There is no word in Khanty that directly corresponds to the concept of “love.”
In one of the two Bible translation projects (see here ) for which so far (2023) Genesis, Jonah, Luke, and Acts have been translated, mosty (мосты) with the primary meaning of “to be needed” or “to be necessary” was often used when translating the Greek agapao (ἀγαπάω) and the Hebrew aheb (אָהַב) — “love” in English — and the Greek agapétos (ἀγαπητός) — “beloved” in English.
Interestingly, the same word is also used in verses like Luke 7:2 for the Greek entimos (ἔντιμος) or “value highly” or in Luke 20:17 and Acts 4:11 where the “cornerstone” is the “necessary stone.”
In the other translation project in Khanty, the gospel of Mark has been translated (see here ). Here the translators have used vŏłanga săma (вŏԓаӈа сăма), meaning “important” or “pleasant to the heart” when referring to love.
Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 6:27:
Nyongar: “But you listen! I tell you: if people want to hurt you, you must love them; if people hate you, you must do good to them;” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
Uma: “‘But to you who hear my words now, this is my command: We must love our enemies, behave well to people who hate us.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
Yakan: “‘But you who listen to me, this is what I say to you: Love your enemy. Do good to those who hate you.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
Western Bukidnon Manobo: “What I say to you, my disciples who listen to me today, is: it is necessary that your breath is not bad toward your enemy, but rather, treat very well those that are angry with you.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
Kankanaey: “Jesus continued to say, ‘What I will say yet to you who are listening is that you should love your enemies. You are also to do good to those who hate you.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
Tagbanwa: “‘This is what I will next say to you who are listening. Value those who oppose you. Do good to them (lit. show them good nature/ways) who hate you.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
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.