wine

The Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that are translated as “wine” in English is translated into Pass Valley Yali as “grape juice pressed long ago (= fermented)” or “strong water” (source: Daud Soesilo). In Guhu-Samane it is also translated as “strong water” (source: Ernest L. Richert in The Bible Translator 1965, p. 198ff. ), in Nyongar as “liquor” (verbatim: “strong water”) (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang), or in Papantla Totonac and Coyutla Totonac as “a drink like Pulque” (for “Pulque,” see here ) (source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1971, p. 169ff. ).

In Swahili, Bible translations try to avoid local words for alcoholic drinks, because “drinking of any alcohol at all was one of the sins most denounced by early missionaries. Hence translators are uncomfortable by the occurrences of wine in the Bible. Some of the established churches which use wine prefer to see church wine as holy, and would not refer to it by the local names used for alcoholic drinks. Instead church wine is often referred to by terms borrowed from other languages, divai (from German, der Wein) or vini/mvinyo (from ltalian/Latin vino/vinum). Several translations done by Protestants have adapted the Swahili divai for ‘wine,’ while those done by Catholics use vini or mvinyo.” (Source: Rachel Konyoro in The Bible Translator 1985, p. 221ff. )

Click or tap here to see a short video clip about wine in biblical times (source: Bible Lands 2012)

See also proceeds from the vine / anything that comes from the grapevine.

mule

The Greek and Hebrew that is translated with “mule” in English is translated in Swahili with nyumbu which also is a homonym for “wildebeest,” potentially causing confusion. (Source: project-specific translation notes in Paratext)

In Kutu it is translated with “big donkey” because there is no other adequate term in Kutu. (Source: project-specific translation notes in Paratext)

joy

The Greek and Hebrew that is translated with “joy” or “gladness” in English is translated with various associations of “sweetness” or taste: Bambara has “the spirit is made sweet,” Kpelle translates as “sweet heart,” and Tzeltal as “the good taste of one’s heart,” Uduk uses the phrase “good to the stomach,” Baoulé “a song in the stomach,” Mískito “the liver is wide open” (“happily letting the pleasures flooding in upon it”) (source: Nida 1952), Mairasi says “good liver” (source: Enggavoter 2004), Nyongar has koort-kwabba-djil or “heart very good” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang), and Chicahuaxtla Triqui “refreshed heart” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.).

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