The Greek that is translated as “free (woman)” in English is translated into Bunun as “the lady master” (a parallel to the “master” or “husband”). (“Bunun have no word ‘free’ — they claim that they were always free so have no concept of not being so!”)
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 inclusive form (including the addressee).
Source: Velma Pickett and Florence Cowan in Notes on Translation January 1962, p. 1ff.
The Greek that is translated in English as “brother” (in the sense of a fellow believer), is translated with a specifically coined word in Kachin: “There are two terms for brother in Kachin. One is used to refer to a Christian brother. This term combines ‘older and younger brother.’ The other term is used specifically for addressing siblings. When one uses this term, one must specify if the older or younger person is involved. A parallel system exists for ‘sister’ as well. In [these verses], the term for ‘a Christian brother’ is used.” (Source: Gam Seng Shae)
In Martu Wangka it is translated as “relative” (this is also the term that is used for “follower.”) (Source: Carl Gross)
See also brothers.
Following are a number of back-translations of Galatians 4:31:
- Uma: “So we, relatives, we are not like the child of Hagar, who was a slave. We are like the child of Sara, who was not a slave. [implied information that we finally decided to delete (sigh!): For we do not submit to the Law of Musa, we believe in the Lord Yesus so that we become straight in God’s sight. ]” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “Therefore my brothers who trust in Isa Almasi, we (incl.) are not like the slave woman’s child but we (incl.) are like the child of the not slave woman.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Therefore, brothers, as for us (incl.) we are like the son of the woman who is not a slave. We are not like the son of a slave.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “Therefore brothers, the summary (lit. gathering) of what I’ve been saying is this: we are not counted as children of the slave but rather children of the non slave.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “Therefore, brethren, consider that we are not children of a slave. That’s the one who like gave birth to us, that one who was not a slave.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
- Tenango Otomi: “Now, my dear brethren, we are not the children of the servant but we are the children of the woman of the house.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)