complete verse (Matthew 20:27)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 20:27:

  • Uma: “And whoever wants a big name must become your slave.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “And whoever of you wants to become the greatest he shall be like a slave helping his companions.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And if there is one of you who wants that he is the highest of all, it is necessary that he makes himself lower than all.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “and the one who wants to be the most-important, it-is-necessary that he serve his companions like a slave.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “And whoever wants to become most-important, he must make himself like a slave of his companions.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “As for you, whoever wants to lead all of his friends, this one must become your worker.” (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.