complete verse (2Tim. 2:20-21) / Natügu

“Instead of the unnatural picture of some dishes being for noble use and others for ignoble, [the Natügu translators] used a related picture which is much more meaningful in the culture: ‘In our way, when a big man comes to our house, we give him very nice food, in our honouring him. But when we stay alone, we don’t habitually eat food like that given to him. And this is the talk-picture that we must follow. And we also will be like that good food if we purify ourselves from those bad things. Because it is we who are chosen to help our Lord. So, we are already prepared to do very nice things.'”

Most High

The Greek that is translated as “(God) the Most High” in English is translated in Sa’a as “God, the Surpassing One.” (Source: Carl Gross)

In Eastern Highland Otomi it is “he the completely glorified God-” in San Mateo del Mar Huave it is “Father God who is high in heaven” in Teutila Cuicatec “God who has such tremendous authority,” in Chichimeca-Jonaz “he who is the native of the highest place,” and in Palantla Chinantec it is “the Big God Himself.” (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

have mercy on me

The Greek that is translated in English as “have mercy on me” is translated in Roviana as (Tuna Devita,) tataru nau, mamu toka nau!: “(Son of David,) love me, help me!” (source: Carl Gross) and in Mairasi as (Dautuer tatnem,) omorafainenyo!: “(Daud’s Child,) desire my face (=love me)” (source: Enggavoter 2004).

See also mercy.


The Greek that is translated as “whenever our thoughts condemn us” or similar in English is translated in Owa as “point at our eye.”

became dazzling white

The Greek that is translated as “became dazzling white” in English is translated in Sa’a with “a specially-coined, but old word for what happened to Jesus at the transfiguration. It means ‘gloriously changed to be bright and shiny and totally unlike anything else at all.’ It is used only for Jesus’ transfiguration, and then, by extension, for what will happen to us at our resurrection. The word is ‘nu’e’ — an awful lot meaning packed into just four letters!”

See also snow (color).


The Hebrew that is translated as “(glowing) coals” in English is translated in Owa as “stones of parrot offspring” (due to the fact that parrots are red!).