LE MONDE ORIENTAL 1914, Vol. VIII, Pp. 1-15
Some Tigre Texts with transliteration and translation
By Richard Sundström
With great satisfaction I find that the Tigre language is gaining ground more and more among orientalists.
In order that they may be able to get an idea of its pronunciation and its accent as far, of course, as it is possible to render it intelligible by writing, I will here try to give a transliteration of some texts as correctly as possible as I have grasped it, after twelve years’ stay in Eritrea among the Tigre speaking people.
As will appear from the texts I have translated as literally as possible with the object of giving the reader acquainted with the Semitic languages an idea of the mode of expression in Tigre. …..
ድግም ዎሮት ኣረሚ::
The tale of a heathen
Somebody once said to a man: “Thou wilt die to-day.” Then he put on his sandals, took his cudgel and started in order to escape from God. On his way he sometimes hid himself in the valleys, sometimes mounted the hills to look about.
Then finding a camel he took it and having mounted it set off that God might not overtake and kill him. Now a hawk found a viper on the ground, picked it up and when flying with it dropped it on the man, who was bitten by it and tumbled down from the camel that stepped on him and went. But because the man would escape from God, he died in this way.
ድግም ክልኦት ሑ::
ወእት ልትፈረሮ እት ገበይ እናስ ለቤትና ቅልፍት ሀሌት ወለመፍትሓ እት ሐን እበነት ልሽናሁ:: ወሐሊብና እት ስምጥ ለመኦሻት ድቡእ ሀለ:: ኢትእቴ ወኢትንሰእ ቤለዎ:: ስኒ ቤለ ከሐልፈ:: ወምን ለህቶም ሐበረዎ ለመፍትሕ ነስአ ወለቤት እንዶ ከስተ ለሐሊባት ሰተ:: ወለዐሙር ክምሰል ለድብእት ለጸንሐቶ ደብአያ ከሐድገ:: ወእንዶ ደብአ ለመፍትሕ እት ኣካኑ በልሰዩ ወገበዩ ጌሰ::
ሐር ለክልኦት ሑ ፍሩራም እንዶ ዐለው አተዉ:: ወምን ለምክራዮም ለመፍትሕ እንዶ ነስአው ለቤት ከስተው ወሐሊቦም እግል ልስተው ክም ከስተው ዐሙር እብ ጬነጪት ብራቃ ጸንሐቶም::
The tale of two brothers
Once upon a time, there were two brothers who having milked put the pail near the fire-place and covered it up. Then having locked the house they hid the key outside under a stone and went to fetch wood.
On their way a man met them. They said to him: “We have locked our house and we have put the key outside under a stone. Our milk in its covered pail is placed near the fire-place. Now don’t enter the house to drink the milk.”
“Well”, he said and proceeded. When at the house, he took the key from the place they had told him, opened the door and drank the milk. Then he replaced the pail, covered as before, kocked the house, hid the key on its place and went away.
After some time the two brothers returned with their wood. Having taken the key from its hiding-place they unlocked the house and when they uncovered the pail for drinking the milk, they found it empty of milk but flies in abundance.
Now they said to each other: “ what have we to do? We cannot say that people have drunk the milk because the key was on its place and the pail was covered up. Who has drunk it then? Oh dear! The flies have drunk it and what may we do them? Well, we accuse them.”
Then they went to the chief and said: “Having locked the house we went to fetch wood. In our house we had left milk and when we returned we found the flies drinking it. Now let justice be done!” The chief then answered them: “Since the flies have drunk your milk, kill everyone you got sight of.”
Now they caught sight of a fly on the forehead of the chief. One of them took his cudgel and with the object of killing the fly he hit the chief a slap in his forehead. And the chief tumbled down from his chair and died.
Asked by the people why they had killed him, they answered: “He told us to kill all the flies we observed and seeing a fly on his forehead we stuck it.” And the chief in this way died by his own sentence.
* * *
Book: Nouva Antologia, Uppsala Sweden 1914
Carolina Rediviva Library Uppsala - Sweden