The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “widow” in English is translated in West Kewa as ona wasa or “woman shadow.” (Source: Karl J. Franklin in Notes on Translation 70/1978, pp. 13ff.)

The etymological meaning of the Hebrew almanah (אַלְמָנָה) is likely “pain, ache,” the Greek chéra (χήρα) is likely “to leave behind,” “abandon,” and the English widow (as well as related terms in languages such as Dutch, German, Sanskrit, Welsh, or Persian) is “to separate,” “divide” (source: Wiktionary).

See also widows.

complete verse (Acts 6:1)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 6:1:

  • Uma: “As-time-went-on the more-and-more people who followed Yesus. At first, the followers of Yesus were all Yahudi people. But part of them spoke Yunani and another part spoke Yahudi. At that time, the followers who spoke Yunani complained about their companions who spoke Yahudi, they said: ‘Our(excl.) women who are widows, they are not receiving the portion that is divided every day to the pitiful/poor.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “At that time, when the followers of Isa were increasing in number, Yahudi born in other countries, whose language was Girik were opposing/quarreling with the Yahudi who had not moved from their country, whose language was Hibrani. The Yahudi from other countries complained because they said that their widow-women had been forgotten/neglected and not been given a share of the money distributed every day.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And at that time the people who believed in Jesus increased very much in number. And as for the believers who were Jews who spoke Greek, there was that which made their breath bad toward the other believers who were Jews. The Grecians said that their widow women were not given anything when that which is used to help was distributed every day to the widow women.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “That being so, those who believed in Jesus increasingly became-many. But-then the Jews whose language was Griego, they grumbled concerning the Jews who spoke Hebreo. Their grounds-for-complaint, they said that the many-widows who were their companions were being left-out in the daily distribution of money.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well, at that time, when the number of believers kept on increasing, it happened that there were hard-feelings felt by the Jews whose language was Ginirego against the Jews whose language was Hinebreo. They were saying that when the widows were distributed aid to every day, why were the widows whose language was Ginirego being passed over?” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)


The Greek that is often translated as “disciple” in English typically follows three types of translation: (1) those which employ a verb ‘to learn’ or ‘to be taught’, (2) those which involve an additional factor of following, or accompaniment, often in the sense of apprenticeship, and (3) those which imply imitation of the teacher.

Following are some examples (click or tap for details):

In Luang several terms with different shades of meaning are being used.

  • For Mark 2:23 and 3:7: maka nwatutu-nwaye’a re — “those that are taught” (“This is the term used for ‘disciples’ before the resurrection, while Jesus was still on earth teaching them.”)
  • For Acts 9:1 and 9:10: makpesiay — “those who believe.” (“This is the term used for believers and occasionally for the church, but also for referring to the disciples when tracking participants with a view to keeping them clear for the Luang readers. Although Greek has different terms for ‘believers’, ‘brothers’, and ‘church’, only one Luang word can be used in a given episode to avoid confusion. Using three different terms would imply three different sets of participants.”)
  • For Acts 6:1: mak lernohora Yesus wniatutunu-wniaye’eni — “those who follow Jesus’ teaching.” (“This is the term used for ‘disciples’ after Jesus returned to heaven.”)

Source: Kathy Taber in Notes on Translation 1/1999, p. 9-16.