The Greek that is translated as “tradition” in English is translated in Kekchí as “the old root-trunk” (in which the life of a people is likened to a tree), in Central Tarahumara, as “to live as the ancients did,” in North Alaskan Inupiatun as “sayings passed down from long-ago times,” in Navajo as “what their fathers of old told them to follow,” in Toraja-Sa’dan as “the ordinance maintained by the forefathers,” in Tzeltal as “word that has been kept from the ancients” (source for this and all above Bratcher / Nida), and in Gumuz as “the life of your fathers” (source: Loren Bliese).

In Obolo it is translated as orọmijọn̄: “the deeds of the ground” (source: Enene Enene).


The Greek that is a transliteration of the Hebrew Pərūšīm and is transliterated into English as “Pharisee” is transliterated in Chinese as Fǎlìsài (法利賽 / 法利赛) (Protestant) or Fǎlìsāi (法利塞) (Catholic). In Chinese, transliterations can typically be done with a great number of different and identical-sounding characters. Often the meaning of the characters are not relevant, unless they are chosen carefully as in these cases. The Protestant Fǎlìsài can mean something like “Competition for the profit of the law” and the Catholic Fǎlìsāi “Stuffed by/with the profit of the law.” (Source: Zetzsche 1996, p. 51)

complete verse (Mark 7:3)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 7:3:

  • Uma: “For all the Yahudi people are very strict in following the customs of their elders, especially those who follow the teaching of the Parisi people. They don’t eat until they have washed their hands according to custom.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “The custom of the Pariseo and all the Yahudi is that they do not eat if they have not first been able to wash their hands following the teaching of their forefathers.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “For the Jews, especially the Pharisees, they do not eat if they cannot wash their hands for that was the custom handed down by he old folks long ago.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Because the Pharisees and likewise also the other Jews, they follow the custom inherited from their ancestors that they do not eat if they haven’t washed their hands correctly first.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For as for the Judio, especially the Pariseo, they wouldn’t eat if they hadn’t washed their hands according to their customs handed-down from their ancestors.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)