The Greek that is typically translated in English as “sign” is translated in Huehuetla Tepehua as “thing to be marveled at” (source: Larson 1889, p. 279) and in Mairasi as “big work” (source: Enggavoter 2004).


The Greek that is a transliteration of the Hebrew Pərūšīm and is transliterated into English as “Pharisee” is transliterated in Chinese as Fǎlìsài (法利賽 / 法利赛) (Protestant) or Fǎlìsāi (法利塞) (Catholic). In Chinese, transliterations can typically be done with a great number of different and identical-sounding characters. Often the meaning of the characters are not relevant, unless they are chosen carefully as in these cases. The Protestant Fǎlìsài can mean something like “Competition for the profit of the law” and the Catholic Fǎlìsāi “Stuffed by/with the profit of the law.” (Source: Zetzsche 1996, p. 51)


The Greek that is translated as “council” or “Council” in English is (back-) translated in a variety of ways:

complete verse (John 11:47)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 11:47:

  • Uma: “That is why the Parisi people with the leading priests had a big meeting with the other religious leaders. They said: ‘What shall we do? Because he is doing many miracles.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Therefore immediately the Pariseo and the leaders of the priests gathered to discuss/plan, they said, ‘What on earth (ente’) can we (incl.) do to this person? He is already doing many wonder-causing signs.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then the leaders of the sacrificers and the Pharisees gathered together the elders of the Jews, and when they had gathered together they said, ‘What are we going to do? Because as for this Jesus, the miracles which he does are many.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “When that was so, the Pharisees and the leaders of the priests, they caused-to-be-called the other leaders of the Jews and they said, ‘What can we do then, because that person, he has been doing many amazing-things.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Therefore the chiefs of the priests and the Pariseo gathered together their fellow judges, the members of the Sanedrin. After they had gathered, they said, ‘What would be good for us to do, since many signs which are amazing things are being done by this person?” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Then the Pharisees along with the chief priests and other leaders of the Jews had a large meeting. They said, ‘What do we need to do? This man is doing many signs which no one else is able to do.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (John 11:47)

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 (the chief priests and Pharisees talking among themselves).

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