wild ass

In the context of being in the wilderness, the Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “wild ass” in English is translated in Chitonga as cibize or “zebra,” because “from the Tonga perspective, no ‘donkey of the bush’ [the literal correspondent of ‘wild ass’] could be expected to live very long, due to predators like lions, etc.” (Source: Wendland 1987, p. 130)

See also wild ass of a man / wild donkey.

Go up and bury your father as he made you swear to do.

The Hebrew that is translated as “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear to do” or similar in English is translated in Chitonga as “No, so be it (Pe mbubo, i.e., you needn’t have said anything), go and bury your father.” “For the Tonga, a funeral needs no excuse.” (Source: Wendland 1987, p. 131)

Translation commentary on Ruth 3:1: A Cultural Commentary for Central Africa

A section heading such as that proposed by Good News Bible is culturally very inappropriate. Unless she is someone of loose morals, a woman does not go out to “find a husband” (or “man,” the word is the same in both Chichewa/Chitonga). Rather, it is his task to find her. It would be contrary to custom for a woman to arrange a marriage for her daughter. That is the job of the clan representative, as pointed out above, a male in any case, and the initiative in the proceedings must be taken by the suitor. However, where a remarriage is concerned, especially in the case of a son who has died, a woman’s involvement would not be uncommon, since the person to “succeed” to the place of the deceased would have to come from her family line. In such a situation she would not actually go out herself to “find” a husband (RSV, Good News Bible), but she would be in charge of the formal arrangements aimed at establishing the widow once again “in a family” (Chichewa). Furthermore, a woman would never suggest that her daughter-in-law herself take steps to “engage” a man, as Naomi now advised Ruth to do. Under such circumstances among the Chewa and certain other Central African peoples, a wife would be justified in taking her mother-in-law to (the traditional) court for meddling in her marital affairs.

Source: Wendland 1987, p. 177.

It is enough

The Hebrew that is translated as “It is enough” or similar in English is translated in Chitonga with the existing idiom mbubo ono cabonwa or “alright, now, the end has been seen” and in Chichewa (interconfessional translation) as Zandikola or “They (i.e., problems) have choked me (to death).” (Source: Wendland 1987, p. 104)

Wretched man that I am!

The Greek that is translated as “Wretched man that I am!” or similar in English is translated in Chitonga as Maawe! Nde mucaangu! or “Mercy me, I am my own younger brother [i.e., I have no one to look to for help in this situation].” (Source: Wendland 1987, p. 153)

Translation commentary on Ruth 3:7: A Cultural Commentary for Central Africa

The report of the carrying out of Naomi’s plan occasions the same problems for the C/T receptor that her preceding words did (v. 3). In fact, the clash in customs is reinforced. One must be careful in this account not to employ an expression for the original “his heart was merry” (after drinking) which would suggest that Boaz was in a drunken condition. Furthermore, it is necessary in both Chichewa/Chitonga to add the words, “While he (Boaz) was asleep . . . ,” in order to reduce the likelihood of overtones of illegitimacy being mistakenly attached by receptors to Ruth’s actions here.

Source: Wendland 1987, p. 178.

Come - let us look one another in the face

The Hebrew that is translated as “Come, let us look one another in the face” or similar in English is translated in Chitonga with the existing idiom Uboole, tubone mwaalumi or “Come, let us see the man (i.e., who is the stronger between us).” (Source: Wendland 1987, p. 104)

One who puts on armor should not brag like one who takes it off

The Hebrew that is translated as “One who puts on armour should not brag like one who takes it off” or similar in English is translated in Chitonga with the existing idiom “A man is a buffalo” (i.e., one cannot brag that he is as strong as a water buffalo until after he has defeated his opponent) and in Chichewa (interconfessional translation) as “You’re as good as your fellow upon the anthill only after you’ve climbed up there yourself.” (Source: Wendland 1987, p. 107)