Glancing at my paper, I rattled off the trail phrase, “In Dios uki kwal in taka.” “God thought well (of) the man.”
My co-workers and I had gone after this phrase with several helpers, so I was pretty confident that it carried the meaning we were looking for. My translation helper looked at me kinda funny. “Uki kwal in taka?” She repeated back in a question.
“Yes,” I said.
“In Dios?” she said, asking if it was truly God who was doing the action.
“Yes, I said. “What does that mean that God did?”
“God ate the man!” she said.
Puzzled, I looked back at my cheat sheet and noticed one letter that I had not pronounced. I laughed. “Yes, that means God ate the man. But, I wanted to say, ‘In Dios ukíh kwal in taka.’” I prominently pronounced the “H.”
She laughed. “Oh, that means that God thought well (of) the man.”
“Great!” I thought. But, I’ll have to be VERY careful to pronounce that “H”!