rock, sand

Fuyug houses are built with poles, which cannot be put into rock, so in this passage the Fuyug translation for the term that is “rock” in English becomes “firm ground” and “sand” becomes “soft ground.”

parable of the wise builder

The parable of the wise builder is translated in Yaosakor Asmat as “the wise builder is like the person who builds a house on stilts made of iron wood which last a long time, while the foolish builder is the one who builds a house on stilts made of white wood which will rot quickly.”

Daud Soesilio (in Noss 2007, p. 175) explains: “In Pirimapun, a swampy area on the southern coast of Indonesian Papua, the parable of the wise builder who builds on stone foundation and the foolish builder who builds on sand was rendered into the Asmat language as ‘the wise builder is like the person who builds a house on stilts made of iron wood which last a long time, while the foolish builder is the one who builds a house on stilts made of white wood which will rot quickly.’ This adaptation is necessary since one cannot find a single stone in this swampy area, and all houses are built on stilts. They use iron wood stilts for their more permanent houses, and they only use white wood stilts for the temporary houses that they use when they go hunting. White wood will not last. It is also interesting to point out that they use sand from the beach to make their walking paths firm.”

complete verse (Matthew 7:24)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 7:24:

  • Uma: “‘Whoever hears my words and follows them, that person is like a smart person who builds his house on top of a strong foundation stone.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “‘So-then, whoever hears those my words and follows/obeys them, he is like a man who is a real expert in thinking who built his house on stone/rock.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Whoever hears all of these my advices and he carries them out, he is like a wise person. For this wise person, he built a house on a large stone.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “‘All who hear and believe/obey what I am saying can be compared to a wise/intelligent person who built his house on a rock.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “‘Therefore whoever listens and obeys these things I am teaching, he is like a wise/thinking person who built his house on ground with rocks in it and put-posts-down-deep. (This is what makes a Tagbanwa house sturdy.)” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Concerning the person who hears all that I speak and does what I say, such a one is to be compared with a man who is wise and builds his house on rock.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Martu Wangka: “If a person hears/obeys my talk and sits obedient to me, he who belongs to Jesus will be like another, like this working-bloke. This knowledgeable working-bloke will build correctly a house on a big flat rock.” (Source: Carl Gross)