The Greek that is translated as “ankle(s)” in English is translated as “the round bone of feet” in Tepeuxila Cuicatec or “necks of his feet” in Ayutla Mixtec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 3:7:
Uma: “From there, Petrus took hold of the right hand of that lame person so that he would stand. Suddenly his feet became strong.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
Yakan: “So-then Petros took him by his right hand to cause him to get up. Immediately his feet and his ankles became strong.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then Peter took hold of the right hand of this fellow who couldn’t walk and lifted him up. And immediately the feet of this person became strong.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
Kankanaey: “Then Pedro took-his-right -hand and caused-him-to-stand. His legs became-strong immediately,” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
Tagbanwa: “As Pedro spoke, he took hold of the right hand of that lame person and caused him to stand. Well, when Pedro took hold of him, the defect in the ankles and feet of both his legs got well at once.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
The use of the transitional particle then is useful to highlight the next development in the narrative.
Since Peter is the subject of the preceding verse, it may not be necessary to specify the subject of verse 7. However, there can be ambiguity in the series of pronouns he … him … his … him, and these references must be clearly sorted out in the receptor-language text.
The act of taking the man by the hand must be understood as a friendly gesture and not some type of “grabbing.” In some languages the more appropriate equivalent is “touched his right hand” or even “felt his right hand.”
The phrase helped him up involves two semantic problems. First, it is likely to be a causative in the sense of “caused him to get up,” but this is accomplished not merely by verbal command but by physical assistance. The second problem involves the nature of “getting up.” Was this from a lying position to a standing position, or from a sitting position to a standing position? It is likely that it is the latter, namely, he stood up from a sitting position.
At once describes the immediacy with which the healing takes place. Luke has made evident the immediate healing of the man by combining the use of an adverb with a verb tense, which means something done at that particular time, for example, “immediately” or “just then.”
In some languages one would not speak of feet and ankles, since a term for “feet” may include “ankles.” Therefore, a more natural expression might be “feet and legs,” though even this expression may have complications in view of the fact that in some languages the common word for “legs” also includes the feet.
Quoted with permission from Newman, Barclay M. and Nida, Eugene A. A Handbook on The Acts of the Apostles. (UBS Handbook Series). New York: UBS, 1972. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .