nose ring

The Hebrew that is translated in English as “nose ring” is translated in Newari as “ear ring.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)

While it’s common for women in Nepal to wear nose rings, in Newar culture this is associated with slave culture, going back to the the 14th century and Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq’sd conquest of Kathmandu and the subsequent enslaving of its people and forced wearing of nose rings for all women to signify his dominance over his new subjects. (See here.)

comforted

The Hebrew that is translated in English as “comforted” is translated in Newari as “grief was lost.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)

live in tents, stay at home

The Hebrew that is translated in English as “lived in tents” or “stayed at home” is translated in Newari as “did house work.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)

dome, expanse, firmament

The Hebrew that is translated as “firmament,” “expanse,” or “dome” in English is translated in Roviana as galegalearane: “the open space between the earth and the sky” and in Moru as “empty space.”

In Idoma it is translated as okpanco — “the top of the sky.” “According to tradition, when the world began, the okpanco was low. A woman was pounding yams and her pestle kept hitting okpanco and it started going higher and higher.”

In Naskapi it is translated as “sky skin” — “like a caribou skin.”

(Sources: Roviana: Carl Gross; Moru: Jan Sterk; Idoma: Rob Koops; Naskapi: Doug Lockhart in Word Alive 2013)

In Lingala it is translated as “surface.” Sigurd F. Westberg (in The Bible Translator 1956, p. 117ff.) explains: “The ‘firmament’ in Genesis 1 gave us another problem. Its meaning in English is certainly not immediately obvious. The dictionary tells us that the Hebrew means something close to our English word ’expanse.’ It seems, however, that the Hebrew idea may not always have been as abstract as that, for Isaiah says that the Lord ‘stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.’ But the Greek word used in the Septuagint gives the idea of a firm and solid structure, and this is the idea that is carried out in our English word ‘firmament.’ Modern translations into English, Swedish, Norwegian and French take one or the other of these two leads. It is the predicament of the translator that he dare not hesitate too long between ideas. (…) In this case we tried to arrive at ’expanse’ by the use of a word meaning ’width,’ but we found that it is not really understandable except as it is associated with the noun of which it indicates the width. It cannot be used alone. The word we finally used means ‘surface,’ but it also has the idea of something stretched out or smoothed out. It is more concrete than we should like, but it does not require identity with a concrete object as does the word for width’.’

In Newari it is translated as “upper part of water” (Gen. 1.6 is translated “height between two portions of water.”) (Source: Newari Back Translation)

menstruate, the way of women

The Hebrew that is translated in English as “the way of women (is upon me)” or similar, referring to menstruation, is translated in Newari as “I am not to be touched.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)

See also menstruation.

light

The Hebrew that is translated in English as “light” is translated in Newari as “white light.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)

cupbearer

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated in English as “cupbearer” is translated in Newari as “new wine vessel holder.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)

And God saw it was good

The Hebrew that is typically translated in English as “And God saw it was good” is translated in Newari as “This seemed good to God.”

The first part of Genesis 1:31, which is translated in English as “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good” or similar is translated in Newari as “God saw everything that He made. This seemed very good to Him.”

(Source: Newari Back Translation)

basket (Genesis 40)

The Hebrew that is translated in English as “basket” is translated in Newari as “bamboo basket.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)

in the image of God

The Hebrew that is translated in English as “in the image of God (he created them)” or similar is translated in Newari as “(He made them so that they) closely resembled God.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)

reed

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated in English as “reed” is translated in Newari as “bamboo.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)