complete verse (2 Corinthians 1:8)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 1:8:

  • Uma: “Relatives, so that you know, the difficulties that hit us (excl.) in the propinsi of Asia were so severe. The difficulties were very heavy, more than our (excl.) ability, with the result that our (excl.) hearts became discouraged [lit., lessened], we (excl.) said there’s no way we (excl.) are going to live. [Uma idiom that cannot be translated literally]” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “My brothers, we (excl.) want to tell you about the trouble that we (excl.) experienced there in the place Asiya. We (excl.) were really in very great difficulty (tight) we (excl.) almost could not endure it. We (excl.) did not expect to live.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “We want you to know, brothers, about the big trouble that we had when we were in the province of Asia. We suffered a very severe testing which we thought we could not endure; that’s why we thought it would be the death of us.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “You brothers, we (excl.) want you to know the excessive hardship/difficulty/suffering (same range of meaning throughout book) that we (excl.) experienced in the province Asia. We (excl.) were extremely burdened by that hardship until we (excl.) were not able-to-endure it and we (excl.) already had no hope that we (excl.) would live.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Siblings in believing, we (excl.) will tell you about the hardships that we (excl.) experienced in Asia. What we (excl.) experienced was really horrendous (lit. truly very-far-from-ordinary). We (excl.) really no longer had any assurance that we would still be alive.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Listen my brothers, concerning the places in the land of Asia, I want that you know that I suffered much there. Very much did I live in suffering, I thought that I couldn’t endure all the suffering I was going through. Because I was about to be killed.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Highland Totonac: “Brethren, because we do not want you not to understand the reason for our sufferings which came upon us there in Asia. It was terrible what we bore; we were no longer able to bear it, to the point of thinking we would die.” (Source: Herman Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff. )

complete verse (2 Corinthians 1:9)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 1:9:

  • Uma: “We (excl.) said: ‘We (incl.) are certainly going to die now.’ But this happened so that we (excl.) would not trust/hope in our (excl.) own strength, we (excl.) would trust/hope only in God, for he is the one who causes-to-live again the dead [people].” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “We (excl.) thought-mistakenly that that was already our (excl.) death. But the reason why that was sent to us (excl.) was so that we (excl.) would not trust in ourselves but so that we (excl.) would trust only in God, the one who makes the dead alive.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “It seemed as if that would be the end of our life, but the reason this happened to us was so that we might not trust our own wisdom, but rather we might trust God, the one who raises dead people.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “The truth of it is that we (excl.) thought that our (excl.) time-of-death had already arrived. But that happened so it would not be ourselves (excl.) in which we (excl.) trusted, but rather God who is-able to make-alive those who die.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “We (excl.) mistakenly-thought that our allotted-life-span had ended. Apparently, we (excl.) only had like that happen to us so that we would not trust in our own ability, but rather only in the supernatural-power of God, he who is the raiser-to-life of even the dead.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “What I thought was that it was decided that I was to be killed. But concerning what I suffered, it was so that I could even more search for God to save me. Because God is able even to resurrect the dead. I am not able to search how to save myself.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Highland Totonac: “But that finally we were expecting death in order that we might not trust in ourselves but in God who makes the dead to live again.” (Source: Herman Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff. )


“Hope is sometimes one of the most difficult terms to translate in the entire Bible. It is not because people do not hope for things, but so often they speak of hoping as simply ‘waiting.’ In fact, even in Spanish, the word esperar means both ‘to wait’ and ‘to hope.’ However, in many instances the purely neutral term meaning ‘to wait’ may be modified in such a way that people will understand something more of its significance. For example, in Tepeuxila Cuicatec hope is called ‘wait-desire.’ Hope is thus a blend of two activities: waiting and desiring. This is substantially the type of expectancy of which hope consists.

In Yucateco the dependence of hope is described by the phrase ‘on what it hangs.’ ‘Our hope in God’ means that ‘we hang onto God.’ The object of hope is the support of one’s expectant waiting.

In Ngäbere the phrase “resting the mind” is used. This “implies waiting and confidence, and what is a better definition of hope than ‘confident waiting’.” (Source for this and above: Nida 1952, p. 20, 133)

Other languages translate as follows:

  • Mairasi: “vision resting place” (source: Enggavoter 2004)
  • Enlhet: “waitings of (our) innermost” (“innermost” or valhoc is a term that is frequently used in Enlhet to describe a large variety of emotions or states of mind — for other examples see here) (source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 24ff. )
  • Kwang: “one’s future is restored to one’s soul like a fresh, cool breeze on a hot day.” (Source: Mark Vanderkooi right here )
  • Nyongar: koort-kwidiny or “heart waiting” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Anjam: “looking through the horizon” (source: Albert Hoffmann in his memoirs from 1948, quoted in Holzhausen / Riderer 2010, p. 7)
  • Highland Totonac “wait with expectation” (to offset it from the every-day meaning of hope or wait — source: Hermann Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff. ).
  • Alekano: “wait not hearing two ears” (meaning to “wait without being double-minded” — source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation June 1986, p. 36ff.)
  • Marathi aasha (आशा) with a stronger emphasis on desire
  • Tamil: nampikkai (நம்பிக்கை) with a stronger emphasis on expectation (source for this and above: J.S.M. Hooper in The Bible Translator 1954, p. 2ff. )

C.M. Doke looks at a number of Bantu languages and their respective translations of “hope” with slightly varying connotations (in The Bible Translator 1954, p. 9ff. ):

  • Xhosa and Zulu: themba “hope, expect,” also “have faith in, rely upon”
  • Tswana: tsholofelo “hope, expect, look for confidently”
  • Southern Sotho: tshepo “trust, rely on, believe in, have confidence in”
  • Kuanyama: eteelelo “waiting for”
  • Swahili: tumaini “confidence, trust, expectation, hope” (as a verb: “hope, trust, expect, be confident, be truthful, rely on”
  • Ganda: okusuubira “hope, trust, expect” also “look forward to, rely upon, anticipate, reckon”
  • Chichewa: chiyembekezo “wait for, wait, expect”
  • Koongo: vuvu “hope, expectancy, expectation, anticipation”
Syntyche D. Dahou (in Christianity Today, January 2021 ) reports on the two different terms that are being used in French (click or tap here to see the details):

“Unlike English, which uses the word hope broadly, the French language uses two words that derive from the word espérer (to hope): espoir and espérance. Both can first refer to something hoped for. In this sense, the word espoir usually refers to an uncertain object; that is, someone who hopes for something in this way does not have the certainty that it will happen (“I hope the weather will be nice tomorrow”). On the other hand, espérance describes what, rightly or wrongly, is hoped for or expected with certainty. It often refers to a philosophical or eschatological object (‘I hope in the goodness of human beings’; ‘I hope for the return of Jesus Christ’).

“When we speak of espoir or espérance, we then have in mind different types of objects hoped for. This difference matters, because both terms also commonly refer to the state of mind that characterizes the hopeful. And this state of mind will be different precisely according to the object hoped for.

“Having espoir for an uncertain yet better future in these difficult times may be a good thing, but it is not enough. Such hope can be disappointed and easily fade away when our wishes and expectations (our hopes) do not materialize.

“The opposite is true with espérance, which is deeper than our desire and wish for an end to a crisis or a future without pain and suffering. To face the trials of life, we need peace and joy in our hearts that come from expecting certain happiness. This is what espérance is: a profound and stable disposition resulting from faith in the coming of what we expect. In this sense, it is similar in meaning to the English word hopefulness.

“If we have believed in the Son of the living God, we have such a hope. It rests on the infallible promises of our God, who knows the plans he has for us, his children—plans of peace and not misfortune, to give us a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). By using the two meanings of the word, we can say that the espérance that the fulfillment of his promises represents (the object hoped for) fills us with espérance (the state of mind).”

complete verse (2 Corinthians 1:10)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 1:10:

  • Uma: “So, relatives, he did release us (excl.) from those severe difficulties yesterday, to the point that we (excl.) didn’t die after all. And he will also release us (excl.) from the difficulties that happen now. And we (excl.) trust/hope he will release us (excl.) from difficulties that will happen in the coming days.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “At that time we (excl.) were brought out/freed by him from the danger of almost being killed and he will also bring us (excl.) out in the future. We (excl.) just trust God that he will bring us (excl.) out/free us.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And God helped us and strengthened us, that’s why we escaped and we were not killed; and we know that He will continue to help us (excl.). Our trust is very great that He will not stop helping us.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “And he truly did save/rescue us (excl.) from our (excl.) fearful hardships, and he will save us (excl.) in-the-future. He is the one in-whom-we (excl.) continually -hope that he will continue to save us (excl.),” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “He really saved us (excl.) from the death that we were facing. And we (excl.) are absolutely certain that he will continue to save us from everything life-threatening that keeps happening.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “But God truly saved me at the time I was about to be killed. And until now he helps me. And I am assured that as I continue to suffer, he will continue to save me.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Highland Totonac: “The one who saved us from our troubles, will in the same way save us again. This is the one in whom we have confidence and hope that he will save us again.” (Source: Herman Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff. )