The Greek that is translated as “sinner” in English is translated as “people with bad hearts” (“it is not enough to call them ‘people who do bad things,’ for though actions do reflect the heart, yet it is the hearts with which God is primarily concerned — see Matt. 15:19”) in Western Kanjobal, “people who are doing wrong things in their hearts” in San Blas Kuna (source: Nida 1952, p. 148), “people with bad stomachs” in Q’anjob’al (source: Newberry and Kittie Cox in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 91ff.), or “people with dirty hearts” (Mairasi) (Enggavoter 2004).


The Greek that is translated as “scribe” in English “were more than mere writers of the law. They were the trained interpreters of the law and expounders of tradition.”

Here are a number of its (back-) translations:

complete verse (Luke 5:30)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 5:30:

  • Uma: “Seeing that, several religious leaders and religion teachers who followed the teaching of the Parisi people were continually grumbling. They said to Yesus’ disciples: ‘Why-in-the-world are you eating and drinking together/at-one-time with tax collectors and sinners?'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “There were some Pariseo and teachers of the religious law, they also were Pariseo, who were not pleased, so they said to the disciples of Isa, ‘Why do you mix in eating together with the tax-collectors and other sinful people?'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “There were some Pharisees and some teachers of the Law who saw these people, and they said to the disciples of Jesus, they said, ‘Why do you all join in to eat and drink with cheating tax collectors and transgressors?'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Whereupon some of the Pharisees and their companions who were teachers of the law, they criticized Jesus’ disciples saying, ‘Why do you eat-with and drink-with tax collectors and other sinful people?'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well, the Pariseo and their companions, the explainers of law, who observed this criticized. They said to the disciples of Jesus, ‘Why do you eat and drink together with money-grabbing official receivers of payment and those others who don’t fully obey our (incl.) laws?'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)


(To view the different translations of this term in a simplified graphical form on a new page, click or tap here.)

The Greek that is often translated as “disciple” in English typically follows three types of translation: (1) those which employ a verb ‘to learn’ or ‘to be taught’, (2) those which involve an additional factor of following, or accompaniment, often in the sense of apprenticeship, and (3) those which imply imitation of the teacher.

Following are some examples (click or tap for details):

In Luang several terms with different shades of meaning are being used.

  • For Mark 2:23 and 3:7: maka nwatutu-nwaye’a re — “those that are taught” (“This is the term used for ‘disciples’ before the resurrection, while Jesus was still on earth teaching them.”)
  • For Acts 9:1 and 9:10: makpesiay — “those who believe.” (“This is the term used for believers and occasionally for the church, but also for referring to the disciples when tracking participants with a view to keeping them clear for the Luang readers. Although Greek has different terms for ‘believers’, ‘brothers’, and ‘church’, only one Luang word can be used in a given episode to avoid confusion. Using three different terms would imply three different sets of participants.”)
  • For Acts 6:1: mak lernohora Yesus wniatutunu-wniaye’eni — “those who follow Jesus’ teaching.” (“This is the term used for ‘disciples’ after Jesus returned to heaven.”)

Source: Kathy Taber in Notes on Translation 1/1999, p. 9-16.