complete verse (Mark 13:33)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 13:33:

  • Uma: “That’s why you must be on the watch and watch out, for you don’t know the time it will happen.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Therefore watch out,’ said Isa. ‘Don’t be careless/inattentive (lipat) because you do not know as to when this will happen.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Therefore be on your guard and be ready, for you do not know when.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Watch-out then, be continually prepared, because you don’t know when it will happen.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Therefore be careful and always be ready, because you don’t know when this will happen.” (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.