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)
  • 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 (Romans 14:15)

Following are a number of back-translations of Romans 14:15:

  • Uma: “So also, if for example I hurt the heart of a companion because I eat what that companion says is taboo/forbidden, I also have sinned, because I am not being loving to my companion. That’s why I say, take care not tempt companions with food with the result that his/her faith is destroyed. For those companions of ours are our relatives in the Lord, whom Christ redeemed by his death.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “If your (singular) brother who trusts in Isa is worried/troubled because you eat something but/and-what’s-more it is unclean/forbidden to him, na that means it is clear that you (singular) do not love him. If because of your (singular) food perhaps eventually your brother no longer obeys/follows God, don’t then eat (it). Isa Almasi died hep because of that brother of yours (singular).” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And if you eat that which he thinks mistakenly was forbidden, this will upset him very greatly and it’s as if you have no kindness for him; and it’s not good if that person is successfully tempted by means of your eating, because he is your fellow believer and Christ allowed Himself to be killed as his substitute also.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “We then who have no taboo foods, if our companion is offended/hurt (lit. his mind is pained) because of what we eat, it is not love that we show him. So let us be careful so we don’t destroy the faith of our companion because of mere food, because Cristo died for him.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Therefore if you really love your brother, then do not eat anything that will spoil your brother. Christ has died to save him. Do not cause his heart to be spoiled just because you want to eat something that tastes good.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

complete verse (Luke 14:18)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 14:18:

  • Uma: “But the people who were invited all gave-excuses. The first one said: ‘I have just bought land, and I must first go and look at it. I ask forgiveness, I do not go [to where you are].'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But all of them had an excuse. The one he first went to said, ‘I cannot come because I have bought land and I should go there first and look at it. Don’t be angry with me.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “However, the people whom he had invited, they weren’t even thinking about that feast, and each one of them made excuses as to why they could not attend. One said, ‘I hope you aren’t angry with me, because I cannot come because there is some land which I’ve just bought and I have to go and look at it today.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “But those who had been invited, they each one demurred making-excuses. One said, ‘Sorry (pasinsiya), because I’ve-just-bought some land and I must go see it.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But all those informed each-made-his-own excuse-for-not-coming. One person said, ‘I’ve bought some land. Well, it’s necessary that I go there today. I’m sure you’ll forgive me.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (1 John 5:21)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 John 5:21:

  • Uma: “My children, be careful that you not worship lords that are not true.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “My children-grandchildren, don’t make-into-God anything other than the true God. Wassalam” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “My children, avoid worshipping anything which is not the true God.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “My children whom I love, be sure to distance-yourselves from false-gods/idols.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “My like children, be careful what you believe-in/obey and serve. Make sure that there is nothing at all with which you will replace this true God.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Listen, my children, do not worship the idols which are merely manufactured.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “My little children, do not worship anything other than only God.”
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “My dear children, we must not believe the deceiving (untrue) gods. This is what we will think on now.”
  • Tzotzil: “Therefore, my children, idols are not useful to us in any way (means that we should not have anything to do with them). Thus let it be.”
  • Garifuna: “My children/offspring. Don’t you bow down (worship) before whatever thing that is not God.” (Source for this and three above: John Beekman in Notes on Translation 12, November 1964, p. 1ff.)

complete verse (Romans 15:24)

Following are a number of back-translations of Romans 15:24:

  • Uma: “I hope there will be an opportunity for me to stop in your village and meet you, relatives. For when I go to the land of Spanyol, I will pass through the village of Roma. So, after I have been happily with you for a while, I hope you will give me a good send-off [can imply a simple farewell or financial aid] on to Spanyol.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “I want to go to the land of the Kastila’ nation but I will first stop-over to see you. When I am satisfied already/visited enough there with you, you can help me so that I can continue on my journey.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “I’ve decided that now at last I’m able to come there to you. I want to go to Spain but I will stop by there with you. And when my short being with you, which will give me pleasure, is finished, then you can help me on my journey.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “But now I have finished my work here, so I plan to stop-by there when I go to Espanya, because here it has been how many years that I have strongly-desired to see you. I expect then that when I have satisfied-my-missing-you, you will be able to help me so that I can continue-on to go to Espanya.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “When I go to the land of Spain, then there where you live I will pass by to greet you. Because it will give me pleasure to see you. Afterwards you can send me on.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)