complete verse (John 6:49)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 6:49:

  • Uma: “‘The food called manna eaten by your ancestors long ago in the wilderness did not give life, because they all died.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “‘Your forefathers were able to eat manna there in the lonely place, but they certainly died.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “The food called manna, this was eaten by your ancestors long ago, but they died just the same.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Your ancestors, they ate manna in their walking through the place with no inhabitants, and there-now they died anyway.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Your ancestors got to eat manna when they were there in the wilderness, but they died anyway.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “There in the wilds our ancestors ate a tortilla/food which came from heaven. But they didn’t live forever, rather they died later.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Kaiwá: “Even though your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, they still eventually died.” (This construction assures that they didn’t die because of the manna — source: John Taylor in Notes on Translation 63/1977), p. 14ff.

formal pronoun: Jesus addressing his disciples and common people

Like many languages (but unlike Greek or Hebrew or English), Tuvan uses a formal vs. informal 2nd person pronoun (a familiar vs. a respectful “you”). Unlike other languages that have this feature, however, the translators of the Tuvan Bible have attempted to be very consistent in using the different forms of address in every case a 2nd person pronoun has to be used in the translation of the biblical text.

As Voinov shows in Pronominal Theology in Translating the Gospels (in: The Bible Translator 2002, p. 210ff.), the choice to use either of the pronouns many times involved theological judgment. While the formal pronoun can signal personal distance or a social/power distance between the speaker and addressee, the informal pronoun can indicate familiarity or social/power equality between speaker and addressee.

Here, Jesus is addressing his disciples, individuals and/or crowds with the formal pronoun, showing respect.

In most Dutch translations, Jesus addresses his disciples and common people with the informal pronoun, whereas they address him with the formal form.