The name that is transliterated as “David” in English is translated in Spanish Sign Language with the sign signifying king and a sling (referring to 1 Samuel 17:49 and 2 Samuel 5:4). (Source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)

“Elizabeth” in Spanish Sign Language, source: Sociedad Bíblica de España

In German Sign Language it is only the sling. (See here ).

“David” in German Sign Language (source )

The (Protestant) Mandarin Chinese transliteration of “David” is 大卫 (衛) / Dàwèi which carries an additional meaning of “Great Protector.”

Click or tap here to see a short video clip about David (source: Bible Lands 2012)

Translation commentary on 1 Samuel 17:49

This verse uses the pronouns his and he in reference to both David and Goliath. Translators may need to replace some of the pronouns with proper nouns if the pronoun reference is not clear. This will of course depend on how pronoun reference is handled in the receptor language. But readers must understand that David reached into his own bag for the stone, and that it was Goliath’s forehead that was hit by the stone. Further, it was Goliath who fell down to the ground.

Bag: see the comments on verse 40. A “sling” is also described in verse 40. The verb slung is from the same root in English as the noun “a sling.” In some languages it may be necessary to say something like “took out a stone, put it in the sling and threw it.”

Sank into his forehead is a literal translation and is not a natural English way of expressing what happened. Compare “penetrated his forehead” (New Jerusalem Bible), “embedded itself in his brow” (New American Bible), and “broke his skull” (Good News Translation).

To ensure that the pronoun reference is clearly understood, Good News Translation uses the name “Goliath” in the last sentence of this verse in place of he. Otherwise some readers may think that David prostrated himself in gratitude to God for what had happened.

Quoted with permission from Omanson, Roger L. and Ellington, John E. A Handbook on the First and Second Books of Samuel, Volume 1. (UBS Helps for Translators). New York: UBS, 2001. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .