superlative (Matt 22:36; 39)

Since there is no grammatical superlative in Fuyug, the question that is translated in English typically as “which commandment of the law is the greatest,” becomes “in the middle of the word of God, which word is big?” Then the second most important commandment is “the big word that follows.”

complete verse (Matthew 22:36)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 22:36:

  • Uma: “‘Teacher, of all the commands in the Law of the Lord, which command is the greatest?'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “‘Sir,’ he said, ‘in the law, which command is the greatest of all?'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what is the greatest command in the law?'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “He said, ‘Sir teacher, what is the most-important command in God’s law?'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “‘Teacher, which of the laws is the most important of all those laws?'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “‘Listen, teacher, concerning the words written in the law of God, which word does God consider more important that people do?'” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)


The Greek that is translated in English as “Law” or “law” is translated in Mairasi as oro nasinggiei or “prohibited things.” (Source: Enggavoter 2004)

In Yucateco the phrase that is used for “law” is “ordered-word” (for “commandment,” it is “spoken-word”) (source: Nida 1947, p. 198) and in Central Tarahumara it is “writing-command.” (wsource: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)