The Greek term that is translated as a form of “save” in English is translated in Shipibo-Conibo with a phrase that means literally “make to live,” which combines the meaning of “to rescue” and “to deliver from danger,” but also the concept of “to heal” or “restore to health.”
In San Blas Kuna it is rendered as “help the heart,” in Laka, it is “take by the hand” in the meaning of “rescue” or “deliver,” in Huautla Mazatec the back-translation of the employed term is “lift out on behalf of,” in Anuak, it is “have life because of,” in Central Mazahua “be healed in the heart,” in Baoulé “save one’s head” (meaning to rescue a person in the fullest sense), in Guerrero Amuzgo “come out well,” in Northwestern Dinka “be helped as to his breath” (or “life”) (source: Bratcher / Nida), and in Nyongarbarrang-ngandabat or “hold life” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).
The Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin terms that are typically translated as “mercy” (or “compassion” or “kindness”) in English are translated in various ways. Bratcher / Nida classify them in (1) those based on the quality of heart, or other psychological center, (2) those which introduce the concept of weeping or extreme sorrow, (3) those which involve willingness to look upon and recognize the condition of others, or (4) those which involve a variety of intense feelings.
While the Englishmercy originates from the Latinmerces, originally “price paid,” Romance languages (Italian, Spanish, Corsican, Catalan) and other Germanic languages (German, Swedish, Danish — Barmherzigkeit, barmhärtighet and barmhjertighed, respectively) tend to follow the Latin misericordia, lit. “misery-heart.”
The Hebrew and Greek that is translated with “clothes” or similar in English is translated in Enlhet as “crawling-in-stuff” (source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1971, p. 169ff. ) and in Nyongar as bwoka or “Kangaroo skin” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).
Following are a number of back-translations of Jude 1:23:
Uma: “If there are some who have detoured/wandered from their faith, lead them back so that they get goodness, treat-them-as-if you were managing-to-take/winning them out of the fire. But there are also people whose sins are great, who follow the evil desires of their hearts. Show love to them also, but watch-out/be-on-guard so that you are not carried-along into their sin. Show love to the sinners, but hate their sins, treat-it-as-if it was dirty clothes.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
Yakan: “Others also, the ones that are about to be carried away to the bad, help them from their danger (dangerous position) like people are helped from a burning house. Other people also, you should be merciful to them, but you should be careful lest you are contaminated by them. Have mercy/pity on them but you should hate their bad doings.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Help them so that they might be freed from punishment, as if you were snatching out of the fire something about to be burned. The other people whose sin is very great, also show them your mercy, however be on your guard lest you also be successfully tempted by means of their filthy behaviour.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
Kankanaey: “As for those who are going-astray, persuade them to believe, because if you do that, it’s as if you will snatch (them) to save/rescue them from the fire. As for the consistently-sinful moreover, show-mercy-to them as well, but hate their sins, because they (lit. it) are like dirt that stains, and thoroughly watch-out lest you be rubbed-off-on.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
Tagbanwa: “And rush to rescue those who may get thrown into the fire which never dies down. Others, pity and help them too, but do be careful that you don’t get involved in their sin. It’s like you are to regard as filthy even their clothes which are saturated from the disgusting things they do, so that you won’t get contaminated.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
Tenango Otomi: “As for other people, save them, as though you take out a stick which is in a fire so that it won’t burn. Have compassion on other people, but take care that you don’t do as they do, think of it as though their clothes were filthy from the evil they do and shouldn’t be touched.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)