Krapf (tr.), John & Psalms in Oromo

The following is the earliest printed translation of several Bible chapters in Oromo:

Krapf, Ludwig (tr. and ed.). Tentamen imbecillum translationis evangelii Johannis in linguam Gallarum [Imperfect attempt to translate the Gospel of John into the language of the ‘Galla’]. London: R. Watts, 1839.

Krapf_1839_Galla_John_Web

Source: Google


Krapf, Ludwig (tr. and ed.). The Book of Psalms, translated into the Galla language [i.e., Oromo]: Printed at the expense and by the request of the British and Foreign Bible-Society in London at the Mission-Press of St. Chrischona (Switzerland), 1872.

(adapted from scans contributed by the
Swiss National Library, Bern)

For further reading

Gräber, Gerd, and Wolbert Smidt. “Krapf, Johann Ludwig,” in Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, vol. 3, ed. S. Uhlig, p. 436-38. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2007.

Gütl, Clemens. Johann Ludwig Krapf: “Do’ Missionar vo’ Deradenga” zwischen pietistischem Ideal und afrikanischer Realität. Hamburg: Lit-Verlag, 2001.

  • See esp. the appendix with an overview of Krapf’s linguistic works and translations on p. 168-74 [first translation into Oromo already in 1839]
Other Oromo Bible Versions

The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments. Translated into the Galla language [i.e., Oromo] by Onesimos Nesib. St. Chrischona: Mission-Press, 1899 (at the expense of the British and Foreign Bible Society in London).

» view part 3 (including translation of Psalms)

The earliest printed Oromo translation of a several Bible verses seems to have been published by

» James Bruce