parable of the prodigal son (image)

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Image taken from the Wiedmann Bible. For more information about the images and ways to adopt them, see here .

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complete verse (Luke 15:31)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 15:31:

  • Noongar: “‘‘My son’, his father said, ‘you are always near me, and everything I have, you can have it all.” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “‘His father said: ‘Child, you (sing.) live with me always. All the contents of my home, you (sing.) also are the owner.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “‘Toto’ (eldest son), said his father, ‘you are always here with me and all that I have belongs to you.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “‘Son,’ said his father, ‘as for you, you’re always here with me and all of my possessions are yours; and you are the owner of eveything.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “‘Then his father said, ‘My child, you (sing.) have constantly stayed here where I am. All that I have, it’s indeed also yours (sing.).” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “His father replied, ‘Son,’ he said, ‘not like that. Because as for you, all this time there’s been no separating you-and-me, and it’s true, all my belongings are yours.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

second person pronoun with low register

Like a number of other East Asian languages, Japanese uses a complex system of honorifics, i.e. a system where a number of different levels of politeness are expressed in language via words, word forms or grammatical constructs. These can range from addressing someone or referring to someone with contempt (very informal) to expressing the highest level of reference (as used in addressing or referring to God) or any number of levels in-between.

One way Japanese show different degree of politeness is through the choice of a second person pronoun (“you” and its various forms) as shown here in the widely-used Japanese Shinkaiyaku (新改訳) Bible of 2017. The most commonly used anata (あなた) is typically used when the speaker is humbly addressing another person.

In these verses, however, omae (おまえ) is used, a cruder second person pronoun, that Jesus for instance chooses when chiding his disciples.

(Source: S. E. Doi, see also S. E. Doi in Journal of Translation, 18/2022, p. 37ff. )

See also first person pronoun with low register and third person pronoun with low register.

Translation commentary on Luke 15:31

Exegesis:

ho de eipen autō ‘but he said to him,’ change of subject.

su pantote met’ emou ei ‘you are always with me.’ su is emphatic. met’ emou contrasts with nekros and apolōlōs in v. 32.

panta ta ema sa estin ‘all I have is yours,’ since his brother’s part had already been spent.

Translation:

And he said to him. The speaker may have to be specified, e.g. ‘his father answered’ (Balinese).

Son, see 2.48.

All that is mine is yours, or, ‘all my things belong to you only’ (Ekari), ‘all I have/possess you have/possess too’ (Malay, Balinese).

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.