The Greek that is translated in English “housetops” or similar in English is translated in Central Mazahua as “where you meet your fellowmen,” in Sranan Tongo as “street corners,” and in Batak Toba as “the place under the tree” (i.e. a place outside the village, where people gather to discuss public matters.) (Source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)

In Enlhet, “shouting from the housetops” “does not mean ‘a public announcement’ but rather ‘an omen announcing an evil spirit attack upon the village.’ The public announcement is expressed with a different form to announce in front of the house.” (Source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1971, p. 169ff. )

complete verse (Matthew 10:27)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 10:27:

  • Uma: “‘What I say to you that other people do not listen to, you must speak/tell to all people. What I just whisper to you in your ear, say clearly in the ears of the people/crowd.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Whatever I tell you at night, tell it in daytime, and whatever you hear when it is you only/in private, spread it to the people in the market.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “The things which I say which you alone have heard, tell them to everybody. That which I whisper to you, spread it to all people.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “What I have been saying to you that no one (else) was able-to-hear, it is necessary that you make-known to the many-people. What moreover I have been whispering to you, it is necessary that you shout it so that many-people will hear it.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “The things I am saying to you when you are the only ones I am teaching, you must make them known to all people. My teachings that only you heard, you are to teach them to everyone.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “These words I tell alone to you, you must tell to all the people. These words I whisper in your ears will be heard in all the towns.” (Source: Tenango Otomi 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.