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).
Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 6:33:
- Nyongar: “And if you do good only to people who do good to you, why will you be praised? Bad people do that!” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
- Uma: “If our behavior is good only to people whose behavior is good to us, God will not bless us. Even evil people, their behavior is definitely good to people whose behavior is good to them.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “And if you only help those who help you, is there anything to praise you for? No. For even the sinful people have that custom also.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “If you only treat well those people who treat you also well, do not think that God will reward you, because even the transgressor people, they treat well those who treat them well.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “If also it’s only those who do good to you to whom you do good, will you be rewarded do-you-suppose? Even sinful people, that of-course is just what they do also.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “And if you only do good to those who do good to you too, well what more reward are you waiting for? For even sinners, they do like this too.” (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.