Nuuk sits on the southwest coast. It was founded in the early eighteenth century by a Danish-Norwegian missionary named Hans Egede, and for most of its existence was known as Godthåb. When Egede arrived, he discovered that the native people had neither bread nor a word for it, so he translated the line from the Lord’s Prayer as “Give us this day our daily seal.” Today, a giant statue of Egede presides over Nuuk much the way Christ the Redeemer presides over Rio.I recommend the article for its main topic too, but I wanted to break out that translation question that interested me so much. I'd like to see other examples of translating the Bible for people with no word for bread. Bread is important in the Bible, as a food and as a metaphor. Jesus calls himself "the bread of life." Did that become "the seal of life" in Greenland? That hints at another question: Does comfort with metaphor vary from one language to another?
November 4, 2016
Translating the Lord's prayer into a language with no word for bread: "Give us this day our daily seal."
From an article that's not at all mostly about language or bread or prayer, "GREENLAND IS MELTING/The shrinking of the country’s ice sheet is triggering feedback loops that accelerate the global crisis. The floodgates may already be open" by Elizabeth Kolbert: