tax collector

The Greek that is translated as “tax collector” in English is translated in Tagbanwa as “money-grabbing official receivers of payment” (source: Tagbanwa Back Translation) and in Nyongar as mammarapa boya-barranginy or “people taking money” (source: Tagbanwa Back Translation).

sinner

The Greek that is translated as “sinner” in English is translated as “people with bad hearts” (“it is not enough to call them ‘people who do bad things,’ for though actions do reflect the heart, yet it is the hearts with which God is primarily concerned — see Matt. 15:19”) in Western Kanjobal, “people who are doing wrong things in their hearts” in San Blas Kuna (source: Nida 1952, p. 148), “people with bad stomachs” in Q’anjob’al (source: Newberry and Kittie Cox in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 91ff.), or “people with dirty hearts” (Mairasi) (Enggavoter 2004).

In Central Mazahua and Teutila Cuicatec it is translated as “(person who) owes sin.” (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

complete verse (Matthew 9:11)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 9:11:

  • Uma: “There were some Parisi people who saw that. Those Parisi people said to the disciples of Yesus: ‘Why does your teacher eat together with tax collectors and sinners!'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “There were Pariseo there. When they saw this they said to the disciples of Isa, ‘Why does your teacher eat together with (lit. mix in eating with) the tax collectors and the other sinful people?'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “There were some Pharisees who saw these people, and they said to the disciples of Jesus, ‘As for your boss, why does he eat and drink with cheating tax collectors and law breakers?'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “When the Pharisees saw them, they said to Jesus’ disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat-with collectors of taxes and other sinful people?'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “When the Pariseo saw that, they questioned Jesus’ disciples. They said, ‘Why does your teacher eat together with money-grabbing official-receivers of payment and those others who don’t fully obey our (incl.) laws ?'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “The Pharisees saw what Jesus did and questioned his learners, saying: ‘How come your teacher eats together with the tax collectors and with other people who have many sins?’ they said.” (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.