The Greek that is translated as “tongue” in English is translated in Binumarien as “lips and teeth” because those are the body parts that are associated with speech. (Source: Oates 1995, p. 269)

complete verse (James 3:5)

Following are a number of back-translations of James 3:5:

  • Uma: “So also with mankind’s tongue. Even though our tongue is very small, but no kidding the bigness of its effect [lit., carrying/leading]. From just a small fire, a wide jungle can be burned up.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Like that is also the tongue of a person. Even though the tongue is small it can boast that it can do very many things. The tongue is figuratively like a fire. Think. Even though the flame of a fire is small, it can cause a big forest to burn.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “In the same way also is the tongue of a person, for even though it is very small, it can be used just the same to boast about big reasons for praise. Just like that also is a forest, for even though it is very wide, it can be burned just the same by a tiny fire.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “So also with a person’s tongue, because even though it is small, large is its power nonetheless. Let us consider what fire does. Even though it is small at its beginning, a wide mountain is what it burns.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “And like that also is the tongue of man. It’s a very small part of the body, but very big is what it can do. Think about (lit. walk your mind/thinking over) a fire that’s only small, but which as long as it has really caught (lit. its burning has been able to stand up), it will burn up even a vast forest.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Now our tongues are a very little part of our bodies. But when we speak, just one word comes from our mouths, then much happens. The fire when it begins to burn is a small flame, but it can burn off a forest when it becomes a big fire.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)