complete verse (Acts 21:37)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 21:37:

  • Uma: “When they were almost entering the soldiers’ house, Paulus said to the head of the soldiers: ‘May I speak for just a moment, please?’ The head of the soldiers said: ‘Do you (sing.) know the Yunani language?” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “As they were about to bring Paul inside the fort, Paul spoke to the colonel, he said, ‘Can I speak to you?’ The colonel answered, he said, ‘So you know how to speak Girik?” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And as they were going inside the fort, Paul said to the captain, he said, ‘Is it possible that I might have a word with you?’ And the captain said, ‘So you know how to speak Greek?” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “When they had almost caused-Pablo -to-enter their barracks, he said to the commander, ‘There is something I would say to you (sing.) please.’ The commander was surprised, because Griego is what-he-spoke, and he said, ‘Why (surprised realization particle) you (sing.) know how to speak Griego.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Just as Pablo was being taken into that walled camp of the soldiers, he said to that highest-ranking-officer, ‘If possible/acceptable, there’s something I want to say to you.’ ‘Apparently you know the Griego language,’ said that highest-ranking-officer.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

formal 2nd person pronoun (Spanish)

Like many languages (but unlike Greek or Hebrew or English), Spanish uses a formal vs. informal second-person pronoun (a familiar vs. a respectful “you”). Spanish Bibles all use only the informal second-person pronoun (), with the exception of Dios Habla Hoy (DHH) (third edition: 1996) which also uses the formal pronoun (usted). In the referenced verses, the formal form is used.

Sources and for more information: P. Ellingworth in The Bible Translator 2002, p. 143ff. and R. Ross in The Bible Translator 1993, p. 217ff.

See also the use of the formal vs. the informal pronoun in the Gospels in Tuvan.