Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth

The Hebrew that is translated as “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” or similar in English is translated in Waama as “Embrace me, touch your lips to mine.”

Siromatohou François Boco Tchoropa (in Anthropology Allspice 5.4, 2023) explains: “When translating this verse, translators need to think carefully about the target audience, so as not to offend them with the words they choose. One must translate according to the meaning but also take into account people’s realities.

“The first challenge is that there is no word for ‘kiss’ in Waama. You have to describe the action to express the idea: Baa o nɔɔkpanya n denya yini o yà mɔkiri (‘You touch your lips to mine, you suck them’). But expressing yourself in this way could be taken very badly by many Waaba people. It should be noted that talking about love among the Waaba is taboo. Declarations of love and gestures between husband and wife are hidden. The intimate parts of the body have coded names and are not referred to by their real names. We conducted a lot of research to translate this verse so as not to offend readers. We anthropological research to achieve this.

Finally, we translated it as follows: Wuke mmi o baasire o nɔɔkpanya n denya yini (‘Embrace me, touch your lips to mine’). We decided to keep the meaning in a way that allows the Waaba to understand without being offended. Then we put in a footnote explaining what it meant in Hebrew.”

See also kiss and put his arms around him and kissed him.

mourning clothes

The Hebrew that is translated as “mourning clothes” or similar in English is translated in Waama as kuu karooti niina, lit. “death-sit clothes.” In the first draft the French mort habit was translated literally as kuun niina or “death clothes,” which turned out to be the clothes that are worn by the dead person in the casket. (Source: Siromatohou François Boco Tchoropa in Anthropology Allspice 5.4, 2023)

See also sackcloth.