You shall not murder / kill

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “You shall not kill/murder” or similar in English is translated in Una as Ninyi ona mem: “Don’t kill people” because in Una an object needed to be added. (Source: Kroneman 2004, p. 407)

as numerous as the sand on the seashore

The Greek and Hebrew that is translated as “as numerous as the sand on the seashore” or “as numerous as the sand by the sea” in English is translated in Bauzi as “as many like the tree flowers of the jungle” (source: David Briley in Kroneman 2004, p. 539), in Afar translated as mari mangah arrooqih gide akkuk yeneeniih: “are as numerous as gravel” or loowo sinni: “not countable” (source: Loren Bliese), in Angal Heneng as “like the hairs on a dog” (Source: Deibler / Taylor 1977, p. 1077), and in Copainalá Zoque as “their number is like ants” (source: John Beekman in Notes on Translation, March 1965, p. 2ff.).

the voice of one crying out in the wilderness

The Greek that is translated in English as “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness” is translated in Una as Ni uram erbinkwandanyi bira ninyi kun kum ai aryi kurandiryi, uram dobkwande: “As for this person who will speak my words, while he will be in a place where people usually do not live, he will shout words.” (Source: Kroneman 2004, p. 408)

In Isthmus Mixe this is translated as “the messenger will cry out in the wilderness.” (Source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)

See also wilderness.

you have great faith

The Greek that is translated as “you have great faith” or similar in English is translated in Meyah as “your liver truly follows me” (source: Gilles Gravelle in Kroneman 2004, p. 502).

See also Seat of the Mind.

hypocrite

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The Greek and Hebrew terms that are translated as “hypocrite” in English typically have a counterpart in most languages. According to Bratcher / Nida (1961, p. 225), they can be categorized into the following categories:

  • those which employ some concept of “two” or “double”
  • those which make use of some expression of “mouth” or “speaking”
  • those which are based upon some special cultural feature
  • those which employ a non-metaphorical phrase

Following is a list of (back-) translations from some languages:

The English version of Sarah Ruden (2021) uses “play-actor.” She explains (p. li): “A hupokrites is fundamentally an actor. The word has deep negativity in the Gospels on two counts: professional actors were not respectable people in the ancient world, and traditional Judaism did not countenance any kind of playacting. I write ‘play-actor’ throughout.”

See also hypocrisy.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies

The Hebrew that is translated in English as “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” or similar is translated in Una as Ni ordana nang muna kibdongobmumwe nang aryi asing dinmang ba, kanci nisi weik kwalina deiriranurum: “While my enemies over whom you have gained the victory watch, you make a big feast meal for me.” (Source: Kroneman 2004, p. 408)

compassion, moved with compassion

The Greek that is translated with “moved with compassion (or: pity)” in English is translated as “to see someone with sorrow” in Piro, “to suffer with someone” in Huastec, or “one’s mind to be as it were out of one” in Balinese (source: Bratcher / Nida).

The term “compassion” is translated as “cries in the soul” in Shilluk (source: Nida, 1952, p. 132), “has a good stomach” (=”sympathetic”) in Aari (source: Loren Bliese), “has a big liver” in Una (source: Kroneman 2004, p. 471), or “crying in one’s stomach” in Q’anjob’al (source: Newberry and Kittie Cox in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 91ff.). In Mairasi it is translated with an emphasized term that is used for “love”: “desiring one’s face so much” (source: Enggavoter 2004).

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

shield

The Hebrew that is translated in English as “shield” is translated in Uma as “protect from arrows.” (Source: Kroneman 2004, p. 475)

deny oneself

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The Greek that is translated with “deny himself” or deny oneself” is according to Bratcher / Nida “without doubt one of the most difficult expressions in all of Mark to translate adequately.” These are many of the (back-) translations:

take up their cross

The Greek that is translated as “take up their cross” in English is translated in Galela as “let go of each of their desires in their hearts” (source: Howard Shelden in Kroneman 2004, p. 501).

In Korku it is translated as “take up trouble for me to the extent that he would be ready to give his life on the cross for me,” and in Chipaya as “be ready to suffer, even die.” (Source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)

mercy

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The Greek terms that are typically translated as “mercy” (or “compassion”) in English are translated in various ways. Bratcher / Nida classify them in (1) those based on the quality of heart, or other psychological center, (2) those which introduce the concept of weeping or extreme sorrow, (3) those which involve willingness to look upon and recognize the condition of others, or (4) those which involve a variety of intense feelings.

Here are some (back-) translations: