For the term that is translated as “fall down” or “kneel down” in English, Fuyug uses an idiomatic expression that says “kneel at my roots” (as of a tree).
See also knee / kneel.
The Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek terms that are often translated as “worship” (also, “kneel down” or “bow down”) are likewise translated in other languages in certain categories, including those based on physical activity, those which incorporate some element of “speaking” or “declaring,” and those which specify some type of mental activity.
Following is a list of (back-) translations (click or tap for details):
- Javanese: “prostrate oneself before”
- Malay: “kneel and bow the head”
- Kaqchikel: “kneel before”
- Loma (Liberia): “drop oneself beneath God’s foot”
- Tepeuxila Cuicatec: “wag the tail before God” (using a verb which with an animal subject means “to wag the tail,” but with a human subject)
- Tzotzil: “join to”
- Kpelle: “raise up a blessing to God”
- Kekchí: “praise as your God”
- Cashibo-Cacataibo: “say one is important”
- San Blas Kuna: “think of God with the heart”
- Rincón Zapotec: “have one’s heart go out to God”
- Tabasco Chontal: “holy-remember” (source of this and all above: Bratcher / Nida)
- Q’anjob’al: “humble oneself before” (source: Newberry and Kittie Cox in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 91ff.)
- Alur: rwo: “complete submission, adoration, consecration” (source: F. G. Lasse in The Bible Translator 1956, p. 22ff.)
- Obolo: itọtọbọ ebum: “express reverence and devotion” (source: Enene Enene)
- Ngäbere: “cut oneself down before” (“This figure of speech comes from the picture of towering mahoganies in the forest which, under the woodman’s ax, quiver, waver, and then in solemn, thunderous crashing bury their lofty heads in the upstretched arms of the surrounding forest. This is the experience of every true worshiper who sees ‘the Lord, high and lifted up.’ Our own unworthiness brings us low. As the Valientes say, ‘we cut ourselves down before’ His presence. Our heads, which have been carried high in self-confidence, sink lower and lower in worship.)
- Tzeltal: “end oneself before God.” (“Only by coming to the end of oneself can one truly worship. The animist worships his deities in the hope of receiving corresponding benefits, and some pagans in Christendom think that church attendance is a guarantee of success in this life and good luck in the future. But God has never set a price on worship except the price that we must pay, namely, ‘coming to the end of ourselves.'”) (Source of this and the one above: Nida 1952, p. 163)
- Folopa: “die under God” (“an idiom that roughly back-translates “dying under God” which means lifting up his name and praising him and to acknowledge by everything one does and thanks that God is superior.”) (Source: Anderson / Moore, p. 202)
- Chokwe: kuivayila — “rub something on” (“When anyone goes into the presence of a king or other superior, according to native law and custom the inferior gets down on the ground, takes a little earth in the fingers of his right hand, rubs it on his own body, and then claps his hands in homage and the greeting of friendship. It is a token of veneration, of homage, of extreme gratitude for some favor received. It is also a recognition of kingship, lordship, and a prostrating of oneself in its presence. Yet it simply is the applicative form of ‘to rub something on oneself’, this form of the verb giving the value of ‘because of.’ Thus in God’s presence as king and Lord we metaphorically rub dirt on ourselves, thus acknowledging Him for what He really is and what He has done for us.”) (Source: D. B. Long in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 87ff.)
In Luang it is translated with different shades of meaning:
- For Mark 15:19 and Matt. 2:8 and 2:11: “uh’idma-rrama llia’ara” — “to kiss the fingernail and lick the heel”
- For Acts 16:14: ra’uli-rawedi — “to praise-talk about”
- For Acts 14:15, 15:20, 17:16, 17:25: hoi-tani — “serve right hand – serve left”
- For Acts 13:16 and 13:26: una-umta’ata — “respect-fear”
- For 2 Thess. 2:4: kola tieru awur nehla — “hold waist – hug neck”
Source: Kathy Taber in Notes on Translation 1/1999, p. 9-16.
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, Satan, demons or demon-possessed men address Jesus with the formal pronoun, signalling submission. Jesus on the other hand, responds with an informal pronoun which signals his more powerful position.
Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 4:9:
- Uma: “He said to Yesus: ‘All that I will give to you (sing.), if you (sing.) bow down to worship me.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “The leader of demons said to Isa, ‘All this will I give to you if/when you prostrate and worship me.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Satan said to him, ‘All you can see is yours, because I will give it to you if you will kneel to me and worship me.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “The Diablo said, ‘I will give all these to you (sing.) if you (sing.) will kneel to worship me.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “Satanas said next, ‘I really will give all this to you, provided you bow down and worship me.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
- Tenango Otomi: “He said to him: ‘Concerning all that you are looking upon, all I will give you if you bow down to worship me’ he said.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)