The Greek that is translated in English as “grain” (or: “corn”) is translated in Kui as “(unthreshed) rice.” Helen Evans (in The Bible Translator 1954, p. 40ff. ) explains: “Padddy [unthreshed rice] is the main crop of the country and rice the staple diet of the people, besides which [grain] is unknown and there is no word for it, and it seemed to us that paddy and rice in the mind of the Kui people stood for all that corn meant to the Jews.” “Paddy” is also the translation in Pa’o Karen (source: Gordon Luce in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 153f. ).

Other translations include: “wheat” (Teutila Cuicatec), “corn” (Lalana Chinantec), “things to eat” (Morelos Nahuatl), or “grass corn” (wheat) Chichimeca-Jonaz. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)


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.)

complete verse (Luke 22:31)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 22:31:

  • Nyongar: “‘Simon, Simon! Listen! God knows about Satan, he will test all of you, separating the good and bad, the same as farmers separating seed and waste.” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “After that, the Lord Yesus spoke to Simon Petrus, he said: ‘Ee’, Simon! Hear: The King of Evil-ones has been given the opportunity to tempt you all. Like rice that is winnowed, like that also will be the severity of the temptation that strikes you.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Then Isa said to Petros, ‘Simon, listen. The leader of demons has asked permission to test you (pl.) if he can influence you (pl.) to the bad. His testing is as if rice is winnowed and the kernels and the chaff are separated.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And Jesus said to Simon Peter, he said, ‘Hey Simon, I have something to say to you. God has allowed Satan to try to test all of you. His testing of you will be like separating the husk from the grain, because perhaps your faith is just like husks.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Then Jesus said to Pedro, ‘Simon, please listen to what I say. Satanas has requested opportunity to test you all so that he will see if any among you will be separated like the separation of hulled-rice and husks when it is winnowed.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “And then Jesus said to Simon Pedro, ‘Simon, you (pl.) are being asked for by Satanas to be tested by him. Well, it is being permitted that all of you, your believing/obeying will be tested.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

formal pronoun: Jesus addressing his disciples and common people

Like many languages (but unlike Greek or Hebrew or English), Tuvan uses a formal vs. informal 2nd person pronoun (a familiar vs. a respectful “you”). Unlike other languages that have this feature, however, the translators of the Tuvan Bible have attempted to be very consistent in using the different forms of address in every case a 2nd person pronoun has to be used in the translation of the biblical text.

As Voinov shows in Pronominal Theology in Translating the Gospels (in: The Bible Translator 2002, p. 210ff.), the choice to use either of the pronouns many times involved theological judgment. While the formal pronoun can signal personal distance or a social/power distance between the speaker and addressee, the informal pronoun can indicate familiarity or social/power equality between speaker and addressee.

Here, Jesus is addressing his disciples, individuals and/or crowds with the formal pronoun, showing respect.

In most Dutch translations, Jesus addresses his disciples and common people with the informal pronoun, whereas they address him with the formal form.