offering

The Hebrew that is translated as “offering” in English is translated in Venda as nduvho. J. A. van Rooy (in The Bible Translator 1974, p. 439ff. ) explains: “It is derived from the verb u luvha (‘to pay homage to; to acknowledge the superiority of; at the same time usually asking for a favour’). It is sometimes used as a synonym for ‘asking something from a chief. The noun nduvho means ‘a gift of allegiance,’ which corresponds closely with minchah (מִנְחָה) as ‘offering of allegiance.’ This term nduvho has in it the elements of subjugation, of reciprocity (asking for a favor), of being taken up into the same community as the chief in allegiance to him. Only the element of expiation is missing.”

In Northern Emberá, it is translated as “given to God freely.” (Source: Loewen 1980, p. 108)

See also offering (qorban).

Esau (Japanese honorifics)

Like a number of other East Asian languages, Japanese uses a complex system of honorifics, i.e. a system where a number of different levels of politeness are expressed in language via words, word forms or grammatical constructs. These can range from addressing someone or referring to someone with contempt (very informal) to expressing the highest level of reference (as used in addressing or referring to God) or any number of levels in-between.

One way to do this is through the usage of appropriate suffix title referred to as keishō (敬称) as shown here in the widely-used Japanese Shinkaiyaku (新改訳) Bible of 2017 by either using -san or –sama with the latter being the more formal title.

In these verses, Esau is addressed in the Shinkaiyaku Bible as Esau-sama (エサウ様), combining a transliteration for “Esau” and the suffix title –sama.

(Source: S. E. Doi, see also S. E. Doi in Journal of Translation, 18/2022, p. 37ff. )

Jacob

The Hebrew, Latin, and Greek that is transliterated as “Jacob” in English is translated in Spanish Sign Language with a sign that signifies “lentil,” referring to the soup he gave his brother in exchange for his birthright (see Genesis 25:34). Note that another Spanish Sign Language sign for Jacob also users the sign for Jewish. (Source: Steve Parkhurst)


“Jacob” in Spanish Sign Language, source: Sociedad Bíblica de España

In German Sign Language it is a sign that shows the touching of the hip, described in Genesis 32:25:


“Jacob” in German Sign Language (source: Taub und katholisch )

In Finnish Sign Language it is translated with the signs signifying “smooth arm” (referring to the story starting at Genesis 27:11). (Source: Tarja Sandholm)


“Jacob” in Finnish Sign Language (source )

See also Esau.

inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (Gen 32:18)

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, the Jarai and the Adamawa Fulfulde translation both use the exclusive pronoun, excluding Esau.

complete verse (Genesis 32:18)

Following are a number of back-translations as well as a sample translation for translators of Genesis 32:18:

  • Newari: “You answer like this — ‘This belongs to [lit., is of] your servant Jacob. All this is being sent as a gift for his master Esau. He is coming behind us.”” (Source: Newari Back Translation)
  • Hiligaynon: “[you (pl.)] answer him that these (are) my animals and it (is) my gift to him. [You (pl.)] tell him also that I am-following.'” (Source: Hiligaynon Back Translation)
  • English: “tell him, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. He has sent them to you as a gift, sir. And he is coming behind us.”” (Source: Translation for Translators)

master (Japanese honorifics)

Like a number of other East Asian languages, Japanese uses a complex system of honorifics, i.e. a system where a number of different levels of politeness are expressed in language via words, word forms or grammatical constructs. These can range from addressing someone or referring to someone with contempt (very informal) to expressing the highest level of reference (as used in addressing or referring to God) or any number of levels in-between.

One way to do this is through the usage of appropriate suffix title referred to as keishō (敬称) as shown here in the widely-used Japanese Shinkaiyaku (新改訳) Bible of 2017 by either using -san or –sama with the latter being the more formal title.

These titles are distinct from nominal titles such as “master.” This is evident from the forms such as go-shujin-sama (ご主人様) “master” or “lord” which is the combination of the nominal title shujin “master,” the honorific prefix go- and the suffix title –sama.

In some cases, it can also be used as go-shujin (ご主人), i.e. with the honorific prefix go- but without the suffix title –sama. You can find that in Genesis 19:2, 23:6, 23:11, 23:15, 24:51, 32:18, 39:8, 39:9, 44:8, 44:9; 1 Samuel 25:17; and 2 Kings 2:16 and 4:26.

(Source: S. E. Doi, see also S. E. Doi in Journal of Translation, 18/2022, p. 37ff. )

addressing someone respectfully in direct speech in Japanese

Like a number of other East Asian languages, Japanese uses a complex system of honorifics, i.e. a system where a number of different levels of politeness are expressed in language via words, word forms or grammatical constructs. These can range from addressing someone or referring to someone with contempt (very informal) to expressing the highest level of reference (as used in addressing or referring to God) or any number of levels in-between.

One way to do this is through the usage of appropriate suffix title referred to as keishō (敬称) as shown here in the widely-used Japanese Shinkaiyaku (新改訳) Bible of 2017 by either using -san or –sama with the latter being the more formal title.

This is evident in these verses in the Shinkaiyaku Bible from the form anata-sama (あなた様) “you” which is the combination of the nominal “you” anata and the suffix title –sama.

(Source: S. E. Doi, see also S. E. Doi in Journal of Translation, 18/2022, p. 37ff. )