The Greek that is translated as “cloth” or “swaddling clothes” in English is translated in Nyongar as bwoka or “Kangaroo skin.” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
The Greek that is translated as “(Lord of) heaven and earth” in English is translated as “(Lord of) God’s Country and our Country” in Nyongar (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).
The Greek that means “catch (or: capture) alive” is usually translated as “catch (people)” of “fish (for people)” in English which implies the fact that the captured or caught are still alive.
The Syriac Aramaic (Classical Syriac) Peshitta translation, however, makes the meaning of “catch alive” more explicit by translating ṣāeḏ ləẖayye (ܨܳܐܶܕ݂ ܠܚܰܝܶܐ) or “catch alive.” Following that translation, other translations that are based on the Peshitta, including the Classical Armenian Bible (vorsayts’es i keans [որսայցես ի կեանս] or “catch for life”), the Afrikaans PWL translation (publ. 2016) (mense vang tot verlossing or ” catch [people] to salvation”), the Dutch translation by Egbert Nierop (publ. 2020) (vangen tot redding or “catch to save”) or various English translations (see here ) explicitly highlight the “alive” as well. (Source: Ivan Borshchevsky)
Some languages have to find strategies on how to deal with the metaphor of “catching.” “In some cases the metaphor can be rendered rather literally, cp. ‘seeking for men’ (Kekchí, where ‘to seek fish’ is the idiomatic rendering of ‘to catch fish’). In several other languages, however, more radical adjustments are necessary, such as making explicit the underlying simile, ‘you will catch men as if you were catching fish’ (Inupiaq); or a shift to a non-metaphorical rendering, sacrificing the play-on-words, e.g. ‘you will be a bringer of men’ (Northern Grebo). In some cases the durative aspect of the construction is best expressed by n occupational term, e.g. ‘youwill be one-whose-trade-is catching men’ (Tae’ and Toraja-Sa’dan).” (Source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
Other translations include:
- Uma: “teach people to become my followers” (source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “fetch people to follow me” (source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “look for people so that they might be my disciples” (source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “persuade people” (source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “as-it-were catch/hunt/fish-for” (source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “messenger” in English is translated in Nyongar as moort yana-waangki or “person walk-talk” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).
The Greek and Hebrew terms that are often translated as “leprosy” or “leprous (person)” in English is translated in Mairasi as “the bad sickness,” since “leprosy is very common in the Mairasi area” (source: Enggavoter 2004).
Following are various other translations:
- Shilluk: “disease of animals”
- San Mateo Del Mar Huave: “devil sore” (this and the above are indigenous expressions)
- Inupiaq: “decaying sores”
- Kaqchikel: “skin-rotting disease” (source for this and three above: Eugene Nida in The Bible Translator 1960, p. 34f. )
- Nyongar: “bad skin disease” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
- Tzotzil “rotting sickness” (source: Ronald D. Olson in Notes on Translation January, 1968, p. 15ff.)
- Usila Chinantec “sickness like mal de pinta” (a skin disease involving discoloration by loss of pigment) (source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)
See also leprosy healed.
The name that is transliterated as “John (the Baptist)” in English is translated in Spanish Sign Language as “baptize” (source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)
“John” in American Sign Language, source: Deaf Harbor
A question of cultural assumptions arose in Tuvan. The instinctive way to translate this name denotatively would be “John the Dipper,” but this would carry the highly misleading connotation that he drowned people. It was therefore decided that his label should focus on the other major aspect of his work, that is, proclaiming that the Messiah would soon succeed him. (Compare his title in Russian Orthodox translation “Иоанн Предтеча” — “John the Forerunner.”) So he became “John the Announcer,” which fortunately did not seem to give rise to any confusion with radio newsreaders! (Source: David Clark in The Bible Translator 2015, p. 117ff.)
In Nyongar it is translated as John-Kakaloorniny or “John Washing” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).
See also John the Baptist (icon).
The Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that are translated as “wine” in English is translated into Pass Valley Yali as “grape juice pressed long ago (= fermented)” or “strong water” (source: Daud Soesilo). In Guhu-Samane it is also translated as “strong water” (source: Ernest L. Richert in The Bible Translator 1965, p. 198ff. ), in Nyongar as “liquor” (verbatim: “strong water”) (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang), in Hausa as ruwan inabi or “water of grapes” (with no indication whether it’s alcoholic or not — source: Mark A. Gaddis), or in Papantla Totonac and Coyutla Totonac as “a drink like Pulque” (for “Pulque,” see here ) (source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1971, p. 169ff. ).
In Swahili, Bible translations try to avoid local words for alcoholic drinks, because “drinking of any alcohol at all was one of the sins most denounced by early missionaries. Hence translators are uncomfortable by the occurrences of wine in the Bible. Some of the established churches which use wine prefer to see church wine as holy, and would not refer to it by the local names used for alcoholic drinks. Instead church wine is often referred to by terms borrowed from other languages, divai (from German, der Wein) or vini/mvinyo (from ltalian/Latin vino/vinum). Several translations done by Protestants have adapted the Swahili divai for ‘wine,’ while those done by Catholics use vini or mvinyo.” (Source: Rachel Konyoro in The Bible Translator 1985, p. 221ff. )
The Swahili divai was in turn borrowed by Sabaot and was turned into tifaayiik and is used as such in the Bible. Kupsabiny, on the other hand, borrowed mvinyo from Swahili and turned it into Finyonik. (Source: Iver Larsen)
In Nyamwezi, two terms are used. Malwa ga muzabibu is a kind of alcohol that people specifically use to get drunk (such as in Genesis 9:21) and ki’neneko is used for a wine made from grapes (source: Pioneer Bible Translators, project-specific translation notes in Paratext).
In some Hindi translations (such as the Common Language version, publ. 2015 ), one term (dākharasa दाखरस — grape juice) is used when that particular drink is in the focus (such as in John 2) and another term (madirā मदिरा — “alcohol” or “liquor”) when drunkenness is in the focus (such as in Eph. 5:18).
In Mandarin Chinese, the generic term jiǔ (酒) or “alcohol” is typically used. (Source: Zetzsche)