In the Bawm Chin culture there are no horses, but one kind of buffalo is guided by a rope in its mouth, so that was used here in the translation into Bawm Chin.

See also bridle.

inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (Jas. 3:3)

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 writer and the readers of this letter).

Source: Velma Pickett and Florence Cowan in Notes on Translation January 1962, p. 1ff.

complete verse (James 3:3)

Following are a number of back-translations of James 3:3:

  • Uma: “Something that is small can control what is big. Usually we use-bits-with horses so that they follow our will. With a small bit we can command a big horse.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “A figure (for it is) a bridle of a horse. We (dual) put a bridle in the mouth of a horse so that he follows/obeys our (dual) wishes/will and we (dual) can carry/direct him wherever we (dual) want to go.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “We put a bit in the mouth of a horse so that we might control where we want him to go.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “For-example, if we put-a-bit-in the mouth of a horse so that he will obey us, we can direct him where we want to go.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For example a horse, provided its mouth has a bit in it, obeys wherever we want to cause it to go.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “When the reins are put in horses’ mouths, then they can be controlled. Wherever they are directed, they go.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)