The Greek that is translated into English as “perplexed” is translated as “his heart was gone” in Tzeltal, “hard chased” (as in animals in a hunt) in Piro, “his mind was killing him” in Navajo, “his stomach rose up” in Farefare, “he was very irresolute” (i.e. “it was all wrong with him”) in Indonesian, or “his heart was very divided” in Javanese.
The Greek that is translated into English as “nonsense” or “idle tale” is translated as “empty talk” (Uab Meto), “wind talk” (Indonesian), “carried-around story” (Ekari), “purposeless talking” (Kele), “words that-frighten without-reason” (Toraja-Sa’dan), or “talk without foundation” (Pohnpeian, Chuukese) (source for all above: Reiling / Swellengrebel), or “telling a fairy tale” (Mairasi) (source: Enggavoter 2004).
The Greek that is often translated as “speaking with tongues” in English is translated as “speaking other different languages” in Teutila Cuicatec, “speaking in other people’s Chinantec” in Lalana Chinantec, as “talking in other languages” in Morelos Nahuatl, “speaking strange languages” in Eastern Highland Otomi. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
In the Indonesian Alkitab Terjemahan Lama version (publ. 1958) it is translated as bahasa roh or “the language of the spirit,” “which leaves a strong impression that this is a mystical experience.” (Source: Ekaputra Tupamahu in: Journal for the Study of the New Testament 2018, 41/2, p. 223ff.)
The Greek that is translated into English as “(I) implore (or: adjure) (you) by God” is translated as “tell you before God” (Copainalá Zoque), “ask in front of God” (Huautla Mazatec) “ask you by God” (Eastern Highland Otomi), “ask you in God’s presence” (Southern Subanen), “I swear, calling on the name of God, requesting you” (Toraja-Sa’dan), “I want your oath by God” (Indonesian), “will assure me by using a curse on yourself calling on the name of God” (Pamona), and “ask you; God has seen it” (Tzotzil).
The Greek that is often translated as “slow of heart” in English is translated as “the heart is hard” in Zarma, “very heavy in heart” in Uab Meto, “blocked-hearted” in Indonesian, “lazy to think” in Tae’, “having a heart that delays” in Shona (translation of 1963), or “failing-heart-people” in Adamawa Fulfulde.
The Hebrew word that is transliterated in Greek and typically in English as “rabbi” is translated in Indonesian and Malay as guru — “teacher” — or bapak guru — “father teacher” in recent translations. (The only exception that is the Alkitab Versi Borneo of 2015 that transliterates as rabi.)
Source: Daud Soesilo in The Bible Translator 1996, p. 335ff,)
Many languages use a “body part tally system” where body parts function as numerals (see body part tally systems with a description). One such language is Kombai that uses a system that ends at the number 23 but can be extended. In cases where larger numbers need to be used, Indonesian loan words are used, otherwise traditional numbers are being used.
In Mark 8:19, where both “five” and “five thousand” is used, “five” is translated with ambalo-khu or “thumb/five” and “five thousand” is translated with the Indonesian loan word lima-ribu.
Source: Lourens de Vries in A survey of the history of Bible translation in Indonesia, Beekman Lecture 2013.
The Greek and Hebrew that are translated as “(become) pregnant” in English is rendered as “got belly” (Sranan Tongo and Kituba) as “having two bodies” (Indonesian), as “be-of-womb” (Sinhala), as “heavy” (Balinese), and as “in-a-fortunate-state” (Batak Toba). (Source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
In Kafa it is translated as “having two lives.” (Source: Loren Bliese)
In Mairasi it is translated as “have a soul [ghost].” (Source: Enggavoter, 2004)
The Greek that is translated in English as “sanctify” or “sanctification” is translated in Balanta-Kentohe “separated to God.” (Source: Rob Koops)
Other translations include:
- San Blas Kuna: “giving a man a good heart”
- Panao Huánuco Quechua: “God perfects us”
- Laka: “God calls us outside to Himself” (“This phrase is derived from the practice of a medicine man, who during the initiation rites of apprentices calls upon the young man who is to follow him eventually and to receive all of his secrets and power. From the day that this young man is called out during the height of the ecstatic ceremony, he is identified with his teacher as the heir to his position, authority, and knowledge.”) (Source for this and above: Nida 1952, p. 147)
- Mezquital Otomi: “live a pure life”
- Hopi: “unspotted”
- Yatzachi Zapotec: “clean-hearted”
- Huehuetla Tepehua: “be servants of God”
- Central Tarahumara: “only live doing good as God desires” (source for this and four above: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)
- Mairasi: “one’s life/behavior will be very straight” (source: Enggavoter 2004)
- Enlhet: “new / clean 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. )
The choices for translation of “sanctification” in the Indonesian Common Language Bible (Alkitab dalam Bahasa Indonesia Masa Kini, publ. 1985) differed according to context. (Click or tap here to see details)
“In Romans, hagiasmos [“sanctification”] occurs twice in chapter 6, in verses 19 and 22. It is used in relation to believers who are called to be saints (1:7), who are under grace (6:15), who have been set free from sin to become slaves of righteousness (6:18). Therefore here hagiasmos not only refers to God’s act of consecration, but also to the believer’s moral activity arising out of this state. It is this aspect that the translators have stressed in verse 19: ‘… so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification’ has been translated untuk maksud-maksud Allah yang khusus: ‘for God’s specific purposes.’ So also in verse 22 ‘… the return you get is sanctification’ has been translated hidup khusus untuk Allah: ‘living for God alone.’
“!In 1 Corinthians 1:30: ‘… in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption,’ hagiasmos is put in a parallel position to wisdom, righteousness and redemption, and is rooted in Christ. In view of the parallel concepts, it is clear a result is indicated here. The believers are holy because they are ‘in Christ’ who is intrinsically holy. Hagiasmos here has been rendered as: umatnya yang khusus: ‘his own people.’
“In 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7, hagiasmos involves abstaining from unchastity (verse 3) and is contrasted with uncleanness (verse 7), while in verse 4 it is used as a parallel with ‘honor’ to modify the verb. Hagiasmos is here rooted in the will of God, and calls for moral conduct. The translators translate hagiasmos in verse 3 as hidup khusus untuk dia: ‘live for him alone,’ and in verses 4 and 5 menyenangkan hati Allah: ‘pleasing God’s heart.’
“The expression in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 ‘sanctification by the spirit’ (en hagiasmo pneumatos), is generally understood as sanctification or consecration effected by the Holy Spirit. This consecration was effected at the moment of conversion. The translation here is umat Allah yang suci: ‘God’s holy people.’
“The noun also appears in the Pastorals once (1 Timothy 2:15), where, in view of the context, it clearly denotes ethical behavior. The translators translate as hidup khusus untuk Allah: ‘living for God alone,’ but perhaps it would be better here to translate it with hidup tanpa vela: ‘lead a blameless life,’ which would suit the context better.
“In conclusion then, to translate hagiasmos in a way that is meaningful to the average modern reader, it may often be necessary to render it by a phrase which brings out the primary meaning of the term. If it refers to the act of consecration, this phrase should include the notion of belonging to God, and if it refers to the conduct of the believer, the phrase should stress the idea of pleasing God and refraining from evil.” (Source: Pericles Katoppo in The Bible Translator 1987, p. 429ff. )
The phrase that is translated in some English versions with “gentle and quiet in spirit” was translated into Kahua with the idiom that verbatim says “be beautiful in your belly.” (Source: Daniel Clark)
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 Ixcatlán Mazatec with a term that refers to a person who is socially/physically near. Ixcatlán Mazatec also 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).