The Greek that is typically translated as “self-control” in English is translated in Yamba and Bulu as “(a) cool heart.” (Source: W. Reyburn in The Bible Translator 1959, p. 1ff.)

In Eastern Highland Otomi it is translated as “be careful what one does,” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac as “determine that they cannot do the things that are not good, and in Highland Popoluca as “not do like our evil thoughts want.” (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

complete verse (Galatians 5:23)

Following are a number of back-translations of Galatians 5:23:

  • Uma: “we are humble [lit., our hearts are low], and we control ourselves. There is no law at all that forbids behavior like that.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “His liver is low/humble and he does not give-into/indulge his greedy-desires. Truly there is no law that is against these deeds.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “We are not overbearing and we can control the desires of our bodies. And if this is what we (incl.) do we will not disobey God’s commands to us.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “he is humble (lit. lowers his thoughts) and he controls himself. The one who follows these behaviors, there is nothing he will do that the law prohibits.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “meek/patient and able to control himself. Well, if these things are now in our lives, what is there still for the law to oppose? Isn’t it so that there’s no longer anything?” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “He doesn’t make himself big, he accomplishes the control of his heart. Now there isn’t any law which can say that a person who does what I have told you here will go to punishment.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)


The Greek that is translated in English as “Law” or “law” is translated in Mairasi as oro nasinggiei or “prohibited things.” (Source: Enggavoter 2004)

In Yucateco the phrase that is used for “law” is “ordered-word” (for “commandment,” it is “spoken-word”) (source: Nida 1947, p. 198) and in Central Tarahumara it is “writing-command.” (wsource: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)