Capernaum, iterative verbs

Some languages, including Chilcotin, heavily use iterative verbs which denote a continuously repeated action.

Quindel King reports (in Northern Canada Evangelical Mission 1996, p. 70): “While Jesus was ministering, he did a lot of traveling, so we must determine where Jesus went and be able to indicate with iterative verb forms when he made a repeat visit to a certain town, lake shore or even a home! This must be done throughout the entire book so that there will be no confusion on the part of the hearers or readers.”

In the translation of Mark there are three mentions of Jesus visiting Capernaum. In Mark 1:21 the Chilcotin translation indicates that that was his first visit with his disciples (“jagheninan” — “they, a small group”), in Mark 2:1 only Jesus is referenced (“nanjah” — “he returned”), in Mark 9:33 Jesus and his disciples are mentioned (“najaghindan” — “they, a small group, returned”). (Source: Quindel King)

man's brother

Many languages have terms for siblings that define whether one is younger or older in relation to another sibling.

The Greek that is translated as “a man’s brother” in English is translated in Chilcotin as “ˀeyen ya ˀeŝqi ˀatalilh gwech´ez bunagh” (“a younger brother who was born after [a man] his older brother”). (Source: Quindel King)

my brother and sister

The Greek that is translated as “(whoever does the will of God is) my brother and sister” in English is translated into Chilcotin as “sechel belh sediz” (“my younger brother and my younger sister”). Chilcotin uses terms for siblings that define whether one is younger or older in relation to another sibling. (Source: Quindel King)

cut (branches)

The Greek that is translated in English as “cut (branches)” had to be further specified in Chilcotin with the word “xadajelht’az” (“they cut off with knife-like tool”)

“Our Native translator asked if they used a saw, knife or an axe. Why? Because cutting with each of these instruments (and scissors as well) requires different verb stems. We concluded that they used knife-like instruments!”

Quindel King in Northern Canada Evangelical Mission, p. 70.

Herod's brother

Many languages have terms for siblings that define whether one is younger or older in relation to another sibling.

The brother of Herod is translated as “older brother” in Basa (“baatagwu”) (source: Rob Koops) or Chilcotin (“bunagh”) (source: Quindel King).

Reiling / Swellengrebel (p. 178) say: “According to Josephus Herodias’ first husband, referred to in this verse, was Herod, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne (the second wife of that name). Herod the tetrarch was the son of Herod the Great and Malthake, whom he married after Mariamne. Hence ‘adelphou’ refers to an older brother of a different mother.”

relative age of Andrew and Peter (Simon)

Many languages have terms for siblings that define whether one is younger or older in relation to another sibling.

In the case of Peter (Simon) and Andrew, Simon was assumed to be the older of the two brothers in Navajo because he typically is mentioned first. (See Wallis 2000, p. 103f.)

In Batak Karo, the Greek term for the English term “brother” “is the term for a male having the same father and mother as the reference person, ‘brother.’ The general term for this in Batak Karo is ‘sembuyak,’ but the language prefers a particular kinship term in relation to the reference person. The Revised Standard Version translates the first part of Matt 4:18 as follows: ‘As he walked by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother.’ The first problem here is how to translate ‘two brothers.’ In Batak Karo, if translated literally it will mean that the speaker and the ‘two brothers’ are all brothers. Therefore the relationship between the ‘two’ has to be stated, that they are related to one another as brothers, which in Karo is ‘dua kaiak si sembuyak’ (literally ‘two persons who are from the same womb’). The second problem is the relationship between Simon and Andrew: which of them is older? On the basis of Semitic usage, the older is usually mentioned first (see Gen 4:8; 35:23). So Andrew is Simon’s younger brother; and therefore the translation will be ‘Petrus ras agina Andreas’ (‘Peter and his younger brother, Andrew’).” (Source: M.K. Sembiring in The Bible Translator 1992, p. 217ff.)

The Chilcotin translators tried to circumvent specifying who of the two is older, even though the language also uses age-specific terms for siblings. In Mark 1:16, they have used the generic term “ˀelhcheliqi” (“brother” without specifying who is older). (Source: Quindel King)

See also James / John (relative age).

relative age of James and John

Many languages have terms for siblings that define whether one is younger or older in relation to another sibling.

Dave Brunn reports this from the translation into Lamogai (see p. 141f. and 181f.):

“Some languages, including Lamogai, have two different words for brother. One means ‘older brother,’ and the other means ‘younger brother.’ In many cases, these languages do not have a generic word that includes both. Relating this to translation, which of the sons of Zebedee do you think was older, James or John? The Bible does not tell us, but there are some clues. The names James and John occur together about twenty times in the New Testament. In every occurrence, James is named first. Since there is not much else to go on, most translators who have faced this issue have considered this to be enough evidence to say James must be the older brother. Here is how we translated this pair of names in Matthew 17:1 in the Lamogai New Testament:

“‘Jems akap ino tikino Jon’ (‘James along-with his younger-brother John’)

“Technically, ‘tikino’ means younger sibling of the same sex and ‘udikino’ older sibling of the same sex. A man would refer to his older brother as ‘udikino’ and his younger brother as ‘tikino.’ And a woman would use the same terms for her older and younger sisters. The term for opposite-sex sibling (either a man to his sister or a woman to her brother) is ‘luku.’ (Source for this paragraph: private communication from Dave Brunn.)”

In the translation into Oaxaca Chontal, the same principle is applied. (Source: Bratcher / Nida 1961)

The Chilcotin translators have tried to circumvent specifying which of the two is older, even though the language also uses age-specific terms for siblings. In Mark 1:19 and Mark 3:17 it says “Zebedee beyiqi…” (“Zebedee’s sons…”) and therefore avoids stating their respective age. Likewise in Mark 5:37 it says “Peter hink´an ˀelhcheliqi James belh John” (“Peter and brothers James and John”) (source: Quindel King).

See also Peter (Simon) / Andrew (relative age).