The Greek phrase that is translated as “keep warm” into English was translated into Kahua as “dress well” since “keep warm” sounds very strange in the permanently hot local climate.
The term that is translated as “unstable” in English is rendered into Kahua with the simile that means “like butterflies.”
In the Kahua culture, the generic term for jewelry refers only to things worn at weddings, so the Greek phrase that is translated as “jewelry” or “gold jewelry” is translated in Kahua as earrings and clamshells worn on the arms and legs.
In Kahua, unsurprisingly for an island language, there is a basic contrast in verbs of motion between travel by land and travel by sea. In Acts 13:4 it was explicit that Barnabas and Saul “sailed” to Cyprus, but once on the island, did they travel around by sea or by land? The translators assumed that the statement that is translated into English as “traveled through the whole island” implied travel by land, and used the appropriate verb.
The phrase that is translated into English as “wandering stars” is translated into Kahua with the idiom for shooting stars: “droppings of stars.”
The Greek term that is translated as “sister” in English is rendered “elder sister” in Kahua because the church associated with the apostle John was assumed to be senior.
The phrase that is translated in English versions as “in travail” or “in the pain of childbirth” is rendered in Kahua as “like a woman whose back is cracking.”
The phrase that is translated as “worldly people” or “people who are controlled by their natural desires” in English versions is translated into Kahua with the idiom that says “people who follow their noses.”
There are no lions in Bawm country, so the Bawm Chin translation uses “a tiger with a mane” where the Greek term for “lion” is used and in Sranan Tongo the “roaring lion” in 1 Peter 5:8 is a krasi tigri, an “aggressive tiger.”
In the Kahua culture, lions are not known either so the Kahua translation used “fierce animal.”
In 1 Peter 5:8, the Uripiv translation uses “a hungry shark” instead of a roaring lion.
Sources: David Clark for Bawm Chin and Kahua, Japini 2015, p. 33, for Sranan Tongo, and Ross McKerras for Uripiv)
The term rendered “selfish ambition” in many English versions is translated as “they want to make themselves come out on top” in Kahua.
In Kahua, it was not possible to omit a grammatical object in the passive voice construct that described that the lame man was carried. The translation added the “wantoks,” i.e. people of the same language group, probably from the same village.
The Hebrew and the Greek that is usually directly translated as “kiss” in English is translated more indirectly in other languages because kissing is deemed as inappropriate, is not a custom at all, or is not customary in the particular context (see the English translation of J.B. Phillips, 1960 in Rom. 16:16: “Give each other a hearty handshake”). Here are some examples:
- Pökoot: “greet warmly” (“kissing in public, certainly between men, is absolutely unacceptable in Pökoot.”) (Source: Gerrit van Steenbergen)
- Chamula Tzotzil, Ixcatlán Mazatec, Tojolabal: “greet each other warmly” or “hug with feeling” (source: Robert Bascom)
- Afar: “gaba tittal ucuya” (“give hands to each other”) (Afar kiss each other’s hands in greeting) (source: Loren Bliese)
- Roviana: “welcome one another joyfully”
- Cheke Holo: “Love each other in the way-joined-together that is holy” (esp. in Rom. 16:16) or “greet with love” (esp. 1Thess. 5:26 and 1Pet. 5.14)
- Pitjantjatjara: “And when you meet/join up with others of Jesus’ relatives hug and kiss them [footnote], for you are each a relative of the other through Jesus.” Footnote: “This was their custom in that place to hug and kiss one another in happiness. Maybe when we see another relative of Jesus we shake hands and rejoice.” (esp. Rom. 16:16) (source for this and two above: Carl Gross)
- Balanta-Kentohe and Mandinka: “touch cheek” or “cheek-touching” (“sumbu” in Malinka)
- Mende: “embrace” (“greet one another with the kiss of love”: “greet one another and embrace one another to show that you love one another”) (source for this and two above: Rob Koops)
- Gen: “embrace affectionately” (source: John Ellington)
- Kachin: “holy and pure customary greetings” (source: Gam Seng Shae)
- Kahua: “smell” (source: David Clark) (also in Ekari and Kekchí, source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
- Nyanja: “to suck” (“habit and term a novelty amongst the young and more or less westernized people, the traditional term for greeting a friend after a long absence being, ‘to clap in the hands and laugh happily'”)
- Medumba: “suck the cheek” (“a novelty, the traditional term being ‘to embrace.'”)
- Shona (version of 1966): “to hug”
- Balinese: “to caress” (source for this and three above: Reiling / Swellengrebel)