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.

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)

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)

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 (John 1:1)

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

  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “The Word was living when there was still nothing at all. And that Word lived in the same place God did. And that Word was God himself.”
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “When the world began, the person who is the Word was already present. He was with God and the person who is the Word was God.”
  • Chol: “In the beginning of the world there already was the Word. This Word already was with God. This Word was (and still is) God.” (Source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Long ago before anything was created, the one who is titled the Word of God already was. This Word of God, he already was with God and he is God.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Before the world and heavens/sky was laid-down/spread-out (i.e. existed), there was already Jesus who is called Word/Speech of God. This one referred to as Word, he was already there in the presence of God. Not just in the presence of God but on the contrary, this Word who is Jesus, he indeed is the one who is this God.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “The Son of God makes it known how God is. When the world was made, already he was living. He was in fellowship with God. He also is God.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

complete verse (Acts 7:27)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 7:27:

  • Uma: “But the one who had hit his companion pushed Musa and said to him: ‘Who raised you(s) to become a leader who decides our (excl.) matters?” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But the man who did the beating pushed Musa and said, ‘Who gave you authority to be leader over us (excl.)? Why should you be the one to judge us (excl.)?” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “However the one who was in the wrong would not listen. He pushed Moses and said, ‘Who gave you the authority to be Datu over us?” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “‘But the one who was-at-fault (lit. sinned), he up-and-shoved-at Moses saying, ‘Is it indeed-the-case (sarc. RQ) that you (singular) have authority to rule-over and judge us (excl.)?” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But he was pushed back by one of them who was picking-a-fight and told, ‘Expl.! Who set you up as our (excl.) leader and judge?” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (Mark 6:12)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 6:12:

  • Uma: “After Yesus taught his twelve disciples, they left and taught people to repent from their sins.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “So-then they went and proclaimed that the people should regret their sins and leave now their bad/evil doings.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Then the disciples of Jesus went out and they preached that people must give up their bad doings.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Then his disciples set-out and they went preaching to the many-people that they should repent-of their sins.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well, those twelve disciples then set out to go teaching the people. They were teaching that it is necessary to repent-of and drop-/give-up sins.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (2 Corinthians 10:9)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 10:9:

  • Uma: “So, wait for my arrival, so that there won’t be anyone who says that I’m just scaring you with my harsh letters.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “I am saying this so that you don’t think/say that I want to frighten you with my letters.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “I don’t want to frighten you by means of this letter.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “I said this so you won’t say/think that I am trying to frighten you by my letters.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “You should not think that my letters to you are just to scare (you).” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Do not think that I send the letter in order to speak strong to you.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

complete verse (Acts 7:59)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 7:59:

  • Uma: “While Stefanus was being thrown-at, he called-out, he said: ‘Lord Yesus, receive my soul!'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “While Estepan was being stoned by them, he called-on the Lord/Leader, he said, ‘O Isa, my Lord, receive my spirit/soul.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And while they were throwing stones at Stephen, Stephen called on the Lord. He said, ‘Oh Jesus, my Lord, receive my soul.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “While they were stoning him, Esteban prayed and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “As they kept throwing, Esteban kept praying, saying, ‘My Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (Mark 6:44)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 6:44:

  • Uma: “The number who ate the bread was about five thousand all men.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “The number of those who had eaten bread, the men only were five thousand.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “The number of the men who ate the bread there were five thousand, and the women and children were not counted.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “The number of the old-men and young-men who ate, it was about five thousand.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “As for the number of those who ate, the men alone were five thousand, apart from the women and children.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (2 Corinthians 11:23)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 11:23:

  • Uma: “They say they are Kristus’s workers. How much more I, I am more [Kristus’s worker] then they! (I’m talking here like I am no longer clear-headed.) My work is more than their work. Many times I have been imprisoned, more than they have! I have been beaten severely, more than they have! Many times I have almost died.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “If they boast that they are servants of Almasi, I also am a servant of Almasi but I am much better than they. I know that I am speaking like a stupid/bad person, making myself great. I am working much harder than they. How many times have I been in prison because of my working for Almasi? More (often) than they. How many times have I been beaten? More (often) than they. And often I almost died.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “I know that I’m acting like a crazy person because of what I say, but my mouth cannot be stopped from saying these things. They say that they are servants of Christ. I am even a more faithful servant of Christ. What he has given me to do is very difficult. I’m always being put in prison, and they are not; I’m always being beaten by people who are enemies of God more than they; I have experienced being almost killed more times than they have.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “They say that they serve Cristo, isn’t that so? It’s as if I’m crazy in this that I’m saying, but I’ll go-ahead anyway and say that my serving Cristo has been more important/valuable. Because I am far more industrious to work for Cristo than they. There are more times-that-I-have-been-imprisoned. My whippings can’t be counted. Often I have been near death.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well, what are they, servants of Cristo? (What I am saying here, it’s like the words of a demented person.) But I am a much better servant of Cristo, better than they are. My perseverance is really much more, for I have been imprisoned many times, whipped not just once (=litote for many times), and I really am always almost being killed.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “They say that they do the work of Christ. But I also even more do the work of Christ than they do. I suppose that it sounds like I really have lost my mind in how I am talking. But much more work have I done than they. Much more have I suffered, being whipped more than they. Many more times have I been in jail than they. Many more times have I been in danger of being killed than they.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

complete verse (Acts 8:31)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 8:31:

  • Uma: “That person said: ‘How do you(s) think I could understand, because there is no one who clarifies it to me.’ From there, he urged/invited Filipus to climb up in his cart and sit beside him.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “The official answered, ‘How can I understand if no one explains it to me?’ And he told Pilip to ride and sit beside him.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And the official said, ‘How can I understand this when there is no one to interpret for me?’ And he caused Philip to ride.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “‘No, because there is no one to explain it to me,’ he said in reply. Then he invited Felipe to ride-with-(him).” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “‘I don’t understand anything,’ was the reply of that taga Etiope. ‘Maybe if there was someone to explain to me, I would understand it.’ Therefore he then caused Felipe to ride.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)