large numbers in Angguruk Yali

Many languages use a “body part tally system” where body parts function as numerals (see body part tally systems with a description). One such language is Angguruk Yali which uses a system that ends at the number 27. To circumvent this limitation, the Angguruk Yali translators adopted a strategy where a large number is first indicated with an approximation via the traditional system, followed by the exact number according to Arabic numerals. For example, where in 2 Samuel 6:1 it says “thirty thousand” in the English translation, the Angguruk Yali says teng-teng angge 30.000 or “so many rounds [following the body part tally system] 30,000,” likewise, in Acts 27:37 where the number “two hundred seventy-six” is used, the Angguruk Yali translation says teng-teng angge 276 or “so many rounds 276,” or in John 6:10 teng-teng angge 5.000 for “five thousand.”

This strategy is used in all the verses referenced here.

Source: Lourens de Vries in The Bible Translator 1998, p. 409ff.

See also numbers in Ngalum and numbers in Kombai.

Translation commentary on 1 Chronicles 12:20

Seven military leaders from the tribe of Manasseh joined David’s growing army, but the Old Testament says nothing more about any of them.

As he went to Ziklag these men of Manasseh deserted to him …: If the pronoun he is ambiguous, the name “David” may be used instead (so NET Bible). Since David had already settled in Ziklag, Good News Translation uses the verb “was returning” rather than went. Regarding Ziklag, see 1 Chr 12.1. For the Hebrew verb rendered deserted, see the comments on the previous verse.

The name Jozabad occurs twice in this verse, referring to two different men. In some languages it will be important to say “another Jozabad” the second time the name appears.

Chiefs of thousands in Manasseh: The Hebrew word translated thousands sometimes has the meaning “clans.” So one interpretation of this whole phrase is “chiefs of the families of Manasseh” (American Bible) or “chiefs of the clans of Manasseh” (New Jewish Publication Society’s Tanakh). However, most translations understand the Hebrew to mean that these men had commanded military units consisting of a thousand soldiers.

Quoted with permission from Omanson, Roger L. and Ellington, John E. A Handbook on 1-2 Chronicles, Volume 1. (UBS Helps for Translators). Miami: UBS, 2014. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .