The Greek that is translated as “home” in English is translated in Nyongar as karlap or “place of fire.” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).
“Sheep are known throughout most of the world, even though, as in Central Africa, they are a far cry from the fleecy wool-producing animals of colder climates. Where such animals are known, even by seemingly strange names, e.g. ‘cotton deer’ (Yucateco) or ‘woolly goat’ (Inupiaq), such names should be used. In some instances, one may wish to borrow a name and use a classifier, e.g. ‘an animal called sheep’. In still other instances translators have used ‘animal which produces wool’, for though people are not acquainted with the animals they are familiar with wool.” (Source: Bratcher / Nida)
Note that the often-alleged Inuktitut translation of “sheep” with “seal” is an urban myth (source Nida 1947, p. 136).
See also lamb.
Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 15:6:
- Mairasi: “then carrying him returns. Then he calls his own people [friends; relatives] and those who live near his house then says: ‘Come let our livers definitely turn good [we will rejoice] because I have already found my domba [sheep] which was gone!’ he will say.” (source: Enggavoter 2004)
- Nyongar: “Then he calls his friends and other people of his town, and he says to them, ‘I am very happy because I have found my sheep, the lost one. We must be happy together. Let’s celebrate!'” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
- Uma: “After that, and he calls his friends and neighbors, he says to them: ‘Come be glad with me. Because I have found again my lost sheep.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “When you (pl.) come home you (pl.) call your (pl.) friends and your (pl.) neighbours and tell them to gather in your (pl.) house and say to them, ‘We (incl.) will be glad/let us be glad for I have found the sheep that went astray.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And when he reaches his house, he calls his companions and his neighbors and he says, ‘Let’s rejoice, because I have found this sheep of mine that was lost.’ ‘” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “to go-home-with-it. Then he will call his friends and neighbors and said, ‘Let’s be happy, because here-now I have found my sheep that was lost!’ ‘” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “When he arrives at the house, he will invite his friends and neighbors. ‘Come on,’ he says, ‘join in my celebration, for I indeed found that lost sheep of mine.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
kai heurōn epitithēsin epi tous ōmous autou chairōn ‘and when he has found (it) he puts it on his shoulders rejoicing.’ The question of v. 4 changes into a story, describing what happens when the lost sheep is found and leading up to the application in v. 7. chairōn serves to colour the whole clause (cf. 19.6; Acts 8.39), and explains the rather unusual act of carrying the lost sheep (cf. Lagrange).
(V. 6) kai elthōn eis ton oikon ‘and when he has come home,’ without paying further attention to the sheep left behind in the pasture land.
sugkalei tous philous kai tous geitonas ‘he calls together his friends and neighbours,’ i.e. for a celebration. For sugkaleō cf. on 9.1.
sugcharēte moi ‘rejoice with me,’ cf. on 1.58.
to probaton mou to apolōlos ‘my sheep which was lost.’ to apolōlos is emphatic.
To lay on the shoulders, or, ‘to carry on the shoulder(s) (or, on the back of the neck, or, on the back),’ is expressed by one verb in some languages.
Rejoicing, or, ‘because he-rejoices’ (Sundanese); or with a further shift, “he is so happy that he puts it on his shoulders” (Good News Translation); “how delighted he is then! He lifts it on to his shoulders…” (New English Bible).
(V. 6) He calls together, i.e. ‘in his house’; hence ‘he invites’ (Bahasa Indonesia) is possible also.
For neighbours and for rejoice with me, sometimes a reciprocal expression, e.g. ‘let us rejoice with each other,’ cf. also 1.58.
Quoted with permission from Reiling, J. and Swellengrebel, J.L. A Handbook on the Gospel of Luke. (UBS Handbook Series). New York: UBS, 1971. For this and other handbooks for translators see here . Make sure to also consult the Handbook on the Gospel of Mark for parallel or similar verses.