The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “go in peace” into English is an idiomatic expression of farewell which is translatable in other languages as an idiomatic expression as well: “go with sweet insides” (Shilluk), “rejoice as you go” (Central Mazahua), “go in quietness of heart” (Chol), “go happy” (Highland Puebla Nahuatl), “being happy, go” (Central Tarahumara), or “go and sit down in your heart” (Tzeltal).
peace (being at peace)
The Hebrew and Greek that is translated into English as “peace” (or “at ease”) is (back-) translated with a variety of idioms and phrases:
- “a song in the body” (Baoulé)
- “heart coolness” (Eastern Maninkakan)
- “sit down in the heart” (South Bolivian Quechua)
- “quietness of heart” (Chol)
- “quiet goodness” (Kekchí)
- “having your hearts feel oneness for one another” (Tzeltal) (source for this and above: Bratcher / Nida)
- “my heart sits down” (Northern Grebo)
- “coolness” (Pular / Kutu) (source for Kutu: Pioneer Bible Translators, project-specific translation notes in Paratext)
- “rest within” (Lacandon)
- “have one heart” (Miskito)
- “well-arranged soul” (Mashco Piro)
- “have a quiet mind” (Ngäbere)
- “completeness” (Highland Puebla Nahuatl) (source for this and six above: Nida 1952, p. 128ff.)
- “rest the heart” (Central Mazahua) (source: Nida 1952, p. 40)
- “joy in heart” (Eastern Highland Otomi) (source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
- momapu laro or “cold/cool-hearted” (as an adjective); mapuhio laro or “make the heart cool” (as a verb) (Moronene) (source: David Andersen)
- “inner coolness” (Binumarien) (source: Oates 1995, p. 249)
- “wait well in your heart” (Yatzachi Zapotec)
- “live quietly” (Central Tarahumara)
- “have security in your heart” (Highland Totonac)
- “heart will lie quietly” (Isthmus Zapotec) (source for this and three above: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)
- Warao: “kobe (= the abdominal region, including the heart) quiet” (source: Henry Osborn in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 74ff. )
In American Sign Language it is signed with a compound sign consisting of “become” and “silent.” (Source: Yates 2011, p. 52)
“Peace” in American Sign Language (source )
See also peace (absence of strife).
The name that is transliterated as “Moses” in English is signed in Spanish Sign Language in accordance with the depiction of Moses in the famous statue by Michelangelo (see here ). (Source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)
“Moses” in Spanish Sign Language (source )
American Sign Language also uses the sign depicting the horns but also has a number of alternative signs (see here).
In French Sign Language, a similar sign is used, but it is interpreted as “radiance” (see below) and it culminates in a sign for “10,” signifying the 10 commandments:
“Moses” in French Sign Language (source )
The horns that are visible in Michelangelo’s statue are based on a passage in the Latin Vulgate translation (and many Catholic Bible translations that were translated through the 1950ies with that version as the source text). Jerome, the translator, had worked from a Hebrew text without the niqquds, the diacritical marks that signify the vowels in Hebrew and had interpreted the term קרו (k-r-n) in Exodus 34:29 as קֶ֫רֶן — keren “horned,” rather than קָרַו — karan “radiance” (describing the radiance of Moses’ head as he descends from Mount Sinai).
Even at the time of his translation, Jerome likely was not the only one making that decision as this recent article alludes to.