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one of the articles i’ve been editing for salt magazine is by joel, a student who went on a short-term mission to vanuatu. he sent me a translation of the Lord’s prayer in bislama, the local language which has a lot in common with tok pisin, the pidgin english used in papua new guinea, where i grew up.

i just thought i’d reproduce it here, because i love language, i especially love these kinds of pidgin words and, well, i think it’s great!

Papa blong mifala we yu stap long heven,
Nem blong yu i mas tabu,
Kingdom blong yu i mas kam,
Mo ol man long wol oli mas harem tok
blong yu olsem we olgeta long heven oli stap harem.
Plis yu givim kakae long mifala tede,
Mo yu fogivim ol rong blong mifala,
Olsem we mifala i stap fogivim ol rong we ol man oli mekem long mifala.
Plis yu no traem mifala tumas,
Be yu tekemaot mifala long han blong Setan,
From we kingdom, mo paoa, mo ol gudgudfala samting oli blong yu, gog i no save finis.

(in case you need a reminder, in english:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done
on Earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil,
for the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.)

* for other language-nerds, i discovered via wikipedia (so it must be true) that the name ‘bislama’ is derived from the 19th century word ‘beach-la-mar’, from the French ‘bêche de mer’, in turn from the portuguese ‘bicho do mar’ (meaning sea cucumber) because the local labourers used to speak this pidgin language amongst themselves while they harvested sea cucumbers! i love the internet, it makes me feel so smart! (and nerdy)