kiss

The Hebrew and the Greek that is usually directly translated as “kiss” in English is translated more indirectly in other languages because kissing is deemed as inappropriate, is not a custom at all, or is not customary in the particular context (see the English translation of J.B. Phillips, 1960 in Rom. 16:16: “Give each other a hearty handshake”). Here are some examples:

  • Pökoot: “greet warmly” (“kissing in public, certainly between men, is absolutely unacceptable in Pökoot.”) (Source: Gerrit van Steenbergen)
  • Chamula Tzotzil, Ixcatlán Mazatec, Tojolabal: “greet each other warmly” or “hug with feeling” (source: Robert Bascom)
  • Afar: “gaba tittal ucuya” (“give hands to each other”) (Afar kiss each other’s hands in greeting) (source: Loren Bliese)
  • Roviana: “welcome one another joyfully”
  • Cheke Holo: “Love each other in the way-joined-together that is holy” (esp. in Rom. 16:16) or “greet with love” (esp. 1Thess. 5:26 and 1Pet. 5.14)
  • Pitjantjatjara: “And when you meet/join up with others of Jesus’ relatives hug and kiss them [footnote], for you are each a relative of the other through Jesus.” Footnote: “This was their custom in that place to hug and kiss one another in happiness. Maybe when we see another relative of Jesus we shake hands and rejoice.” (esp. Rom. 16:16) (source for this and two above: Carl Gross)
  • Balanta-Kentohe and Mandinka: “touch cheek” or “cheek-touching” (“sumbu” in Malinka)
  • Mende: “embrace” (“greet one another with the kiss of love”: “greet one another and embrace one another to show that you love one another”) (source for this and two above: Rob Koops)
  • Gen: “embrace affectionately” (source: John Ellington)
  • Kachin: “holy and pure customary greetings” (source: Gam Seng Shae)
  • Kahua: “smell” (source: David Clark) (also in Ekari and Kekchí, source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
  • Nyanja: “to suck” (“habit and term a novelty amongst the young and more or less westernized people, the traditional term for greeting a friend after a long absence being, ‘to clap in the hands and laugh happily'”)
  • Medumba: “suck the cheek” (“a novelty, the traditional term being ‘to embrace.'”)
  • Shona (version of 1966): “to hug”
  • Balinese: “to caress” (source for this and three above: Reiling / Swellengrebel)

harden heart

The Hebrew that is translated into English as forms of “(to not) harden heart” is translated into other languages with their own vivid idioms; for example, Thai uses “black-hearted” (source: Bratcher / Hattoon, p. 272), Pökoot as “makany kwoghïghitu mötöwekwo”: “do not let become hard your heads” (source: Gerrit van Steenbergen), or Anuak as “make liver strong” (source: Loren Bliese).

See also hardness of heart and see Seat of the Mind for traditional views of “ways of knowing, thinking, and feeling.”

proverbs

The Hebrew that is rendered in English as “proverbs” (or “Proverbs” as the title of the book) is translated into Pökoot as “ngötïnyö” (or “Ngötïnyö”), which refers to use of figurative language that is used in such a way that things are being said in an indirect way. At the same time they communicate general wisdom.

peace offering

The Hebrew that is rendered in English versions as “peace offering” is translated into Pökoot as “pöghisyö”: “gift of peace/fellowship”. This term has the connotations of fellowship, wholeness, restored relationships, etc. The word pöghisyö is also used as a common greeting (much like Shalom in Hebrew).