Amen

If the Hebrew or (the transliterated) Greek “Amen” (as part of a prayer) is not transliterated it can also be translated into expressions such as “that is just the way it is” (Huichol), “that’s it” (Shilluk), “may it be thus” (Tzeltal) (source: Bratcher / Nida), or “Let those things thus be” (Kituba) (source: Donald Deer in The Bible Translator 1973, p. 207ff.).

In Mairasi the translation is aniaut aug or “it’s a tuberful dig.” The preface to Enggavoter 2004 explains: “Truth is like a tuber [sweet potatoes, taro, cassava, yams]. We Mairasi have tubers as our standard food. The leaves are visible above ground. But we planted the plant so that it would produce tubers, but those are beneath the ground. So the vocabulary about ‘truth’ and ‘produce’ or ‘fruit’ is based on words for ‘tubers.’ For example: the word for ‘Amen’ ‘it’s a tuberful dig’ [also used for ‘verily’ or ‘definitely’] has its story like this: We see the leaves of the sweet potato but we do not know: the question is ‘Are there tubers or not?.’ So we dig then we see tubers. Therefore we say that ani ‘dig’ was aut ‘with tubers,’ which is ‘Aniaut!‘ ‘Definitely true!'”

In Huba it is translated as Aɗǝmja or “let it be so.” David Frank (in this blog post) explains: “Whenever there were persistent problems such as a drought, or a rash of sickness or death, the king (or his religious advisor) would set aside a day and call on everyone to prepare food, such as the traditional mash made from sorghum, or perhaps even goat. The food had to be put together outside. The king or his religious advisor would give an address stating what the problem was and what they were doing about it. Then an elder representing the people would take a handful of that food and throw it, probably repeating that action several times, until it was considered to be enough to atone for all the misfortune they had been having. With this action he was ‘shooting (or casting off) misfortune’ to restore well-being to his people. As he threw the food, he would say that this is to remove the misfortune that had fallen on his people, and everybody would respond by saying aɗǝmja, ‘let it be so.’ People could eat some of this food, but they could not bring the food into their houses, because that would mean that they were bringing misfortune into their house. There is still a minority of people in this linguistic and cultural group that practices the traditional religion, but the shooting of misfortune is no longer practiced, and the term ‘shoot misfortune’ is used now in Bible translation to refer to offering a sacrifice. Aɗǝmja is how they translate ‘amen.'”

he who, whoever

The Greek that is typically translated with a generic expressions such as “he who,” “whoever,” or “if anyone” in English is translated with the plural form (“they”) in Daga. “A literal translation of these conveys the idea that one specific unnamed individual is being dis cussed. Thus, for instance, in John 5:24 ‘he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life’ meant in Daga that there was one fortunate individual to whom it applied.”

See also love your neighbor as yourself.

complete verse (1 Corinthians 14:16)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 Corinthians 14:16:

  • Uma: “If for example we speak in a language from the Holy Spirit saying thank you to God, and the meaning of our words is not clear to the people who hear, they of course won’t say ‘Amin! That’s right!’ because they don’t know what we are saying.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “For example if you give thanks to God only in language not understood by the people, some of those there in your meeting place cannot join in with you giving thanks to God because they don’t understand what you say.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “For example, if you praise God when you’re inspired by the Holy Spirit, but a person who has just begun to worship doesn’t understand what you’re saying, he cannot agree with what you say because he doesn’t understand it.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Because for-example if you (sing.) pray to praise and thank God, but you (sing.) use only a different language that your (sing.) spirit causes-you (sing.) -to-speak, how perhaps will your (sing.) companion who is-in-the-congregation-with (you) say ‘Amen’ to what you (sing.) have prayed? Because he is not able (empathy particle) to understand what you (sing.) have said.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For if it’s not like that, if you(sing.) are giving thanks to God in a different language under the inspiration of the Espiritu Santo, how can your companions go-along-with that thanks of yours when they can’t understand what you’re saying?” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “If you should give thanks to God and nobody can understand the words you say, then those people who listen to you speak will not know the meaning of the words. Then they will not be able to say ‘may it be so.'” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)