast of my downfall.
3 Can any that trust in thee be disappointed, as they are disappointed who lightly break their troth?
4 Direct my way, Lord, as thou wilt, teach me thy own paths.
5 Ever let thy truth guide and teach me, O God my deliverer, my abiding hope.
6 Forget not, Lord, thy pity, thy mercies of long ago.
7 Give heed no more to the sins and frailties of my youth, but think mercifully of me, as thou, Lord, art ever gracious.
8 How gracious is the Lord, how faithful, guiding our strayed feet back to the path!
9 In his own laws he will train the humble, in his own paths the humble he will guide.
10 Jealous be thy keeping of covenant and ordinance, and the Lord’s dealings will be ever gracious, ever faithful with thee.
11 Kindly be thy judgement of my sin, for thy own honour’s sake, my grievous sin.
12 Let a man but fear the Lord, what path to choose he doubts no longer.
13 Much joy he shall have of his lands and to his heirs leave them.
14 No stranger the Lord is, no secret his covenant, to his true worshippers.
15 On the Lord I fix my eyes continually, trusting him to save my feet from the snare.
16 Pity me, Lord, as thou seest me friendless and forlorn.
17 Quit my heart of its burden, deliver me from my distress.
18 Restless and forlorn, I claim thy pity, to my sins be merciful.
19 See how many are my foes, and how bitter is the grudge they bear me.
20 Take my soul into thy keeping; come to my rescue, do not let me be disappointed of my trust in thee.
21 Uprightness and purity be my shield, as I wait patiently, Lord, for thy help.
22 When wilt thou deliver Israel, my God, from all his troubles? (Source )

The English New Jerusalem Bible (publ. 1985) also translated this Psalm as an acrostic:

1 [Of David] ADORATION I offer, Yahweh,
2 to you, my God. BUT in my trust in you do not put me to shame, let not my enemies gloat over me.
3 CALLING to you, none shall ever be put to shame, but shame is theirs who groundlessly break faith.
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.
5 ENCOURAGE me to walk in your truth and teach me since you are the God who saves me. FOR my hope is in you all day long — such is your generosity, Yahweh.
6 GOODNESS and faithful love have been yours for ever, Yahweh, do not forget them.
7 HOLD not my youthful sins against me, but remember me as your faithful love dictates.
8 INTEGRITY and generosity are marks of Yahweh for he brings sinners back to the path.
9 JUDICIOUSLY he guides the humble, instructing the poor in his way.
10 KINDNESS unfailing and constancy mark all Yahweh’s paths, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
11 LET my sin, great though it is, be forgiven, Yahweh, for the sake of your name.
12 MEN who respect Yahweh, what of them? He teaches them the way they must choose.
13 NEIGHBOURS to happiness will they live, and their children inherit the land.
14 ONLY those who fear Yahweh have his secret and his covenant, for their understanding.
15 PERMANENTLY my eyes are on Yahweh, for he will free my feet from the snare.
16 QUICK, turn to me, pity me, alone and wretched as I am!
17 RELIEVE the distress of my heart, bring me out of my constraint.
18 SPARE a glance for my misery and pain, take all my sins away.
19 TAKE note how countless are my enemies, how violent their hatred for me.
20 UNLESS you guard me and rescue me I shall be put to shame, for you are my refuge.
21 VIRTUE and integrity be my protection, for my hope, Yahweh, is in you.
22 Ransom Israel, O God, from all its troubles. (Source )

acrostic in Psalm 34

The Hebrew text of Psalms 9/10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145 uses acrostics, a literary form in which each verse is started with one of the successive 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. According to Brenda Boerger (in Open Theology 2016, p. 179ff. ) there are three different reasons for acrostics in the Hebrew text: “for ease of memorization,” the representation “of the full breadth and depth of a topic, all the way from aleph to taw (tav),” and the perception of “the acrostic form as aesthetically attractive.” (p. 191)

While most translations mention the existence of an acrostic in a note or a comment, few implement it in their translation. The Natügu translation is one such exception. Boerger (see above) cites a strong tradition in singing the psalms and the fact that Natügu, like Hebrew, also has 22 possible initial letters as motivating factors to maintain the acrostics in that language.

Click or tap here for the complete psalm in Natügu

1 Awi-zvzbo mz Yawe,
X tramawxu nzglqpx-krnge nide.
2 Bilvz-zvzx Yawe mz nabznge,
Murde nimu kx nzaetqbz drtqmu na-abrtzlvzamu da kcng tqaleleng.
3 Clve Yawe doa x da amrlx. Naglqlzku drtqde.
X napipx-lxblr-ngrgu nzetu-krde.
4 Da kcng tqmwxlrtix, arlapxpebz Yawe ninge mz da lcng amrlx.
Murde mzli kc tqkrka’-ngrbo bade, ayzlumle natqnge.
5 Elr! Na-abrtrpzmu drtwrmu mz Yawe, murde ma drtqmu tqmya,
X na-abrtzlvzamu nzokatr-krde nimu.
6 Gct, mzli kc nzmnc-krnge tqtrka-ngrde, arlapxq ninge,
Mz nzatutr-krm nzkrka’-krnge.
7 Ili! Enjrl ne Yawe arlapxle leplz mzli kc drtqdr tqetq-ngrde,
Murde aclvele krkcng tzmyatitrlr Yawe.
8 Jzsamu ena nzmrlzkr Yawe x na-abrtr-krbzmu drtwrmu bade.
Murde krkcng tqaclveleng nzabrtz-zvzng.
9 Kxnzvz-nqblqlr natq Yawe nzrngiscng da amrlx.
Delc nimu leplz nedeng na-amrlue-ngrnamu nide.
10 Laion kx nzxplrng nzkrlzlr nzbrtalengr,
Leplz kx nzvz-nqblqlr Yawe, trpnzngr da kx mrbrpxm badr.
11 Mrlxngeng x inyxngeng, lalztqmamu bange,
Murde na-alvztrpo bamu kxnamu nzamrluengr Yawe.
12?Nike suti drtwrm?
?Nzlungr kxmrlz kxboi?
13 Obq zpwx, x bzkq pokiaq.
Bzkq ycmne-atrkatiq leplz,
14 Prszpx nqmq kxtrka. X ale zvz da kxmrlz.
X nasuti drtwrm nzmnc-zpwx-krmu badr leplz mz nrwx.
15 Rlxtibz ncblo kxtubq mz Yawe nzokatr-krde nide.
X Yawe sa naxlrbzle nzkrka’-krde mz nzaclve-krde nide.
16 Sa napnanatile krkcng tzale-zvzng da kxtrka.
Trobqpwzu badr x mzli kc nabz-ngrdr, ani txpwz nzmrbrtrkr mz drtwr nidr. 1 Pita 3:10-12
17 Takitrde nzxlr-krbz Yawe natq leplz kxnztubqng mzli kc tzyrni-ngrbzlr bade,
Murde ngi nqmq krde nzokatr-krde leplz nedeng.
18 Vz zvz nzesolvzti-krde krkcng drtwrdr tqvz,
X nzamnc-lrpi-krde krkcng nabzdr tqyrnibu.
19 Wzpxtx zlwz nzkxpukr ncblo kxtubq.
A’ Yawe sa na-arlapxle nide mz da lcng amrlx.
20 X mz nzaclve-zpwx-krde nide,
Trpnzngr nrvr ngrdeng kx nztavxi. Jon 19:36
21 Yawe sa na-ayrplapxle kxdrka’-ngrng kcng tztrkalr-ngrdr kxnztubqng.
X nqmq krdr lc tqtrka sa nanibq-moule nidr.
22 Zvz Yawe nztu-krbzle mz nibr kxnzawz nedeng.
X trpnzngr nzayrplapx-krde krkcng tzabrtrpzlr drtwrdr bade.

© 2008, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. All rights reserved.

The English Bible translation by Ronald Knox (publ. 1950) maintains most Hebrew acrostics (even though Knox’s translation itself is based on the Latin text of the Vulgate rather than the Hebrew). Due to the higher number of letters in the English alphabet, it skips the letter V, X, Y, and Z.

2 At all times I will bless the Lord; his praise shall be on my lips continually.
3 Be all my boasting in the Lord; listen to me, humble souls, and rejoice.
4 Come, sing the Lord’s praise with me, let us extol his name together.
5 Did I not look to the Lord, and find a hearing; did he not deliver me from all my terrors?
6 Ever look to him, and in him find happiness; here is no room for downcast looks.
7 Friendless folk may still call upon the Lord and gain his ear, and be rescued from all their afflictions.
8 Guardian of those who fear the Lord, his angel encamps at their side, and brings deliverance.
9 How gracious the Lord is! Taste and prove it; blessed is the man that learns to trust in him.
10 It is for you, his chosen servants, to fear the Lord; those who fear him never go wanting.
11 Justly do the proud fall into hunger and want;✻ blessing they lack not that look to him.
12 Know, then, my children, what the fear of the Lord is; come and listen to my teaching.
13 Long life, and prosperous days, who would have these for the asking?
14 My counsel is, keep thy tongue clear of harm, and thy lips free from every treacherous word.
15 Naught of evil cherish thou, but rather do good; let peace be all thy quest and aim.
16 On the upright the Lord’s eye ever looks favourably; his ears are open to their pleading.
17 Perilous is his frown for the wrong-doers; he will soon make their name vanish from the earth.
18 Roused by the cry of the innocent, the Lord sets them free from all their afflictions.
19 So near is he to patient hearts, so ready to defend the humbled spirit.
20 Though a hundred trials beset the innocent, the Lord will bring him safely through them all.
21 Under the Lord’s keeping, every bone of his is safe; not one of them shall suffer harm.
22 Villainy hastes to its own undoing; the enemies of innocence will bear their punishment.
23 The Lord will claim his servant as his own; they go unreproved that put their trust in him. (Source )

(Note that in the Hebrew version, 34:1-22 is lettered 34:2-23, which is followed by Knox)

acrostic in Psalm 37

The Hebrew text of Psalms 9/10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145 uses acrostics, a literary form in which each verse is started with one of the successive 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. According to Brenda Boerger (in Open Theology 2016, p. 179ff. ) there are three different reasons for acrostics in the Hebrew text: “for ease of memorization,” the representation “of the full breadth and depth of a topic, all the way from aleph to taw (tav),” and the perception of “the acrostic form as aesthetically attractive.” (p. 191)

While most translations mention the existence of an acrostic in a note or a comment, few implement it in their translation. The Natügu translation is one such exception. Boerger (see above) cites a strong tradition in singing the psalms and the fact that Natügu, like Hebrew, also has 22 possible initial letters as motivating factors to maintain the acrostics in that language.

Click or tap here for the complete psalm in Natügu

1-4 Abrtzlvz nzwztr-krbzme mz Yawe,
X sa nakabzle da kcng tqpq mz nabzm.
Ale da kxmrlz x abrtrpz drtwrm bade,
Murde namnc-zpwxq mz drtc’ kc tqpile kx nakabzle bamu.
Bzkq witibz nelzm nzmnckr kxdrka’-ngrng,
Murde mzli trnaboiu x sc tzbzpeng.
Bzkq kcmnz-ngrbzme nzalengr da kcng tzalelr,
Murde nzlu-krdr sa namrbc nzapulr nabr kxglr mz mzli r nepi.
5-7 Clveti-lzbq, x aenzli-lrpi mz nzabrtr-krbzme drtwrm mz Yawe.
Bzkq nabzm talvzo mz nzrmc-krm leplz kxnzrngiscng nzvz-nqblq-krdr nqmq krdr kxtrka.
Da kx na-aleq, mnc-xgle txpwz Yawe,
X abrtrpz drtwrm bade, murde sa naokatrle nim.
Delc sa na-aelwapx-ngrbzle nzopxkr nztubq-krm,
Mz nzapu-krde nilz r nepi kc tqvz-esz’ngr mzli kc bea.
8-11 Eu, bzkq drtwrm ngya x nabzm talvzo
Murde da lcng li ma tzrkatrpzng bam drtwr kxtrka.
Eu, murde kxnzabrtrpzlr drtwrdr mz Yawe sa nangi nyzdr drtc’ kc tqpile nakabzle badr,
A’ kxdrka’-ngrng sa namaszlrtxpx-ngrng.
Glqpx Yawe kx mzli trnaboipeu x kxdrka’-ngrng sc tzmrbrpeng.
Kxmule-esz’ rtangrtiq nidr a’ trpengr nzmc-krmleng.
Gct rlr-ngrbzle drtc’ nyzde mz kxnzavzo-lzbqng.
X sa na-abrtzng mz nzmnc-zpwx-krdr elr.
12-15 Ili! Kxnztubqng x kxtrnzrngiscung na-aclvetio-lzbqng
Murde kxdrka’-ngrng nzglalzpelr toki r vea x popz’ scdr.
Ili! A’ kxdrka’-ngrng na-aclvetio-lzbq-kzng murde toki r vea scdr sa nanibq-moule nidr,
X Yawe sa naplameitibzle popz’ scdr.
Jzs Yawe krkcng tzryrlqng drtwr kx na-atrkati-ngrdr kxnztubqng
X nzmadqti-zvzbzlr nqngidr badr.
Jzsle nidr mz nzodati-krde nidr,
X yrpalelvz-zvzle nidr murde trpnzngr nzxplr-krdr.
16-22 Kxetu Yawe aclve-zvzle kxnzvz-nqblqlr nide,
X nikeng kabzle badr nangisc-alopedr.
Kabzle badr dakxnzng kxkqlu mz mzli r dzbi,
X okatrle nidr mzli kx prtzngr da.
Lalztqmamu! Murde kxdrka’-ngrng sa nabzng, mz nzapu-krdr nrpq da kc tqplclqom
X enqmi r Yawe lcng sa nangiliang na-apulr zsikapu.
Mclr ncblo kxtubq, kxmule-esz’ kxpipzne,
Myaszpxle da kxkqlu kxngisc ncblo kxdrka’ngr.
Murde Yawe sa nakatxpxbzle zmatq ngrdr kxdrka’-ngrng,
A’ sa naokatrle kxnztubqng.
Ncblo kxdrka’-ngrng nzbi-txpwzlr nzrlxngr, x trnzkrlzlru nzrka-niwzlrngr.
A’ kxnzmrlzng yc mz drtwrdr nzrka-niwzlr-krdr vzmi kxnzamnzo-mzleu.
Ncblo kcng tqamrlzng Yawe sa nangi nyzdr drtc’ kc tqpile nakabzle badr.
A’ leplz kcng tqpilzleng sa nabzng.
23-26 Oblamzngeng, bztipex nzmncngr, x ninge ka tqnginipenge lrtzlvz.
X mcx kx nqmq kr ncblo kxtubq nide sele.
Okatr-zvzle leplz mz nzrlr-nrbalq-krde dztudeng, x doa nedeng ngi da kxmrlz kx kabz Gct bade.
Yawe okatr-zvzle nide x doa nedeng trnzyrnitrpwzung nadr dakxnzng.
Pq mz drtwr Yawe nzaelwa-krbzle mz leplz lrpzki kx nao-zlilr,
X mailz-zvzle krkcng tzabrtz-ngrdr nqmq krde.
Pipxle kx kxmule-esz’ nanycdr miglqpx, a’ trnztaoung,
Murde sc tqlolvz-amqngileng.
27-29 Rtxtiamu nibrmu da kxtrka, x aleamu da kxmrlz,
Murde neidu nemung namnc-along mz drtc’ kc tqpi Yawe nakabzle bamu.
Rpi Yawe kx mrlz bade da kxtubq,
X okatr-zvzle kxnzabrtrpzlr drtwrdr bade.
Sa naokatr-zvzle nidr,
A’ doa ne kxdrka’-ngrng sa nabzng.
Sa nangi nyz leplz kxnzmrlzng drtc’ kc tqpi Yawe nakabzle badr,
X sa namnc-alopeng elr.
30-33 Takitrde kx ncblo kxmrlz dekc tqvzkipxm natq ngr nzyrplapxngr,
X nikeng pitileng tubq.
Takitr-kzde nzkrlz-angidr-krde Lou amrlx sc Gct rde,
X nzlolvz-amqngi-zvz-krdeleng.
Vz zvz kxdrka’-ngrng nzaukzti-krdr leplz kxnzmrlzng,
Murde nanibqlrng.
Vz zvz Yawe nzkapx-krmle ncblo kxmrlz mz mq enqmi rdeng,
X mzli kc natwz-ngrdr nide mz kot, trnzaovxiolru nide.
34-36 Wz zvz mz nzabrtr-krbzmu drtwrmu bade,
Murde sa nangi nyzmu drtc’ kc tqpile nakabzle bamu mz nzamatq-krde nimu.
X sa namcamu nzmaneutipx-krde kxdrka’-ngrng.
Xlrmamu natqnge. Mcx kzdq ncblo kxdrka’ngr kxtrka-esz’ngr, x atrkati-zvzle leplz.
Xplr-esz’ngr x obqszo-ngrde leplz amrlx.
X kxmule-esz’ rtangrtix nide, a’ trmcpewxu, murde mrbrpe.
37-40 Yrlq angidr mz drtwrm ncblo kxmrlz kxtubq, murde mnc mz nrwx,
X doa kxnzmika mz neidu lrde nzkqlu-zlwzng.
Yrpalelvzx kxdrka’-ngrng murde sa nabzting,
X doa lr neidu lrdr sa nayrkrtxong.
Zvz Yawe na-arlapxle kxnztubqng.
Murde nide me nzrlakitrlr mz mzli r nzkxpu-krdr.
Zvz Yawe na-arlapxbzle nidr mz mq kxdrka’-ngrng,
Murde nzbrti drtwrdr nide nzokatr-krde nidr.

© 2008, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. All rights reserved.

The English Bible translation by Ronald Knox (publ. 1950) maintains most Hebrew acrostics (even though Knox’s translation itself is based on the Latin text of the Vulgate rather than the Hebrew). Due to the higher number of letters in the English alphabet, it skips the letter P, Q, X, Y, and Z.

1 (Of David.) Art thou impatient, friend, when the wicked thrive; dost thou envy the lot of evil-doers?
2 they will soon fade like the grass, like the green leaf wither away.
3 Be content to trust in the Lord and do good; live on thy land, and take thy ease,
4 all thy longing fixed in the Lord; so he will give thee what thy heart desires.
5 Commit thy life to the Lord, and trust in him; he will prosper thee,
6 making thy honesty clear as the day, the justice of thy cause bright as the sun at noon.
7 Dumb and patient, to the Lord’s mercy look thou, never fretting over the man that has his own way, and thrives by villainy.
8 End thy complaints, forgo displeasure, do not fret thyself into an evil mood;
9 the evil-minded will be dispossessed, and patient souls, that wait for the Lord, succeed them.
10 Forbear yet a little, and the sinner will be seen no more; thou wilt search in vain to find him,
11 while patient souls are the land’s heirs, enjoying great peace.
12 Gnashing his teeth with envy, the wrong-doer plots against the innocent,
13 and cannot see his own turn coming; but the Lord sees it, and laughs at his malice.
14 How they draw the sword, how they bend the bow, these sinners, to bring ruin on helpless poverty, to murder the upright;
15 swords that will pierce their own hearts, bows that will break in pieces!
16 Innocence, ill endowed, has the better of the wicked in their abundance;
17 soon fails the strength of their arms, and still the Lord has the just in his keeping.
18 Jealously the Lord watches over the lives of the guiltless, they will hold their lands for ever,
19 undismayed by adversity, in time of famine well content.
20 Knavery will yet come to an end; like the spring’s finery they will die, the Lord’s enemies, vanish away like smoke.
21 Let the sinner borrow, and never repay, still the good man will be a generous giver;✻
22 win the Lord’s blessing, and the land is thine, his ban is death.
23 Man’s feet stand firm, if the Lord is with him to prosper his journey;
24 he may stumble but never fall, with the Lord’s hand in his.
25 Now youth is past, and I have grown old; yet never did I see the good man forsaken, or his children begging their bread;
26 still he lends without stint, and men call down blessings on his posterity.
27 Offend no more, rather do good, and be at rest continually;
28 the Lord is ever just, and will not abandon his faithful servants. Perish the sinner, forgotten be the name of the evil-doer,
29 but these will hold their land, and live on it always at rest.
30 Right reason is on the good man’s lips, well weighed are all his counsels;
31 his steps never falter, because the law of God rules in his heart.
32 Sinners lie in wait, plotting against the life of the innocent;
33 but the Lord will never leave him in their power, never find him guilty when he is arraigned.
34 Trust the Lord, and follow the path he has chosen; so he will set thee up in possession of thy land, and thou wilt live to see the wicked come to ruin.
35 Until yesterday, I saw the evil-doer throned high as the branching cedars;
36 then, when I passed by, he was there no longer, and I looked in vain to find him.
37 Virtuous men and innocent mark thou well; he that lives peaceably will leave a race behind him,
38 while sinners are rooted out every one, and their graceless names forgotten.
39 When affliction comes, the Lord is the refuge and defence of the innocent;
40 the Lord will aid and deliver them, rescue and preserve them from the power of wickedness, because they put their trust in him. (Source )

acrostic in Psalm 111

The Hebrew text of Psalms 9/10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145 uses acrostics, a literary form in which each verse is started with one of the successive 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. According to Brenda Boerger (in Open Theology 2016, p. 179ff. ) there are three different reasons for acrostics in the Hebrew text: “for ease of memorization,” the representation “of the full breadth and depth of a topic, all the way from aleph to taw (tav),” and the perception of “the acrostic form as aesthetically attractive.” (p. 191)

While most translations mention the existence of an acrostic in a note or a comment, few implement it in their translation. The Natügu translation is one such exception. Boerger (see above) cites a strong tradition in singing the psalms and the fact that Natügu, like Hebrew, also has 22 possible initial letters as motivating factors to maintain the acrostics in that language.

Click or tap here for the complete psalm in Natügu

1 Awi Yawe! Glqpxku Yawe!
Bilvzx nide mz nabznge atwrnrngr, mz nzyrlwr-lxblr-krgr badr leplz nedeng.
2 Clvele nrlc x da kcng tqwz-ngrde, tqaletileng nzmyalzng.
Delc, leplz amrlx na-aotingr drtwrdr da lcng mz nzabrtzlvz-krdrleng.
3 Eu, da lcng amrlx nzaelwapx-ngrdr zmrlue x zmatq rde.
Glqpxku nztubq-krde kc tqvzpe tqvzpe.
4 Ipqle nigu mz zmrlz ngrde kxmyalz x ycngr drtwrde nigu.
Jzsle nigu x nayc zvz mz drtwrgu rkx ngrdeng.
5 Kabzle dakxnzng mz leplz kcng tzamrluelr nide.
Lolvz-amqngile mz drtwrde da kx esalz-ngrbzle badr.
6 Mz nzaprc-krbzle drtc’ ngr lr mrkzbleng mz doa nedeng,
Nide kc tqaelwapx-ngrbzle zmatq rde badr.
7 Okatrle nidr mz nzaclve-krdeng kxtubq.
Prlxpx-zvzle da angidr x nzrsakrlrngr.
8 Rkapx zvz natq kx rsakrlrngr.
Sa na-atutrleng murde nqmq krde mrlz x tubq.
9-10 Takitrde nzangio-krgu drtqde kxtr mz nzamrluengr murde
Vz-nqblq-zvzle nzesalz-krde x
Witi nelzde nzarlapx-krde leplz nedeng.
X aelwapx-ngrgu nzyrplapx-krgu mz nzamrlue-krgu nide.
Yawe kabzle nzrkrlz-angidrngr mz krkcng tzyrlq-angidrlr natqde.
Zbq kalvz nzrglqpxngr nide navz zvz x tqvzpe, tqvzpe.

© 2008, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Danish Bibelen på Hverdagsdansk (publ. 1985, rev. 2015 et al.) translated Psalm 111 into an acrostic. Iver Larsen who worked in this translation explained (in Roelie Van der Spuy in Old Testament Essays 2008, p. 513ff. ) the choice of letters: “We don’t use c, q, w, x and z. On the other hand we do use the extra Danish vowel symbols æ, ø and å, and the y is a vowel, not a consonant. Since Danish has more than 22 letters, we cannot use all the letters, so among those last ones (æ, ø, å) I chose what fits best.”

Click or tap here for the complete psalm in Danish with its English translation

1. Af hele mit hjerte vil jeg takke Herren,

[From all of my heart I will thank the Lord]

berømme ham midt i de gudfrygtiges forsamling.

[extol him in the midst of the assembly of the God-fearing.[

2. De ting, han gør, er vidunderlige,

[The things he does are wonderful,[

enhver, der oplever dem, må juble og glæde sig.

[all who experience them rejoice and are happy.]

3. Fantastiske er alle hans undere,

[All his wonders are fantastic,]

glem ikke hans uendelig godhed.

[never forget his unending goodness.]

4. Herren er nådig og barmhjertig,

[The Lord is compassionate and merciful]

ingen må glemme hans velgerninger.

[no one should ever forget his good deeds.]

5. Jeg ved, at han altid sørger for sit folk.

[I know that he always provides for his people,]

Kan han nogensinde glemme sin pagt med dem?

[Could he ever forget his covenant with them?]

6. Landet, som tilhørte de fremmede, gav han til sit eget folk,

[The land that belonged to foreigners he gave to his own people,]

med magt drev han de andre væk for øjnene af sine udvalgte.

[he forced them away before the eyes of his chosen ones.]

7. Når han handler, gør han altid det rigtige,

[When he acts, he always does what is right,]

ordene fra ham kan man stole på.

[his words are trustworthy.]

8. Pas på, at I trofast adlyder hans bud,

[Be careful to faithfully obey his commands,]

retsindighed har evighedsværdi.

[uprightness/justice is of eternal value.]

9. Sit folk har han sat i frihed,

[He has given his people their freedom,]

til evig tid varer hans pagt med dem.

[his covenant with them will last forever.]

Underfuld og hellig er Herren.

[Wonderful and holy is the Lord.]

10. Visdom udspringer af ærefrygt for Gud.

[Wisdom results from respectfully honoring God.]

Ypperlig er den indsigt, man får ved at adlyde ham.

[The insight you get from obeying him is superb.]

Æren er hans for evigt!

[He is to be honored forever!]

In the Zürich German dialect (Züritüütsch) of Swiss German, the Psalms were translated while maintaining the acrostic by Josua Boesch (publ. 2009 ).

Click or tap here for the complete psalm in Zürich German

1 Halleluja! ER isch is mee wèrt als ales.
Au iich wil IMM tanke vo ganzem hèrze,
Bi siine friind i siinere gmäind.
2 Chumm lueg, was èr ales ttaa hät für öis.
Die, wo s ggluschtet, psined sich drüber.
3 ER hat ales herrlich und schöön gmacht.
Für eewig bliibt siini grächtigkäit fescht.
4 Gaar nie wil iich sini wunder vergässe.
Häsch ghöört, ER isch barmhèrzig und güetig.
5 I siinere hand isch z ässe fur d fründ.
Käine chunnt z chuurz, èr haltet s verschpräche.
6 Lueg, was er mit chraft fur siis volk tuet,
Mit welere liebi èr ine s land gitt.
7 Nüüt isch nöd zueverlèèssig und rächt vo dèm, won er gmacht hät.
Ooni siis soorge hett ales kä sinn.
8 Probier nöd z flicken a siineren oornihg, suscht hebt si nöd eewig.
Rue hetsch au nümen und ales gieng schieff.
9 Siim volk hät èr emaal d freihäit ggèè.
Tänk doch an bund, won èr mit em gschlosse.
Uurhäilig isch IMM sini nööchi bi öis.
10 Vo aafang aa hämer nur INN als mitti vo öisere wiishäit.
Wèr siich dernaa richtet, hät s imer guet.
Zum schluss wämer inn rüeme imer und eewig, ER isch is mee wèrt als ales.

The English Bible translation by Ronald Knox (publ. 1950) maintains most Hebrew acrostics (even though Knox’s translation itself is based on the Latin text of the Vulgate rather than the Hebrew). Due to the higher number of letters in the English alphabet, it skips the letters J, Q, X, and Z.

1 All my heart goes out to the Lord in praise, Before the assembly where the just are gathered.
2 Chant we the Lord’s wondrous doings, delight and study of all who love him.
3 Ever his deeds are high and glorious, faithful he abides to all eternity.
4 Great deeds, that he keeps still in remembrance!
5 He, the Lord, is kind and merciful. In abundance he fed the men who feared him, keeping his covenant for ever.
6 Lordly the power he shewed his people,
7 making the lands of the heathen their possession. No act but shews him just and faithful; of his decrees there is no relenting.
8 Perpetual time shall leave them changeless; right and truth are their foundation.
9 So he has brought our race deliverance; to all eternity stands his covenant. Unutterable is his name and worshipful;
10 vain without his fear is learning. Wise evermore are you who follow it; yours the prize that lasts for ever. (Source )

This blog post mentions several English translation of Psalm 111 with an acrostic that were not published in official Bible translations. The above-quoted Van der Spuy also has his own Afrikaans translation with an acrostic (quoted in Old Testament Essays 2008, p. 513ff. ).