complete verse (Mark 8:21)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 8:21:

  • Uma: “He said further: ‘Yet do you still not comprehend?'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “‘Na,’ he said, ‘and you still don’t understand?'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And Jesus said to them, ‘Perhaps you now understand that it is not bread that we have to worry about.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “‘And do you still not understand what I mean to say?’ said Jesus.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “‘Well, why can’t you yet understand?’ said Jesus again/next. ‘It wasn’t food which I was alluding to in this warning of mine.'” (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.