eGalile

One of the songs we’ve been singing in the Bangor Community Choir recently is a Zulu one from South Africa called eGalile. The words are:

eGalile, eGalile
sohlangana eGalile

washo uJesu
kuba fundi bakhe
sohlangana eGalile

My knowledge of Zulu is very limited and I’m not sure all the words are written correctly, but with help from online Zulu dictionary, I cobbled together the following translation:

In Galilee, In Galilee
I say we will meet in Galilee

Jesus said
To his assembled disciples
We will meet in Galilee

As far as I can tell, this is based on a passage from the Bible (Matthew, 28:10) – “Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”

Can any of you provide a better translation, or other information about this song?

Here’s a recording of the song from YouTube

The first part isn’t quite the same as we sing in the community choir, but the rest is.

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This entry was posted in Language, Zulu.

3 Responses to eGalile

  1. Christopher Miller says:

    Here’s some interlinear glosses and an idiomatic equivalent:

    eGalile, eGalile
    e- Galile
    inanimate referent locative-Galilee (2x)
    ‘in Galilee’

    sohlangana eGalile
    si- o- hlang- ana e- Galile
    ‘we’ verb agreement prefix- future- meet- reciprocal inanimate referent locative- Galilee
    ‘we will assemble up in Galilee’

    washo uJesu
    u- a- sho u- Jesu
    human class singular verb agreement prefix- proximate past- say-thus animate proper name class singular noun prefix Jesus
    ‘thus said/quoth Jesus’

    kubafundi (no space between ku and ba-) bakhe
    ku- ba- fund- i
    inanimate referent locative- human class plural noun prefix- learn- agent suffixsi- o- hlang- ana e- Galile
    we- future- meet- reciprocal human class plural adjective agreement prefix- human referent class singular possessive stem
    ‘to his students/disciples’

    sohlangana eGalile
    si- o- hlang- ana e- Galile
    we- future- meet- reciprocal locative-Galilee
    ‘we will assemble up in Galilee’

    The -sho is an unusual irregular quotative verb usually used like ‘quoth’, ‘says he’, ‘i/m/[s]he’s like’, Dutch ‘aldus’, French ‘de dire’, Occitan ‘çò ditz/diguèt’ (Gaxscon ‘ce digó’); it’s the base for umusho/imisho ‘sentence’.

  2. Yenlit says:

    I don’t know anything about the Zulu language but the passage in the bible you mentioned as the song’s basis (Matthew 28:10) in Zulu is:
    Khona uJesu wathi kubo: ‘Ningesabi, hambani, nibikele abafowethu ukuba bahambe baye eGalile, bayakungibona khona.’

    Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid, go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee and there shall they see me.

  3. Simon says:

    Thanks Christopher – my translation wasn’t too far off then.