the Hebrew and Greek that is translated with “sword” in English is translated in Tepeuxila Cuicatec as “machete that is sharp on two sides,” in Lalana Chinantec as “machete” and in San Mateo del Mar Huave as “knife.” (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
Good News Translation begins a new paragraph here since it marks each change of speaker with a separate paragraph. The decision on how to handle such dialogues in narrative texts has probably already been made. The agreed formatting procedure should also be observed here.
And Balaam said to the ass: The generic verb said may be rendered “answered” (Good News Translation, Contemporary English Version) since Balaam responds to the donkey’s question.
Because you have made sport of me may be translated “Because you have made a fool of me!” (New Revised Standard Version, Good News Translation; similarly New International Version), “You have made a mockery of me!” (New Jewish Publication Society’s Tanakh), or “You have made me look like a fool!” (New Living Translation).
I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you: Ironically, Balaam did not realize that the donkey was actually avoiding the angel’s threatening sword (verse 23; so Sherwood, page 177). There is probably a particular way in which such strong wishes are expressed in the target language. Contemporary English Version says “If I had a sword, I’d kill you here and now!” and New International Readers Version has “I wish I had a sword in my hand. If I did, I’d kill you right now.”
Quoted with permission from de Regt, Lénart J. and Wendland, Ernst R. A Handbook on Numbers. (UBS Helps for Translators). Miami: UBS, 2016. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .