Illustration by Annie Vallotton, copyright by Donald and Patricia Griggs of Griggs Educational Service. More images can be viewed at rotation.org .
For other images by Annie Vallotton on Translation Insights & Perspectives, see here.
The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “sycamore” in English is translated in Chichewa as mkuyu or “fig tree.” (Source: Wendland 1987, p. 72)
Note that the tree referred to in these instances is the “Sycomore Fig (Ficus sycomorus), also called the “Mulberry Fig” (compare German Maulbeerfeigenbaum), is a type of fig that is found especially in low-land areas in the Mediterranean region. It was known in Egypt as early as 3000 B.C. but also in the Indus Valley in India. (…) The sycomore fig is not a tall tree (up to 10 meters [33 feet]) but has large low, spreading branches.” (Source: Koops 2012, p. 67)
Hand colored stencil print on momigami by Sadao Watanabe (1993).
Image taken with permission from the SadaoHanga Catalogue where you can find many more images and information about Sadao Watanabe.
For other images of Sadao Watanabe art works in TIPs, see here.
“Zacchaeus” in Finnish Sign Language (source )
Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 19:4:
prodramōn eis to emprosthen lit. ‘after running on ahead.’ eis to emprosthen lit. ‘to the front,’ hence ‘ahead,’ which is pleonastic since protrechō means ‘to run ahead.’
anebē epi sukomorean hina idē auton ‘he climbed up a fig-mulberry tree in order to see him.’
sukomorea ‘ficus sycomorus,’ ‘fig-mulberry tree,’ a fig tree whose leaves resemble those of a mulberry tree.
hoti ekeinēs ēmellen dierchesthai ‘because he was going to pass that way,’ with hodou ‘way’ understood with ekeinēs.
He ran on ahead, i.e. some distance in front of Jesus and his companions.
Sycamore tree. Where the exact species is unknown the term for ‘(wild) fig tree,’ is an acceptable rendering; or simply, ‘a tree’ (Tae’ 1933), the kind of tree not being of specific relevance here.
For he (or, Jesus) was to pass that way, stating explicitly what has been implied already in the words “ran on ahead”, i.e. that Zacchaeus could foresee along which road Jesus would come; hence, ‘expecting that Jesus was going to take that way’ (cf. The Four Gospels – a New Translation) is an acceptable rendering also.
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.