love (Khanty)

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.

Source: Ivan Borshchevsky

back-translation of Luke 7:1-10 in Finnish Sign Language

Following is the back-translation of Luke 7:1-10 from Finnish Sign Language (FiSL). One of the ways that distinguishes FiSL is by an intense way of using a spatial component via a signing space. Click or tap here to see more.

Numbers attached with glosses refer to locations in signing space.

The English text gives a rough back translation of the FiSL behind the glosses.

Luke 7:1

JESUS TELL HUMAN GROUP HEAR>5
Jesus spoke and people listen

READY JESUS GO-1>2 CAPERNAUM INDEX>6
After he had finished Jesus went to Capernaum

(break)

Luke 7:2

ONE SOLDER LEADER OWN>6 SERVANT SICK NEARLY DIE
A servant of a military leader was sick and dying

LEADER INDEX>6 SERVANT PERSON-1 RESPECT
That leader respected his servant

(break)

Luke 7:3

INDEX>6 HEAR>5 JESUS
He heard about Jesus

PERSONx>5 ASK JEW HIGH-POSITION HUMANx-6 BRING-5>1 JESUS
He asked the respected Jewish men to bring Jesus to him

SERVANT PERSON-6 SAVE
to save the servant

(break)

Luke 7:4

JEW HIGH-POSITION HUMANx-6 JESUS MEET>5
The respected Jewish men met Jesus

BEG>5 SAY>5
Begging and asking:

(break)

ASK MALE INDEX>6 NEED OWN>5 HELP
Please, that man needs your help

(break)

Luke 7:5

WE HUMAN GROUP INDEX>6 LOVE
He loves our people

ALSO WE OWN>1 JEW CONGREGATION
For our Jewish congregation
INDEX>6 ALREADY BUILD HOUSE
He has built a house [= synagogue]

(break)

Luke 7:6

JESUS WITH TOGETHER-3>6 HOUSE-6 NEAR-3>6
Jesus approached the house together with others

LEADER SEND-4>5 OWN>6 FEW FRIENDx
The leader sent some of his friends

MEET-4>5
To meet Jesus:

(break)

LEADER INDEX>6 SAY
This leader says:
LORD INDEX>5 TROUBLE CLOSE-5>1 DO-NOT>5
Lord, do not trouble to come to me

Luke 7:7 (no break)

ALSO INDEX>1 CLOSE-1>5 CANNOT
As I did not come to you

(break)

[the rest of the verse moved to the end of verse 8]

Luke 7:8

COMMAND INDEX-h3>1 INDEX>1 OBEY
I am subject to command from above

ALSO SOLDER INDEX>2 INDEX>1 COMMAND INDEX-1>2
And I command solders

INDEX-2 OBEY
And they obey

(break)

OWN-1 SOLDER INDEX-2 INDEX-1 SAY
If I say to this solder of mine:

INDEX-2 GO>2
Go!

COMPLETE LEAVE-1>2
He will leave

INDEX-5 COME-5>1
Or to another: Come!

COMPLETE COME-5>1
He will come

(break)

ALSO SERVANT PERSON-2 INDEX-1 SAY
And if I say to this servant:

DO INDEXx-2
Do this!

COMPLETE DO
He will do it.

(break)

ANDx ALSO OWN>1 SERVANT PERSON-6 INDEX-5 ORDER-5>6
So, please, order this servant of mine

HEAL
And heal him.

(break)

LEADER INDEX-6 WELCOME-6>5
The leader asked Jesus to do this to him

Luke 7:9

JESUS SURPRISE>6
Jesus was surprised

TURN-6>5 HUMAN GROUP
He turned to people

SAY
And said:

LEADER OWN>6 FAITH COMPARE SAME JEW HUMAN GROUP INDEX-1 NEVER SEE-1>d
I have never seen the same faith among Jews than this leader has

(break)

Luke 7:10

FRIEND INDEXx-2 BACK-1>2>1 HOUSE-6 NEAR>6
When the friends returned to the house of the leader

SERVANT PERSON-6 ALREADY HEAL
That servant was already healthy.

Source and further explanation in Signs for words – the possibilities for the literal
translation in Finnish Sign Language
by Seppo Sipilä, 2008

inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (Luke 7:5)

Many languages distinguish between inclusive and exclusive first-person plural pronouns (“we”). (Click or tap here to see more details)

The inclusive “we” specifically includes the addressee (“you and I and possibly others”), while the exclusive “we” specifically excludes the addressee (“he/she/they and I, but not you”). This grammatical distinction is called “clusivity.” While Semitic languages such as Hebrew or most Indo-European languages such as Greek or English do not make that distinction, translators of languages with that distinction have to make a choice every time they encounter “we” or a form thereof (in English: “we,” “our,” or “us”).

For this verse (“he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue” in English translations), Yagua translators selected the exclusive forms. The translators justify this by saying “Jesus was also of the Jews’ nation and could have been included in this ‘our.’ However, the ‘us’ and ‘our’ of the second clause are doubtless exclusive and we guess since Jesus was not a native of Capernaum that these Jews probably would have used the exclusive in the first clause.”

Source: Paul Powlison in Notes on Translation with Drills, p. 165ff.

Pickett argues that “the first ‘our’ is inclusive, referring to the Jewish nation of which both the speakers and Jesus were a part, But the second ‘our’ is no doubt exclusive, i.e. the synagogue in their town, of which Jesus was not a part.”

Source: Velma B. Pickett in The Bible Translator 1964, p. 88f.

SIL International Translation Department (1999) notes that he second pronoun could be either inclusive or exclusive. The Tok Pisin translation uses the inclusive for the first occurrence and exclusive for the second.

synagogue, temple (inner), temple (outer)

In many English translations the Greek terms “hieron” (the whole “temple” in Jerusalem or specifically the outer courts open to worshippers) and “naos” (the inner “shrine” or “sanctuary”) are translated with only one word: “temple” (see also for instance “Tempel” in German and “tempel” in Dutch, Danish, or Afrikaans).

Other languages make a distinction: (Click or tap here to see more)

  • Navajo: “house in which worship is carried out” (for naos)
  • Balinese: “inner part of the Great Temple” (“the term ‘inner part’ denoting the hindmost and holiest of the two or three courts that temples on Bali usually possess”) vs. “Great Temple”
  • Telugu: “womb (i.e. interior)-of-the-abode” vs. “abode”
  • Thai: a term denoting the main audience hall of a Buddhist temple compound vs. “environs-of-the-main-audience-hall”
  • Kituba: “place of holiness of house-God Lord” vs. “house-God Lord”
  • Shipibo-Conibo: “deep in God’s house” vs. “God’s house” (source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)

Languages that, like English, German, Dutch, Danish, or Afrikaans don’t make that distinction include:

  • Chinese: “聖殿 Shèng diàn” (“holy palace”)
  • Loma: “the holy place”
  • Pular: “the sacred house” (source for this and the one above: Bratcher / Nida)
  • Zarma: “God’s compound”
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “big church of the Jews”
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “big house on top (i.e. most important)”
  • Toraja-Sa’dan: “house that is looked upon as holy, that is sacred, that is taboo and where one may not set foot” (lit. “house where-the-belly-gets-swollen” — because taboo is violated — using a term that is also applied to a Muslim mosque) (source for this and the three above: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
  • Mairasi: Janav Enggwarjer Weso: “Great Above One’s (God’s) House” (source: Enggavoter 2004)
  • Nyongar: Maya-maya-Kooranyi: “Sacred House” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “the big church of the Israelites”
  • Aguaruna: “the house for talking to God” (source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
  • Guhu-Samane: “festival longhouse of God” (“The biiri, ‘festival longhouse’, being the religious and social center of the community, is a possible term for ‘temple’. It is not the ‘poro house’ as such. That would be too closely identified with the cult of poro. The physical features of the building, huge and sub-divided, lend it further favor for this consideration. By qualifying it as ‘God’s biiri’ the term has become meaningful and appropriate in the context of the Scriptures.”) (Source: Ernest Richert in The Bible Translator, 1965, p. 81ff. )
  • Enga: “God’s restricted access house” (source: Adam Boyd on his blog)

Another distinction that tends to be overlooked in translations is that between hieron (“temple” in English) and sunagógé (“synagogue” in English). Euan Fry (in The Bible Translator 1987, p. 213ff. ) reports on this:

“Many older translations have simply used transliterations of ‘temple’ and ‘synagogue’ rather than trying to find equivalent terms or meaningful expressions in their own languages. This approach does keep the two terms separate; but it makes the readers depend on explanations given by pastors or teachers for their understanding of the text.

“Translators who have tried to find meaningful equivalents, for the two terms ‘temple’ and ‘synagogue’ have usually made a distinction between them in one of two ways (which focus on the contrasting components of meaning). One way takes the size and importance of the Temple to make a contrast, so that expressions such as ‘sacred meeting/ worship house of the Jews’ and ‘big sacred meeting/worship house of the Jews’ are used. The other way focuses on the different nature of the religious activity at each of the places, so that expressions such as ‘meeting/worship house of the Jews’ and ‘sacrifice/ceremony place of the Jews’ are used.

“It is not my purpose in this article to discuss how to arrive at the most precise equivalent to cover all the components of meaning of ‘temple’. That is something that each translator really has to work through for himself in the light of the present usage and possibilities in his own language. My chief concern here is that the basic term or terms chosen for ‘temple’ should give the reader of a translation a clear and correct picture of the location referred to in each passage. And I am afraid that in many cases where an equivalent like ‘house of God’ or ‘worship house’ has been chosen, the readers have quite the wrong picture of what going to the Temple or being in the Temple means. (This may be the case for the word ‘temple’ in English too, for many readers.)”

Here are some examples:

  • Bambara: “house of God” (or: “big house of worship”) vs. “worship house” (or: “small houses of worship”)
  • Toraja-Sa’dan: “house where-the-belly-gets-swollen” (see above) vs. “meeting house for discussing matters concerning religious customs” (and “church” is “house where one meets on Sunday”)
  • Navajo: “house in which worship is carried out” vs. “house of gathering” (source for all above: Bratcher / Nida)
Click or tap here to see a short video clip about Herod’s temple (source: Bible Lands 2012)

Click or tap here to see a short video clip showing synagogues in New Testament times (source: Bible Lands 2012)

complete verse (Luke 7:5)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 7:5:

  • Nyongar: “He loves our people and he built our synagogue.'” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “because he loves us Yahudi people, and he has given us (excl.) money to build our (excl.) house of prayer.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “for he is a real friend to our (incl.) Yahudi tribe and he paid the expense hep for erecting our (incl.) prayer-house in this town.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “because as for us (inc.) Jews, we are precious in his breath. He built one of the churches.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “because he (appreciation particle) loves us Jews and he moreover caused-a synagogue of ours -to-be-constructed.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Because he values this nation of ours(incl.) and he even caused a worship-place to be built for us.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)