complete verse (Acts 20:15)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 20:15:

  • Uma: “From there, we (excl.) continued on, and the next day arrived at the land that was across from the island of Khios. The next day we (excl.) arrived at the island of Samos, and the next day arrived in the town of Miletus.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “We (excl.) sailed again from there and the following day we arrived there near Kiyos. The next day we stopped-briefly at Samos and on the second day, we arrived at Miletus.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Paul decided that we would pass by the town of Ephesus so that we would not have to spend a long time in the province of Asia. Paul was in a hurry because he wanted to arrive in the town of Jerusalem before the day of Pentecost. We left Mitylene and one night later we passed by the island of Chios, and one night later we passed by the island of Samos, and one night later than that we came into the town of Miletus.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “The next-day then, we (excl.) set-out from there, and we (excl.) passed-by Kios. On the second day, we stopped-by at Samos, and on the third then, we went-directly to Miletus.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “We(excl.) left there, and next day arrived opposite Chios. Next day, Samos is where we (excl.) came to. On the fourth day, we (excl.) arrived at Mileto.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (Acts 20:15)

Many languages distinguish between inclusive and exclusive first-person plural pronouns (“we”). (Click or tap here to see more details)

The inclusive “we” specifically includes the addressee (“you and I and possibly others”), while the exclusive “we” specifically excludes the addressee (“he/she/they and I, but not you”). This grammatical distinction is called “clusivity.” While Semitic languages such as Hebrew or most Indo-European languages such as Greek or English do not make that distinction, translators of languages with that distinction have to make a choice every time they encounter “we” or a form thereof (in English: “we,” “our,” or “us”).

For this verse, translators typically select the exclusive form (excluding the addressee).

Source: Velma Pickett and Florence Cowan in Notes on Translation January 1962, p. 1ff.