The Greek that is translated into English as “fresh water and bitter (or: brackish) water” is translated into Yatzachi Zapotec as “sweet water and hard water” and in Mezquital Otomi as “clean water and water that is bitter” (source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.).
The Greek that is typically translated as “peaceable” in English is translated in a variety of ways:
- Central Mazahua / Yatzachi Zapotec: “not start fights”
- Mezquital Otomi: “not be contentious”
- Rincón Zapotec: “live peaceably”
- Eastern Highland Otomi: “know to reconcile the hearts of our fellowmen”
(Source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.).
See also peace (absence of conflict).
(To view the different translations of this term in a simplified graphical form on a new page, click or tap here.)
The Greek terms that are typically translated as “mercy” (or “compassion”) in English are translated in various ways. Bratcher / Nida classify them in (1) those based on the quality of heart, or other psychological center, (2) those which introduce the concept of weeping or extreme sorrow, (3) those which involve willingness to look upon and recognize the condition of others, or (4) those which involve a variety of intense feelings.
Here are some (back-) translations:
- Ngäbere: “tender heart”
- Mískito: “white heart”
- Amganad Ifugao: “what arises from a kind heart”
- Vai: “purity of heart”
- Western Kanjobal: “his abdomen weeps”
- Kipsigis: “to cry inside”
- Shilluk: “to cry continually within”
- Navajo: “to feel great sorrow” (“with the connotation of being about to cry”)
- Kpelle: “to see misery”
- Toro So Dogon: “to know misery”
- Western Highland Purepecha: “to be in pain for”
- San Miguel El Grande Mixtec: “to be very sorry for”
- Mezquital Otomi: “to have increasing love for”
- Tepeuxila Cuicatec: “showing undeserved goodness” (“closely identified with grace”) (source for this and all above: Bratcher / Nida)
- Yatzachi Zapotec: “pity-love”
- Central Mazahua: “very much pity people”
- Alekano: “help people who are suffering”
- Guhu-Samane: “feeling sorry for men” (source for this and three above: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.)
- Latvian: žēlastība, the same term that is also used for grace (source: Katie Roth)
- Iloko: asi — also means “pity” and is used for a love of the poor and helpless (source: G. Henry Waterman in The Bible Translator 1960, p. 24ff.)
- Bilua: “forgiving love” (source: Carl Gross)
- Luang: “inside goodness” (source: Kathy and Mark Taber in Kroneman (2004), p. 533)
- Mairasi: “have good intestines” (see Seat of the Mind) (source: Lloyd Peckham)
The Greek that is translated as “impartial” in English is translated as “not changeable” in Mezquital Otomi), “never go back on one’s word” in Eastern Highland Otomi, “in just one way one judges” in Rincón Zapotec), “to treat all companions the same” in Yatzachi Zapotec and “love people equally” in Central Mazahua.
(Source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.).
See also judge impartially.
The Greek that is translated as “grieving” or “sorrowful” in English is often translated metaphorically: “his stomach died” (Mezquital Otomi), “he was heavy in his stomach” (Uduk), “his heart was pained” (Kpelle), “he was sick in his mind” (Amganad Ifugao), “his heart hung” (Loma), and “his heart was spoiled” (Mossi).
See also Seat of the Mind for traditional views of “ways of knowing, thinking, and feeling.”
The Greek that is translated as “submit to God” in English is translated as “let God be in charge of your hearts” in Tzotzil, “calm down before God” in Guhu-Samane, “obey God” in Mezquital Otomi, “give oneself over to God” in Sayula Popoluca, and “stick close to God” in Alekano (source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.).
The Greek in 1 Peter 3:2 that is translated in English as “pure conduct” (or “chaste behavior”) is translated in Balanta-Kentohe as “good walk.” (Source: Rob Koops)
The standalone term that is translated as “pure” is translated in Mezquital Otomi as “that which cleanses one’s thoughts,” and in Alekano as “making our insides white.” (Source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.).
See also snow (color).
The Greek that is translated as “anyone who has committed sin will be forgiven” or similar in English is translated as “if there is his sin the one who is healed his sin will be lost also” in Tzotzil, “that sick one has been healed, his sins the Father has pardoned” in Mezquital Otomi), and “and if sins are the cause of our sickness, it will be forgiven us” in Eastern Highland Otomi) (source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.).
For the Greek that is translated with an equivalent of “It is finished (or: completed)” in most English Bible translations a perfect tense is used that has no direct equivalent in English. It expresses that an event has happened at a specific point in the past but that that event has ongoing results. The English “Expanded Translation” by Kenneth S. Wuest (publ. 1961) attempted to recreate that by translating “It has been finished and stands complete.”
Irish uses yet a different system of tenses, resulting in these translations:
- Atá sé ar na chríochnughadh (Bedell An Biobla Naomhtha, publ. early 17th century): “It is upon its completion”
- Tá críoch curtha air (Ó Cuinn Tiomna Nua, publ. 1970): “Completion is put on it”
- Tá sé curtha i gcrích (An Bíobla Naofa, publ. 1981): “It is put in completion”
Source for the Irish: Kevin Scannell
In Ojitlán Chinantec it is translated as “My work is finished, in Aguaruna as “It is completely accomplished, and in Mezquital Otomi as “Now all is finished which I was commanded to do.” (Source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
The Greek and Hebrew that is typically translated as “(to the) right hand of” is often translated much more descriptively in other languages. In Yakan it is translated as “at the right side, here in the greatest/most important/most honored place/seat,” in Mezquital Otomi as “the right hand, at the place of honor,” in Chuj as “exalted at the right hand,” in Chichimeca-Jonaz as “in a high place there at the right,” in Lalana Chinantec as “make great,” in Isthmus Mixe as “given great authority,” in Morelos Nahuatl as “placed big” (source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August, 1966, p. 1ff), and in Teutila Cuicatec as “in all authority at the right side” (source: Ronald D. Olson in Notes on Translation January, 1968, p. 15ff.).
In Lamnso’, the seat on the right-hand side signifies that the person seated there would have a higher position than the one to his left (vs. just being a seat of honor). To circumvent any misunderstanding of the biblical text, the translation here refers to the “highest seat next to God.” (Source: Karl Grebe in Holzhausen 1991, p. 52)
The Greek that is translated as “Satan entered into him” or similar in English is translated as “The devil worked his heart” in Ojitlán Chinantec, “Satan caused him to think” in Aguaruna, and “Satan entered into his mind to do his work” in Mezquital Otomi. (Source: John Beekman in Notes on Translation 12, November 1964, p. 1ff.)
The Greek that is translated as “figures of speech” or similar in English is translated in Ojitlán Chinantec as “telling words a little bit covered,” in Tenango Otomi as “comparisons,” in Navajo: “stories that teach,” and in Mezquital Otomi as “like a story” (source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.).