The Hebrew that is translated as “enemies” in English is translated into North Alaskan Inupiatun with a term that implies that it’s not just someone who hates you, but one who wants to do you harm.
The Greek that is translated as “crown of thorns” in English is translated in Navajo as “a hat of a plant that had sharp thorns,” in North Alaskan Inupiatun as “a head-gear of prickly branches,” in Aguaruna as “a thing to crown him with out of thorns,” and in Chol as “woven thorns.”
The Greek that is translated in English as “sour wine” or “vinegar” is translated in North Alaskan Inupiatun as “wine,” in Navajo as “sour grape juice,” in Aguaruna “bitter drink, and in Yatzachi Zapotec as “cheap wine.”
(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
The Hebrew that is often translated as “treacherous enemies” in English is translated in North Alaskan Inupiatun with a term that implies that they have no reason to be his enemies.
The Greek that is often translated as “he gave up his spirit” in English is translated in a variety of ways:
- Huehuetla Tepehua: “And then he died”
- Aguaruna: “His breath went out”
- Navajo: “He gave back his spirit”
- North Alaskan Inupiatun: “He breathed his last”
- Chol: “He caused his spirit to leave him”
- Lalana Chinantec: “He sent away his life breath” (source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
- Kankanaey: “He entrusted his spirit to God” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “released his spirit” (lit. caused it to spring away) (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
- Uma: “His spirit/breath broke” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “His breath snapped” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
The Hebrew that is often translated as “open wide their mouths against me” is translated in North Alaskan Inupiatun as “accuse.”
(To view the different translations of this term in a simplified graphical form on a new page, click or tap here.)
The Greek that is translated as “neighbor” in English is rendered into Babatana as “different man,” i.e. someone who is not one of your relatives. (Source: David Clark)
In North Alaskan Inupiatun, it is rendered as “a person outside of your building,” in Tzeltal as “your back and side” (implying position of the dwellings), in Indonesian and in Tae’ as “your fellow-man,” in Toraja-Sa’dan it is “your fellow earth-dweller,” in Shona (translation of 1966) as “another person like you,” in Kekchí “younger-brother-older-brother” (a compound which means all one’s neighbors in a community) (sources: Bratcher / Nida and Reiling / Swellengrebel), in Mairasi “your people” (source: Enggavoter 2004), in Mezquital Otomi as “fellow being,” in Tzeltal as “companion,” in Isthmus Zapotec as “another,” and in Teutila Cuicatec as “all people” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.).
In Matt 19:19, Matt 22:39, Mark 12:31, Mark 12:33, Luke 10:27, Luke 10:29 it is translated into Teutila Cuicatec as “all people” (source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.) and in Ixcatlán Mazatec with a term that refers to a person who is socially/physically near. Ixcatlán Mazatec alwso has a another term for “neighbor” that means “fellow humans-outsiders” which was not chosen for these passages. (Source: Robert Bascom)
In Nyongar it is translated as moorta-boordak or “people nearby” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).
The Greek that is translated as “casting” or “drawing lots” in English is often translated with a specific idiom, such as “to take out bamboo slips” — 掣 籤 chè qiān (in most Chinese Bibles), “each to pick-up which is-written (i.e. small sticks inscribed with characters and used as slots)” (Batak Toba), a term for divination by means of reed stalks (Toraja-Sa’dan).
In some cases a cultural equivalent is not available, or it is felt to be unsuitable in this situation, e.g. in Ekari where “to spin acorns” has the connotation of gambling, one may have to state the fact without mentioning the means, e.g. “it came to him,” (source for this and all above: Reiling / Swellengrebel). In Shipibo-Conibo there was no equivalent for “casting lots” so the translation for Mark 15:24 is descriptive: “they shook little things to decide what each one should take” (source: Nida 1952, p. 47).
Other solutions include:
- Purari: “throw shells” (source: David Clark)
- Kwara’ae (in Acts 1:26) “they played something like dice to find out who of the two God chose (God revealed his will that way)” (source: Carl Gross)
- Navajo: “draw straws”
- Yatzachi Zapotec “raffle”
- Chol “choose by a game” (source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125)
- Chichimeca-Jonaz: “threw one or two little hard things that had a sign…to see which person it would be”
- Kekchí: “tried with luck
- Lalana Chinantec: “there were little things they played with that made evident who it would be who would be lucky”
- Chuj: “entered luck upon them”
- Ayutla Mixtec: “put out luck” (Source for this and five above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
- Lacandon: “play with small stones in order to see who was going to win” (source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)
In North Alaskan Inupiatun a term for “gambling” is used. The same Inupiatun term is also used in Esther 3:7, “though there winning and losing is not in view, but rather choosing by chance” (source: Robert Bascom)
The stand-alone term that is translated “lots” in English is translated as “two pieces of potsherd” in Highland Totonac. (Source: Ronald D. Olson in Notes on Translation January, 1968, p. 15ff.)
The Hebrew that is often translated as “(do not let them) rejoice over me” in English is translated in North Alaskan Inupiatun as “(not) gloat.”
The Greek that is translated as “tradition” in English is translated in Kekchí as “the old root-trunk” (in which the life of a people is likened to a tree), in Central Tarahumara, as “to live as the ancients did,” in North Alaskan Inupiatun as “sayings passed down from long-ago times,” in Navajo as “what their fathers of old told them to follow,” in Toraja-Sa’dan as “the ordinance maintained by the forefathers,” in Tzeltal as “word that has been kept from the ancients” (source for this and all above Bratcher / Nida), and in Gumuz as “the life of your fathers” (source: Loren Bliese).
In Obolo it is translated as orọmijọn̄: “the deeds of the ground” (source: Enene Enene).
The Greek that is translated “nothing good dwells within me” or similar in English is translated as “my wanting-to-sin-life is not the least bit good” in North Alaskan Inupiatun and as “there is no good thing inside my head-heart” in Yatzachi Zapotec. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)