cut (branches)

The Greek that is translated in English as “cut (branches)” had to be further specified in Chilcotin with the word “xadajelht’az” (“they cut off with knife-like tool”)

“Our Native translator asked if they used a saw, knife or an axe. Why? Because cutting with each of these instruments (and scissors as well) requires different verb stems. We concluded that they used knife-like instruments!”

Quindel King in Northern Canada Evangelical Mission, p. 70.

Capernaum, iterative verbs

Some languages, including Chilcotin, heavily use iterative verbs which denote a continuously repeated action.

Quindel King reports (in Northern Canada Evangelical Mission 1996, p. 70): “While Jesus was ministering, he did a lot of traveling, so we must determine where Jesus went and be able to indicate with iterative verb forms when he made a repeat visit to a certain town, lake shore or even a home! This must be done throughout the entire book so that there will be no confusion on the part of the hearers or readers.”

In the translation of Mark there are three mentions of Jesus visiting Capernaum. In Mark 1:21 the Chilcotin translation indicates that that was his first visit with his disciples (jagheninan — “they, a small group”), in Mark 2:1 only Jesus is referenced (nanjah — “he returned”), in Mark 9:33 Jesus and his disciples are mentioned (najaghindan — “they, a small group, returned”). (Source: Quindel King)


The term that is translated as “lamb” in English is typically translated as “offspring of a sheep” in Ixcatlán Mazatec since there is no specific word for “lamb.” Since this could distract readers with thoughts of God being the sheep when the “lamb” refers to Jesus the translation into Ixcatlán Mazatec chose “little (individual) sheep” for those cases. (Source: Robert Bascom)

In Dëne Súline the native term for “lamb” directly translated as “the young one of an evil little caribou.” To avoid the negative connotation, a loan word from the neighboring South Slavey was used. (Source: NCAM, p. 70)