The Greek that is translated in English as “painful” or “sorrow” is translated in Huba as “cut the insides.” David Frank explains: “Huba has just one expression that covers both ‘angry’ and ‘sad.’ They don’t make a distinction in their language. I suppose you could say that the term they use means more generically, ‘strong emotional reaction.’ (Source: David Frank in this blog post )

In Enlhet it is translated as “going aside of the innermost.” “Innermost” or valhoc is a term that is frequently used in Enlhet to describe a large variety of emotions or states of mind (for other examples see here). (Source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 24ff. )


If the Hebrew or (the transliterated) Greek “Amen” (as part of a prayer) is not transliterated it can also be translated into expressions such as “that is just the way it is” (Huichol), “that’s it” (Shilluk), “may it be thus” (Tzeltal) (source: Bratcher / Nida), or “Let those things thus be” (Kituba) (source: Donald Deer in The Bible Translator 1973, p. 207ff. ).

In Mairasi the translation is aniaut aug or “it’s a tuberful dig.” The preface to Enggavoter 2004 explains: “Truth is like a tuber [sweet potatoes, taro, cassava, yams]. We Mairasi have tubers as our standard food. The leaves are visible above ground. But we planted the plant so that it would produce tubers, but those are beneath the ground. So the vocabulary about ‘truth’ and ‘produce’ or ‘fruit’ is based on words for ‘tubers.’ For example: the word for ‘Amen’ ‘it’s a tuberful dig’ [also used for ‘verily’ or ‘definitely’] has its story like this: We see the leaves of the sweet potato but we do not know: the question is ‘Are there tubers or not?.’ So we dig then we see tubers. Therefore we say that ani ‘dig’ was aut ‘with tubers,’ which is ‘Aniaut!‘ ‘Definitely true!'”

In Huba it is translated as Aɗǝmja or “let it be so.” David Frank (in this blog post) explains: “Whenever there were persistent problems such as a drought, or a rash of sickness or death, the king (or his religious advisor) would set aside a day and call on everyone to prepare food, such as the traditional mash made from sorghum, or perhaps even goat. The food had to be put together outside. The king or his religious advisor would give an address stating what the problem was and what they were doing about it. Then an elder representing the people would take a handful of that food and throw it, probably repeating that action several times, until it was considered to be enough to atone for all the misfortune they had been having. With this action he was ‘shooting (or casting off) misfortune’ to restore well-being to his people. As he threw the food, he would say that this is to remove the misfortune that had fallen on his people, and everybody would respond by saying aɗǝmja, ‘let it be so.’ People could eat some of this food, but they could not bring the food into their houses, because that would mean that they were bringing misfortune into their house. There is still a minority of people in this linguistic and cultural group that practices the traditional religion, but the shooting of misfortune is no longer practiced, and the term ‘shoot misfortune’ is used now in Bible translation to refer to offering a sacrifice. Aɗǝmja is how they translate ‘amen.'”

“Amen” in American Sign Language (source )

See alsotruly, truly I tell you

complete verse (2 Corinthians 7:6)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 7:6:

  • Uma: “Why do I say that my heart is strengthened, relatives? Because I was happy to hear the news that Titus brought from you. Like I recounted earlier, we (excl.) left from the village of Troas and came here to Makedonia. But when we (excl.) arrived here, our (excl.) hearts were still not quiet. Left and right we (excl.) were hit by suffering. There were those who were-at-odds-with/disagreed with us, and on the other side [i.e., at the same time, on our part] we (excl.) were afraid too. Our(excl.) hearts were indeed discouraged [lit., lessened] at that time. But thank you I say to God, for at that time Titus arrived bringing news from you, relatives. So, our discouraged hearts were strengthened by God at the arrival of Titus.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But God knows how to encourage the troubled/sad ones and we (excl.) were caused to be glad by him when Titus arrived at us/our (excl.) (place).” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “But God, who knows how to bring joy to those who have sorrow, He caused that we become happy by means of the arrival of Titus.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “But God who strengthens the minds of discouraged people, he strengthened our (excl.) minds because of Tito’s coming.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But no matter who of us is hardshipped, God truly does not leave them alone. The proof of that is, he made us (excl.) happy for just-then Tito arrived whom we (excl.) were worrying about.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “But God strengthens people who do not have strength. Therefore he caused my heart to be encouraged when Titus arrived.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Huba: “But God who puts the heart [=comforts] those with heart kill self [=who have no hope] put our heart [=comforted us] with the coming of Titus.” (Source: David Frank in this blog post )

complete verse (2 Corinthians 7:13)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 7:13:

  • Uma: “So, since you received that letter of mine well, our (excl.) hearts were strengthened. Our(excl.) hearts were indeed strengthened, and more than that, we (excl.) were so happy to see the happiness of Titus. His heart became clear [he was relieved] seeing your behavior while he was there with you.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “That’s why our (excl.) liver is really encouraged. And not only is our (excl.) liver encouraged but we (excl.) were also glad when we (excl.) saw that Titus is happy. The reason he is happy is because he was caused peace/quietness in his liver by you.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And that’s not all, because we are also happy because Titus is happy. And the thing Titus is happy about is; by means of your good works his mind is no longer troubled about you.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Therefore our (excl.) minds have-become-strong because we (excl.) can see that those-things have been fulfilled. But it’s not only those-things that we (excl.) were happy-about but rather we (excl.) were made-even-more -happy upon our (excl.) seeing Tito’s happiness, for his thoughts have now become-truly -peaceful because of all of you.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “That is why this is what gave us (excl.) great happiness.And our (excl.) happiness increased even more because of Tito’s happiness, for when he was there with you, you really made his mind/inner-being happy.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “That is why my heart is encouraged now. But not only does my heart rejoice, also more do I rejoice upon seeing that Titus rejoices because of how you treated him there where you live.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Huba: “That is the thing tightening our hearts. Not just tightening our hearts only, with all that we are very happy with the kind of happiness that Titus had for all of you when you cooled his heart.” (The expression “tightening our hearts” means “comforting us”, and “cooling his heart” means “reassuring him”) (Source: David Frank in this blog post )

complete verse (1 Peter 4:15)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 Peter 4:15:

  • Uma: “But really don’t let there be even one of you who gets suffering because he is a murderer, or a thief, or something else evil or a bad/naughty person.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “If you endure difficulties/troubles never mind as-long-as the reason for it is not just/simply bad deeds like killing people or stealing or doing other bad things or interfering with your companions work.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “It is necessary that you not suffer punishment because of murder, stealing, or doing any kind of evil, or of meddling with that over which you have no right.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “But may it be that if/when you are hardshipped, it will not be because of your having-done wrong such as a murderer (lit. killer of life), thief, breaker of the law or meddler in what his companions are doing.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “I hope there won’t be any of you who will have to be sentenced to judgment because he is a murderer of his fellowman, or because he is a thief, or interferes in things he ought not to interfere in, or does whatever deeds that are evil.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “It is necessary that he who sins will suffer, like those who are murderers, thieves, evil people, those who meddle in the affairs of their fellowmen. But you are not to do so.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Huba: “Even if you drink suffering, let it not be about killing person, thievery, criminality, or people that are shooting their mouth in the living of other people.” (The expression “shooting their mouth” means being a busybody, meddling in other people’s affairs.) (Source: David Frank in this blog post )