you shall not commit adultery

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated in English as “you shall not commit adultery” is translated in Toraja-Sa’dan with an established figure of speech: Da’ mupasandak salu lako rampanan kapa’ or “you shall not fathom the river of marriage” (i.e “approach the marriage relationship of another.”) (Source: H. van der Veen in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 21 ff.).

It is translated as “practice illicit relationship with women” in Tzeltal, as “go in with other people’s wives” in Isthmus Zapotec, as “live with some one who isn’t your wife” in Huehuetla Tepehua, and as “sleep with a strange partner” in Central Tarahumara. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

See also adultery

they are a law to themselves

The Greek that is often translated into English as “they are a law to themselves” is translated into Bilua as “they follow their own law.” (Source: Carl Gross)

In Huehuetla Tepehua it is translated as “it is just as if they had a law in their hearts,” in Highland Totonac as “on their own they think of the law they should do,” in Yatzachi Zapotec as “what their head-hearts tell them to do is like the law for them,” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui as “their very hearts is a law which issues orders to them,” in Tzeltal as “it is because there are commandments in their hearts,” and in Sierra de Juárez Zapotec as “show that they themselves know what they ought to do.” (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

gave up his spirit

The Greek that is often translated as “he gave up his spirit” in English is translated in a variety of ways:

  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “And then he died”
  • Aguaruna: “His breath went out”
  • Navajo: “He gave back his spirit”
  • North Alaskan Inupiatun: “He breathed his last”
  • Chol: “He caused his spirit to leave him”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “He sent away his life breath” (source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
  • Kankanaey: “He entrusted his spirit to God” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “released his spirit” (lit. caused it to spring away) (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Uma: “His spirit/breath broke” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “His breath snapped” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)

sign

The Greek that is typically translated in English as “sign” is translated in Huehuetla Tepehua as “thing to be marveled at” (source: Larson 1889, p. 279) and in Mairasi as “big work” (source: Enggavoter 2004).

flesh (human nature)

The Greek that is often translated as “flesh” in English (when referring to the lower human nature) can, according to Nidq (1947, p. 153) “very rarely be literally translated into another language. ‘My meat’ or ‘my muscle’ does not make sense in most languages.” He then gives a catalog of almost 30 questions to determine a correct translation for that term.

Accordingly, the translations are very varied:

See also spirit / flesh and old self.

illegitimate children

The Greek that is translated “illegitimate children” or similar in English is translated as:

  • Ojitlán Chinantec: “children of an unknown father”
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “children of the streets”
  • Chol: “those who were born because of the lust of men”
  • Navajo: “born in adultery”
  • Yanesha’: “born from an unmarried person” (source for this and above: John Beekman in Notes on Translation 12, November 1964, p. 1ff.)

obedience

The Greek that is translated in English typically as “obedience” is translated in Tepeuxila Cuicatec as “thing hearing.” “For to hear is to obey.” (Source: Marjorie Davis in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 34ff.)

In Huba it is translated as hya nǝu nyacha: “follow (his) mouth.” (Source: David Frank in this blog post)

In Central Mazahua it is translated as “listen-obey” and in Huehuetla Tepehua as “believe-obey.” (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

glorified with him

The Greek that is translated as “glorified with him” in English is translated as “live in God’s light” in Hopi, as “receive our well-being in heaven” in Tzeltal, as “be with him where it is beautiful” in Sayula Popoluca, and as “he will give us our good life in heaven” in Huehuetla Tepehua. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

without him not one thing came into being

The Greek that is translated as “without him not one thing came into being” or similar in English is translated in Huehuetla Tepehua as “if it hadn’t been for him there would not have been the world or anything” and in Tenango Otomi as “of all the things there are, there is not one that he did not make.” (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February, 1970, p. 1-125.)

In Lalana Chinantec, the double-negative is turned into a positive: “All things came into being because that person made all that exists.” (Source: Larson 1998, p. 159)

In Bakairí, Jesus (Logos) had to stay the “focal character” so it’s translated as “He was the maker of all things.” (Source: Callow 1972, 61)

despise

The Greek that is translated as “despise” is translated as “not think anything of” in Huehuetla Tepehua, as “he is of no account to you” in Tzeltal, as “say you are better” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui, as “hate” in Yatzachi Zapotec, as “speak evil of” in Sayula Popoluca, as “reject” in Highland Totonac, as “not respect” in Central Tarahumara, and as “act superior to” in Isthmus Zapotec. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)