joy

The Greek and Hebrew that is translated with “joy” or “gladness” in English is translated with various associations of “sweetness” or taste: Bambara has “the spirit is made sweet,” Kpelle translates as “sweet heart,” and Tzeltal as “the good taste of one’s heart,” Uduk uses the phrase “good to the stomach,” Baoulé “a song in the stomach,” Mískito “the liver is wide open” (“happily letting the pleasures flooding in upon it”) (source: Nida 1952), Mairasi says “good liver” (source: Enggavoter 2004), Nyongar has koort-kwabba-djil or “heart very good” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang), and Chicahuaxtla Triqui “refreshed heart” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.).

See also Seat of the Mind for traditional views of “ways of knowing, thinking, and feeling” and exceeding joy.

complete verse (Matthew 28:8)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 28:8:

  • Uma: “The women quickly left the grave. They were afraid, but they were also happy. Off they ran because they wanted to announce what had happened there to Yesus’ disciples.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Therefore they left quickly from the grave. They were afraid but they were also very glad. They ran to tell his disciples.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then the women quickly left the cave. They were afraid, but their breaths were filled with joy. They ran because they will tell it to the other disciples.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Therefore they then hurried to leave there afraid but at-the-same-time also very-happy, and they ran to go tell his disciples.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “When the Marias heard, they then went. Fear and happiness were mixed in their minds/inner-beings. They went running to the disciples to relate it to them.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “The woman at once left. They were half rejoicing, half afraid, but they ran to tell the learners what had happened.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

disciple

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.