Satan

The Greek that is typically transliterated in English as “Satan” is transliterated in Kipsigis as “Setani.” This is interesting because it is not only a transliteration that approximates the Greek sound but it is also an existing Kipsigis word with the meaning of “ugly” and “sneaking.” (Source: Earl Anderson in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 85ff.)

In Morelos Nahuatl it is translated as “envious one”. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

Sabbath

The Greek that is translated as “Sabbath” in English is rendered as “day we rest” in Tzotzil, in Mairasi as “Jew’s Rest Day,” in Quiotepec Chinantec as “day when people of Israel rested, in Shilluk as “day of God,” and in Obolo as Usen Mbuban or “Holy Day.”

(Sources: Tzotzil: Marion Cowan in Notes on Translation with Drill, p. 169ff; Mairasi: Enggavoter 2004; Quiotepec Chinantec: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.; Shilluk: Nida 1964, p. 237; Obolo: Enene Enene)

In the old Khmer version as well as in the first new translation this term was rendered as “day of rest” (Thngai Chhup Somrak). Considered inadequate to convey its religious meaning (not only about cessation of work, but also in honour of Yahweh as the Creator), the committee has decided to keep the Hebrew word and use its transliterated form Thgnai Sabath. The Buddhist word Thngai Seil “day of merits” used by some Catholics was once under consideration but was rejected because it did not receive unanimous support.” (Source: Joseph Hong in The Bible Translator 1996, p. 233ff.)

In Spanish, the translation is either día de reposo (“day of rest”) or sábado (usually: “Saturday,” derived from the Greek and Hebrew original. Nida (1947, p. 239f.) explains that problem for Spanish and other languages in its sphere of influence: “In translation “Sabbath” into various aboriginal languages of Latin America, a considerable number of translators have used the Spanish sábado, ‘Saturday,’ because it is derived from the Hebrew sabbath and seems to correspond to English usage as well. The difficulty is that sábado means only ‘Saturday’ for most people. There is no religious significance about this word as the is with ‘Sabbath’ in English. Accordingly the [readers] cannot understand the significance of the persecution of Jesus because he worked on ‘Saturday.’ It has been found quite advantageous to use the translation ‘day of rest,’ for this accurately translated the Hebrew meaning of the term and resolves the problem in connection with the prohibitions placed upon some types of activities.”

complete verse (Luke 13:16)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 13:16:

  • Uma: “But here, there is a woman, a descendant of Abraham, she has been tied for eighteen years by the King of Evil-ones. May we not free her from her bonds [lit., tyings] on Sabat Day?'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “This woman is a descendant of Ibrahim just like you. She has been tied by the leader of demons for eighteen years. Is she not entitled to be loosened on a day of-no-work?'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And here today is a woman who is very precious to God, and Satan has tied her up, or bound her, for eighteen years, and you will not allow her to be turned loose on the day of rest!'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “And here we have with us this descendant of Abraham whom Satanas has as if tied for eighteen years. Is it indeed (RQ implying of course not) bad if she was set-free from her sickness on the day for-resting?'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well now, this woman, who is indeed a descendant of Abraham, for eighteen years she has been as-it-were bound by Satanas. Isn’t it so that she needs to be as-it-were untied now, even though it is the Day of Rest?'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)