complete verse (Matthew 19:10)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 19:10:

  • Uma: “From there, his disciples said to Yesus: ‘If thus the difficulty of the customs of marriage, it is better to not marry.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “So-then his disciples said to him, ‘If it is like that with married people, it is better not to get married.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then the disciples of Jesus said, ‘If this is what happens to a married couple, then it is better if people don’t get married.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Then Jesus’ disciples said to him, ‘If it is like that that a spouse can’t-be-divorced, it is better not to (lit. that we (du) not) get-married.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Jesus’ disciples spoke saying, ‘Well if it’s like that evidently for a man with his wife, it would be better just not to marry.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “The learners then said to him: ‘It would be better if a person doesn’t get married then,’ they said.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)


The Greek that is often translated as “disciple” in English typically follows three types of translation: (1) those which employ a verb ‘to learn’ or ‘to be taught’, (2) those which involve an additional factor of following, or accompaniment, often in the sense of apprenticeship, and (3) those which imply imitation of the teacher.

Following are some examples (click or tap for details):

In Luang several terms with different shades of meaning are being used.

  • For Mark 2:23 and 3:7: maka nwatutu-nwaye’a re — “those that are taught” (“This is the term used for ‘disciples’ before the resurrection, while Jesus was still on earth teaching them.”)
  • For Acts 9:1 and 9:10: makpesiay — “those who believe.” (“This is the term used for believers and occasionally for the church, but also for referring to the disciples when tracking participants with a view to keeping them clear for the Luang readers. Although Greek has different terms for ‘believers’, ‘brothers’, and ‘church’, only one Luang word can be used in a given episode to avoid confusion. Using three different terms would imply three different sets of participants.”)
  • For Acts 6:1: mak lernohora Yesus wniatutunu-wniaye’eni — “those who follow Jesus’ teaching.” (“This is the term used for ‘disciples’ after Jesus returned to heaven.”)

Source: Kathy Taber in Notes on Translation 1/1999, p. 9-16.