yoke

The Greek and Hebrew term that is translated into English as “yoke,” the Afar translation uses koyta (poles of camel pack) which refers to two poles in front of the hump and two behind; elsewhere in agricultural Ethiopia the yoke is only in front of the hump.

In Chol it is translated with tajbal, a term for “headband” (for carrying) (source: Ronald D. Olson in Notes on Translation January, 1968, p. 15ff.). Likewise, in Kele, it is translated with njɛmbɛ, “a carrying strap worn around the head and across the chest or shoulders to support a burden of firewood, garden produce or even a child carried by this on the back or hip” (source: William Ford in The Bible Translator 1957, p. 203ff.).

In Kwasio it is translated with a term that refers to a “bulky piece of wood attached to the neck of a goat, preventing it from roaming freely in the brushy undergrowth.”

Joshua Ham explains: “When checking this verse in Kwasio, I was surprised to find that the Kwasio had a word for yoke. You see, none of the language groups we have worked with have a tradition of using animals to pull carts or plows. Since yokes don’t exist in the culture, there’s no need for a word for that concept in these languages.

“When I asked the Kwasio team about their word for yoke, they said that they don’t use yokes to help animals pull plows; rather, their word for yoke refers to a bulky piece of wood attached to the neck of a goat, preventing it from roaming freely in the brushy undergrowth. So while the exact use of a Kwasio yoke is not the same as a biblical yoke, there are a lot of similarities: in both cases, it’s a piece of wood around an animal’s neck that serves to keep the animal under control. While the overlap isn’t perfect, it’s pretty good — and almost certainly better than trying to squeeze in a distracting explanation of how yokes function in the biblical cultures.”

complete verse (1John 2:10)

Following are a number of back-translation of 1John 2:10:

Yatzachi Zapotec: “If we love our fellows we are constantly present where there is light because we are doing good, and no more will we fall doing evil.”

Eastern Highland Otomi: “He who loves his sibling, habitually lives in God’s light and nowhere will he fall into sin.”

Tzotzil: “If we love our Christian brethren, we are in the sunlight. Thus there is nothing now in our hearts to cause us to become evil (to do evil).” (Source for this and above: John Beekman in Notes on Translation 12, November 1964, p. 1ff.

Kele: “He who loves his brother basks in the sunshine and thus is no root in the ground over which his brother might stumble.” (Source: William Ford in The Bible Translator 1957, p. 203ff.).

equality

The Greek that is often translated as “equality” in English is translated in Kele as likelemba, “which denotes the equal and alternate sharing of one’s share of food, wages or ration. When one has none or lacks a fair share, then a friend gives his share so that your abundance may supply their want at the present time, so that their abundance (on another occasion) may supply your need.” (source: William Ford in The Bible Translator 1957, p. 203ff.).

pilfer, steal

The Greek that is translated in English as “pilfer” or “steal” is translated in Kele with bokwangä: “sneaking and taking off what was carefully hidden or set aside” (source: William Ford in The Bible Translator 1957, p. 203ff.).

eternal life

The Greek that is translated in English as “eternal life” is translated in various ways:

  • Berik: “good living forever” (source: Kroneman 2004, p. 536)
  • Asháninka: “keep on living”
  • Aguaruna: “will always live”
  • Yanesha’: “immortal state forever”
  • Inupiaq: “endless life”
  • Colorado: “live forever with God”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “heart will be alive forever,” (source for this and five above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125)
  • Tagalog: buhay na walang hanggan: “life which has no boundary”
  • Iloko: biagna nga agnanayon: “continuing life” (source for this and one above: G. Henry Waterman in The Bible Translator 1960, p. 24ff.)
  • Kele: loiko: “survival: enduring through crisis, catastrophe and death” (source: William Ford in The Bible Translator 1957, p. 203ff.).
  • Mairasi as “life fruit” (source: Enggavoter 2004).

Lloyd Peckham explains the Mairasi translation: “In secret stories, not knowable to women nor children, there was a magical fruit of life. If referred to vaguely, without specifying the specific ‘fruit,’ it can be an expression for eternity.”

See also eternity / forever and salvation.