You shall not murder / kill

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “You shall not kill/murder” or similar in English is translated in Una as Ninyi ona mem: “Don’t kill people” because in Una an object needed to be added. (Source: Kroneman 2004, p. 407)

complete verse (Matthew 5:21)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 5:21:

  • Uma: “‘You know the command that was said to our (incl.) ancestors long ago that says: ‘Don’t kill, and whoever kills must have his case sat/heard and be punished.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “‘You have heard about the teaching of the people of old saying, ‘Do not kill. Whoever kills shall be judged.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “You know that which was taught long ago to our ancestors which forbad murdering, because one who murders will be sentenced to punishment.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Jesus continued saying, ‘You have heard what was commanded to our ancestors in the distant-past, that they not kill, and if they kill a life (idiom for murder), they will be judged and sentenced to be punished.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Jesus said next, ‘You have heard what was commanded the people of long ago, ‘Do not kill, for whoever takes (lit. severs) the life of his fellow man, he will have to answer for it to the judge.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “You have heard the word taught to the old-time people long ago, that they were told: ‘Do not murder. Concerning the people who murder, they must be judged and punished,’ they were told.” (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.