Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Lord is my Shepherd

I really love those books set in places where English is not the main language; where the author intersperses dialogue with foreign words in italics. Love it! So as I was looking through some old emails, I came across this Nigerian pidgin-English version of Psalm 23 and I wanted to share it with you. After each verse is my humble attempt at a literal interpretation.

1. The Lord na my shephard, i dey kampe. The Lord is my shepherd, I am very well

2. E make me sidon for where betta dey flow and come put me next to stream make mai bodi thermacool. He makes me sit where good things are and puts me next to a stream to make my body feel good

3. E panel beat mai soul come spray am white, come dey lead me dey go through express road of righteousness sake of Hin name. He re-arranges my soul and makes it pure. He leads me on the express road of righteousness for His names sake.

4. Walahi!, if I waka pass where arm robber, 419 and juju people boku, come even join okada reach valley of the shadow of death sef, mai bodi dey inside cloth. Wow! Truly, if I walk past armed robbers, fraudulent people or diabolical, evil people, even if Im on a motorbike going through the valley of the shadow of death, I am fully clothe.

Your rod and staff nko ? Na so dem dey like back bone dey comfort me. What about Your rod and staff? They are like a backbone giving me comfort.

5. You don prepare Egusi and Pounded yam make I chop. All mai enemies dey look waa waa. You rub me for head wit vaseline intensive lotion. mai cup na River Niger wey overflow hin bank. You have prepared Egusi soup and pounded yam (sorry folks, no translation there, these are Nigerian staple foods) for me to eat. All my enemies look on. You rub Vaseline Intensive lotion on my head. My cup overflows like the River Niger, overflowing its banks.

6. True true, betta life and mercy go gum mai back till I quench. And man pikin go tanda for God house from lai lai to lai lai. Truely, good life and mercy will stick to my back until I die. And I will stand in God's house forever.


Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a Technical Author and Software Trainer. She lives in London. She is working on some new stories about relationships and is trusting God for connections leading to publication.


  1. Wow, thanks for that, Daniella. That's beautiful. That's one of the loveliest translations of the 21st Psalm I've come across.

  2. Wow! An eye-opener for a well-loved passage.

  3. Thanks Daniella, I am a former English language and culture teacher and really enjoy others' language translations of hymns and scripture passages.

    Judith Coopy, coopyju@hotmail.com