cardinal directions

The cardinal directions “east” and “west” are easy to translate into Mano (Mann) here since the language uses “where the sun comes up” and “where the sun goes down.” For “north” the translator had “facing toward the sun rising to the left,” and for “south” she had “facing toward the sun rising to the right.” So the listener had to think hard before knowing what direction was in view when translating “to the north and south, to the east and west.” So the verse was very long. It was shortened by saying simply “all directions.” Likewise, Yakan has “from the four corners of the earth” (source: Yakan back-translation) or Western Bukidnon Manobo “from the four directions here on the earth” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo back-translation).

Kankanaey is “from the coming-out and the going-away of the sun and the north and the south” (source: Kankanaey back-translation), Northern Emberá “from where the sun comes up, from where it falls, from the looking [left] hand, from the real [right] hand” (source: Charles Mortensen), Amele “from the direction of the sun going up, from the direction of the sun going down, from the north and from the south” (source: John Roberts), Ejamat “look up to see the side where the sun comes from, and the side where it sets, and look on your right side, and on your left” (source: David Frank in this blog post).

In Lamba, only umutulesuŵa, “where the sun rises” and imbonsi, “where the sun sets” were available as cardinal directions that were not tied to the local area of language speakers (“north” is kumausi — “to the Aushi country” — and “south” kumalenje — “to the Lenje country”). So “north” and “south” were introduced as loanwords, nofu and saufu respectively. The whole phrase is “kunofu nakusaufu nakumutulesuŵa nakumbonsi.” (Source C. M. Doke in The Bible Translator 1958, p. 57ff.)

See also cardinal directions / left and right.

confess (sin)

The Greek that is typically translated as “confess” in English in the context of these verses is translated in a variety of ways. Here are some (back-) translations:

  • Highland Puebla Nahuatl, Tzeltal: “to say openly”
  • San Blas Kuna: “to accuse oneself of his own evil”
  • Kankanaey: “telling the truth about their sins”
  • Huastec: “to take aim at one’s sin” (“an idiom which is derived from the action of a hunter taking aim at a bird or animal”) (source for this and all above: Bratcher / Nida)
  • Tabasco Chontal: “saying ‘It is true, I’ve done evil'” (source: Larson 1998, p. 204)
  • Central Pame: “pulling out the heart” (“so that it may be clearly seen — not just by men, but by God”) (source: Nida 1952, p. 155)
  • Shipibo-Conibo: “to say, It is true we have sinned” (source: Nida 1964, p. 228)
  • Obolo: itutumu ijo isibi: “speaking out sin” (source: Enene Enene).

complete verse (Matt. 7:3 / Luke 6:41), speck vs. log

The Greek that is translated in English as “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” or similar is translated in Uma with an existing figure of speech: “Why do we stare at the sleep in another’s eye, yet the piece of wood that is in our own eye we don’t know it’s there!” (Source: Kroneman 2004, p. 501)

In Una, it had to be translated with a more explicit translation because “a more literal and shorter version of this verse had led to major misunderstanding or zero understanding.” It’s back-translation says: “You (pl.) are doing very evil things, but you think, ‘We do not do evil things’. But, regarding other people who do not do very evil things, you think, ‘They are doing evil things, for shame’. As for the very big thorn that broke off and entered your eyes, you think, ‘There is no big thorn that entered my eye’, but with regard to the very small piece of wood dust that might have entered someone else’s eye, why would you say, ‘A piece of wood dust has entered his eye?’ That is not appropriate.” (Source: Dick Kronemann)

In Uripiv it is translated as “How is it you see the fowl dropping stuck on the bottom of your brother’s foot, but you can’t see the cow-pat you have stood on? … You could stand on his foot by mistake and make it dirtier!” (Ross McKerras remarked about this translation: “Our village father laughed when he heard this, which was the right reaction.”)

Other back-translations include:

  • Uma: “‘Why do we look at the sleep in another’s eye, yet the splinter of wood in our own eye, we do not know is there!” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “You who puts down his companion,’ said Isa, ‘why do you notice a speck (lit. of sawdust) in the eye of your companion but you, the tree trunk in your own eye you don’t notice.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And again Jesus spoke, ‘You who are always rebuking your companions, why do you rebuke the sin of your companion which is just like a speck that got into his eye. But you — you have a sin which is as big as a log, which has blinded your eye, and you pay no attention to it.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “‘Why do you (singular) notice the small bit-of-eye-discharge (as when waking up) in the eye of your (singular) fellow, and you (singular) don’t notice the large bit-of-eye-discharge in your (singular) eye?” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “I don’t know why, when someone else has a foreign-body-in-the-eye which is only dust, that is what you(s) keep looking for. But when your own foreign-body-in-the-eye is wedged across your eye (implies too big to go in), you just leave it alone.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

was with God

The Greek that is typically translated in English as “was with God” is translated in Aguaruna as “lived with God.” (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

In Kankanaey, it is translated as “(He) was God’s companion.”

complete verse (John 1:17)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 1:17:

  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “Moses taught the ancestors of us Israelites the law of God, but Jesus Christ came to teach that God loves mankind, and he teaches us all the true words of God.”
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “The law about the things of God, the one who gave it was Moses. But the love which was to us and the truth came into being because of Jesus Christ.”
  • Umiray Dumaget Agta: “Even though Moses was caused to speak the rules of God, Jesus Christ was the one appointed to show mercy and to declare the truth.”
  • Guerrero Amuzgo: “. . . but Jesus Christ is the source of all favor and of the words that are true.”
  • Chol: “Jesus Christ came and gave us the goodness of his heart and truth.”
  • Tenango Otomi: “By means of Moses the law of God is known. But by means of Jesus Christ the love of God and the true word are known.” (Source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
  • Uma: “From the prophet Musa we received the Law of the Lord God. But [it is] from Yesus Kristus that we really know God, and his grace to us.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “The law of God was given/sent to mankind by Musa but God’s love and the truth are given to mankind by Isa Almasi, he is the one called the Word of God.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And by means of Moses, God brought down to earth the laws. But by means of Jesus, God brought down to earth his love/grace for us and the true doctrine.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Because God made-known his law through Moses, but his mercy/kindness and the truth concerning him, he made-known to us through Jesu Cristo.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Because God gave his laws to Moises which he was commanding us, but that grace/mercy of his and truth concerning himself, he caused us to comprehend through Jesu-Cristo.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

gave up his spirit

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)

salt

The Greek that is translated “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?” or similar in English is translated in various ways:

  • Amele: “You sit/are like the salt of the ground. But if salt loses its taste (lit. its bitterness stings) then how will it become bitter again?” (Age odi mahamahanu macas bilegina. Euqa macas uqana mug qah becebfi adi haun mugca migian?) (Source: John Roberts)
  • Mairasi: “You guys are now salt in this world. If that salt becomes watery, then with what will it again become salty?” (Eme ejavu sira wasasiar. Siravu fatan andani, arimev ata aem sasijeano? Nama avanggunuanan fatanan.) (Source: Enggavoter 2004)
  • Kankanaey: “You are what-can-be-compared to salt for the people on this earth. But if salt becomes-tasteless it is impossible to return its saltiness (same word as sour/bitter).”

See also complete verse (Matthew 5:13).

northeaster

The Greek that is translated as “But soon a violent wind, called the northeaster (or: Euroclydon), rushed down from Crete” or similar in English is translated in a lot of different ways:

  • Upper Guinea Crioulo: “A great storm rose up on the side of the island that came against them.” (“The point wasn’t the name of the wind [nor’easter]. All of these nautical terms can be difficult for people who aren’t seafaring. The point wasn’t so much which cardinal direction the wind was coming from. The point was that the wind was coming from a direction that made it impossible for them to go in the direction they wanted to go. This is further explained in the following verse.”) (Source: David Frank)
  • Caluyanun: “Not long-afterward, the wind from the aminhan/northeast got-strong, which was from the land-area of the island of Crete.” (“’Aminhan’ is the common direction of the wind during half the year.”) (Source: Kermit Titrud)
  • Northern Emberá: “But soon a bad wind called the Euroclidon blew forcefully from the right hand.” (“When we have to specify north and south we use left hand and right hand, respectively. But in Acts 27:14, the Northeaster wind comes from the right, hitting the right side of the ship as they headed west.”) (Source: Chaz Mortensen)
  • Amele: “But shortly a strong wind called Jawalti blowing from the direction of the sun coming up to the left came up.” (“East is cam tobec isec ‘the direction the sun comes up’ and west is cam tonec/nec isec ‘the direction the sun goes/comes down.’ ‘Jawalti’ is a local name for the wind that blows down from the north coast of Madang. ‘Sea corner’ is the Amele term for ‘harbour‘”) (Source: John Roberts)
  • Mairasi: “But after not a very long time at all already a very big wind blew from behind us. In Greek that wind is called ‘Eurokulon’ from over there in the north and east. It blew down from that island itself.” (Source: Enggavoter 2004)
  • Kankanaey: “But it wasn’t long, a swift wind arrived from the upper-part of Creta.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And it wasn’t a long time from then, we were typhooned. A very strong wind arrived which was called Abagat. The wind came from the direction of the land.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But before we had been sailing for long, suddenly/unexpectedly the wind changed again to an off-shore wind of tremendous strength. Euraclidon was what the people from there called that wind.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Uma: “But in fact not long after that, a big wind came from the land, a wind called Sea Storm.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But not long after, a very strong wind blew from the coast.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)

See also cardinal directions / left and right and cardinal directions (north, south, east, west).

complete verse (Mark 6:29)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 6:29:

  • Uma: “When Yohanes’ followers heard he was dead, they went and got his body and buried it.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “When the disciples of Yahiya heard this, they went to get his body and they buried (him).” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And when the disciples of John heard about it, they went to the prison and they got the body of John and buried it.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “When Juan’s disciples heard of this that happened, then went to get his body and they went and buried it.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “When the disciples of Juan knew, they went and fetched the body of Juan and buried it.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (Acts 8:18)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 8:18:

  • Uma: “Simon saw that whomever Petrus and Yohanes laid-hands-on, they did get the Holy Spirit. That’s why Simon took his money to Petrus and Yohanes,” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given to the people when the commissioned ones laid their hands on them, he went to Petros and Yahiya offering money.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then Simon saw that people were inspired by the Holy Spirit if the two apostles laid their hands on them. And then he wanted to give them money.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit entered them upon-the apostles’ -laying-hands-on-them, he showed money” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well, when Simon that former powerful-spirit-medium, observed that those who had believed were indwelt by the Espiritu Santo through the putting hands on by the apostles, he put money down for he wanted to learn-the-skill. He said,” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (Hebrews 6:6)

Following are a number of back-translations of Hebrews 6:6:

  • Uma: “Yet after that, if they deliberately retreat from their faith, they can no longer be led back to repent from [their] sin. For we can say: they have crucified the Child of God again, and they have disparaged him in the eyes of the people/crowd.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “And then, even though they know all this, they have yet left/given-up their trust in Isa Almasi! They really cannot be brought back to regret their sins, for because of that their doing it is as if they nailed again the Son of God onto the post and humiliated him publicly (lit. in crowds of people).” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “For, for example, there are some people whom God has illuminated their minds. They already understand what is going to be given to us (incl.) in Heaven, and they have shared already in the power of the Holy Spirit, and they know the good things that God teaches, and they have seen also what can be done through the power which God will reveal in the future at the last days. If they turn their back on this, it’s no longer possible to have them come back again so that they might abandon their evil behavior. It’s as if they are again nailing to the cross the son of God, and they are causing people to speak in rejection against Him.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “If they have turned-their -backs-on all these, it is not possible for them to repent again, because it’s as if they are again nailing God’s Child to the cross and are causing-him -to-be-shamed in front of the collective-people.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well, and then they gave up, even though they had experienced all this. If it’s like that it’s really not possible to cause them to repent again and cause them to return, because what they’ve done is like they nailed the Son of God to the cross with their own hands, and gossiped around his shame.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “But afterwards they separated from Christ. Now it is not possible to strengthen them to change their hearts. Because these people cause as though again the Son of God is crucified on the cross. They cause that all the people make fun of him again.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

complete verse (Mark 7:5)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 7:5:

  • Uma: “That’s why the Parisi people with the religion teachers denounced Yesus, they said: ‘Why are your (s) disciples not following the customs of our elders? They eat, [but] they haven’t washed-hands first.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Therefore the Pariseo and the teachers of the religious law asked Isa, they said, ‘Why do your disciples not follow the teachings of our (incl.) forefathers? Why do they eat even though they have not washed their hands causing-them-to-be-clean?'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Because of this those Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, they said, ‘Why have your disciples abandoned the doctrines handed down by our ancestors because why is it that they up and eat without washing?'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Therefore those Pharisees and teachers of the law, they inquired of Jesus, ‘Why don’t your (singular) disciples follow the customs we inherited from our ancestors? There they are eating and they did not first follow the right way to wash-hands.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “That’s why Jesus was questioned by the Pariseo and explainers of law. ‘Why,’ they said, ‘don’t those disciples of yours obey our (incl.) inherited customs? They ate without first washing their hands according to what we (incl.) have inherited.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)