When translating Psalm 23:1, “the translators of the Kriol Bible drew on the experience of recent generations in the cattle industry to present God as a “good one stockman who always minds about me’: YAWEI, yu jis laik det brabli gudwan stakmen. Yu oldei maindimbat mi.” (Source: Lake, p. 69f.)
The Greek and Hebrew that is translated as “shepherd” in English is translated in Kouya as Bhlabhlɛɛ ‘yliyɔzʋnyɔ — ” tender of sheep.”
Philip Saunders (p. 231) explains:
“Then one day they tackled the thorny problem of ‘shepherd’. It was problematic because Kouyas don’t have herdsmen who stay with the sheep all the time. Sheep wander freely round the village and its outskirts, and often a young lad will be detailed to drive sheep to another feeding spot. So the usual Kouya expression meant a ‘driver of sheep’, which would miss the idea of a ‘nurturing’ shepherd. ‘A sheep nurturer’ was possible to say, but it was unnatural in most contexts. The group came up with Bhlabhlɛɛ ‘yliyɔzʋnyɔ which meant ‘a tender of sheep’, that is one who keeps an eye on the sheep to make sure they are all right. All, including the translators, agreed that this was a most satisfactory solution.”
In Chuj the translation is “carer” since there was no single word for “shepherd” (source: Ronald Ross) and in Muna dhagano dhumba: “sheep guard” since there was no immediate lexical equivalent (source: René van den Berg).