rejoice more

The phrase that is translated in English as “rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine” is translated into Fuyug as “thinking of the 99 he was happy, thinking of the lost one he was very happy.”

complete verse (Matthew 18:13)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 18:13:

  • Uma: “And when he finds it again, truly I say to you his joy is greater rejoicing in that one sheep than the ninety-nine sheep that were not lost.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Truly I tell you, when he finds it, he is really happy. He is happier about that one than about the ninety-nine that did not go astray.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “I tell you that when he finds it, the one really makes him happy, not the ninety-nine that weren’t lost.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “What I say to you is true that when he finds the one that was lost, his happiness will be greater than his happiness with the ninety-nine that did not get lost.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “What I will say to you is really true, that when he finds it, he will be much happier over this one, more that over those ninety nine who didn’t go astray.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “When he will find it, then he will rejoice more about finding the one sheep which was lost than the ninety-nine sheep which didn’t get lost.” (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.