The Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew that is translated as “leopard” in English was translated in the 1900 Kalaallisut (Greenlandic) translation (a newer version was published in 2000) as milakulâĸ or “one with small spots.” “Milakulâĸ (modern milakulaaq), is derived from the base milak ‘spot, freckle’ followed by a nominalizing suffix with a diminutive sense. This choice provides readers with a vivid description of the animal in question, which would allow them to visualize its appearance even though it is not a feature of the local environment.’” (Source: Lily Kahn & Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi in The Bible Translator 2019, p. 125ff.)

In passages where speed is in the focus (such as Habakkuk 1:8, the Kalanga translation uses “cheetah.” (Source: project-specific notes in Paratext)

See also a leopard (cannot) change his spots.


The Hebrew and Greek that is translated in English as “Leviathan” is translated in Poqomchi’ as “monster crocodile.” (Source: Ronald Ross)

In Kalanga is is translated as “a monster of the sea called Leviathan.” (Source: project-specific notes in Paratext)


The Hebrew that is translated as “opening” or similar in English is translated in Elhomwe as “window” because of naturalness. (Source: project-specific translation notes in Paratext)

The translation in Kalanga with tjigwele was able to maintain “the ambiguity between a hole in the (bedroom) door that enables him to open the door and a more explicit reference to sexual activities.” (Source: project-specific notes in Paratext)


The Hebrew that is translated as “discharge” or similar in English is translated in Kalanga with tjigwele, a term that refers to sexually transmitted diseases. (Source: project-specific notes in Paratext)

In Kwere, the term ufila is used which implies pus. (Pioneer Bible Translators, project-specific translation notes in Paratext)

sent them away

The Hebrew that is translated as “sent them away” or similar in English is translated in Kalanga as “bid them farewell,” because the notion of sending them away seemed culturally unacceptable. (Source: project-specific notes in Paratext)


The Greek, Latin and Hebrew that is translated as “altar” in English is translated in a number of ways:

  • Obolo: ntook or “raised structure for keeping utensils (esp. sacrifice)” (source: Enene Enene)
  • Muna: medha kaefoampe’a or “offering table” (source: René van den Berg)
  • Luchazi: muytula or “the place where one sets the burden down”/”the place where the life is laid down” (source: E. Pearson in The Bible Translator 1954, p. 160ff. )
  • Tzotzil: “where they place God’s gifts” (source: John Beekman in Notes on Translation, March 1965, p. 2ff.)
  • Tsafiki: “table for giving to God” (source: Bruce Moore in Notes on Translation 1/1992, p. 1ff.)
  • Noongar: karla-kooranyi or “sacred fire” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “offering-burning table” (source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “place for sacrificing” (source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “burning-place” (source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tibetan: mchod khri (མཆོད་​ཁྲི།) or “offering throne” (source: gSungrab website )
  • Bura-Pabir: “sacrifice mound” (source: Andy Warrren-Rothlin)
  • Kalanga: “fireplace of sacrifice” (source: project-specific notes in Paratext)
The Ignaciano translators decided to translate the difficult term in that language according to the focus of each New Testament passage in which the word appears (click or tap here to see the rest of this insight

Willis Ott (in Notes on Translation 88/1982, p. 18ff.) explains:

  • Matt. 5:23,24: “When you take your offering to God, and arriving, you remember…, do not offer your gift yet. First go to your brother…Then it is fitting to return and offer your offering to God.” (The focus is on improving relationships with people before attempting to improve a relationship with God, so the means of offering, the altar, is not focal.)
  • Matt. 23:18 (19,20): “You also teach erroneously: ‘If someone makes a promise, swearing by the offering-place/table, he is not guilty if he should break the promise. But if he swears by the gift that he put on the offering-place/table, he will be guilty if he breaks the promise.'”
  • Luke 1:11: “…to the right side of the table where they burn incense.”
  • Luke 11.51. “…the one they killed in front of the temple (or the temple enclosure).” (The focus is on location, with overtones on: “their crime was all the more heinous for killing him there”.)
  • Rom. 11:3: “Lord, they have killed all my fellow prophets that spoke for you. They do not want anyone to give offerings to you in worship.” (The focus is on the people’s rejection of religion, with God as the object of worship.)
  • 1Cor. 9:13 (10:18): “Remember that those that attend the temple have rights to eat the foods that people bring as offerings to God. They have rights to the meat that the people offer.” (The focus is on the right of priests to the offered food.)
  • Heb. 7:13: “This one of whom we are talking is from another clan. No one from that clan was ever a priest.” (The focus in on the legitimacy of this priest’s vocation.)
  • Jas. 2:21: “Remember our ancestor Abraham, when God tested him by asking him to give him his son by death. Abraham was to the point of stabbing/killing his son, thus proving his obedience.” (The focus is on the sacrifice as a demonstration of faith/obedience.)
  • Rev. 6:9 (8:3,5; 9:13; 14:18; 16:7): “I saw the souls of them that…They were under the table that holds God’s fire/coals.” (This keeps the concepts of: furniture, receptacle for keeping fire, and location near God.)
  • Rev. 11:1: “Go to the temple, Measure the building and the inside enclosure (the outside is contrasted in v. 2). Measure the burning place for offered animals. Then count the people who are worshiping there.” (This altar is probably the brazen altar in a temple on earth, since people are worshiping there and since outside this area conquerors are allowed to subjugate for a certain time.)

See also altar (Acts 17:23).

In the Hebraic English translation of Everett Fox it is translated as slaughter-site and likewise in the German translation by Buber / Rosenzweig as Schlachtstatt.


The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “concubine” in English is translated in Kutu as “slave made to be his woman” or “female slave he married” and similarly in Makonde, “a slave who is/was a wife.”

In Kwere it is translated as “small wives.” This is the term for subsequent wives when polygamy is practiced among the Kwere. While they enjoy most of the same rights and privileges as the first wife, their status is not necessarily the same. (Source: Pioneer Bible Translators, project-specific translation notes in Paratext)

In Kalanga it is likewise translated with balongwana or “small wives.” (Source: project-specific notes in Paratext)

Learn more on Bible Odyssey: Concubine .