circumcise, circumcision

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The Hebrew and Greek terms that are translated as “circumcise” or “circumcision” in English (originally meaning of English term: “to cut around”) are (back-) translated in various ways:

  • Chimborazo Highland Quichua: “to cut the flesh”
  • San Miguel El Grande Mixtec, Navajo: “to cut around”
  • Javanese: “to clip-away”
  • Uab Meto: “to pinch and cut” (usually shortened to “to cut”)
  • North Alaskan Inupiatun, Western Highland Purepecha: “to put the mark”
  • Tetelcingo Nahuatl: “to put the mark in the body showing that they belong to God” (or: “that they have a covenant with God”)
  • Indonesian: disunat — “undergo sunat” (sunat is derived from Arabic “sunnah (سنة)” — “(religious) way (of life)”)
  • Ekari: “to cut the end of the member for which one fears shame” (in Gen. 17:10) (but typically: “the cutting custom”) (source for this and above: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
  • Hiri Motu: “cut the skin” (source: Deibler / Taylor 1977, p. 1079)
  • Garifuna: “cut off part of that which covers where one urinates”
  • Bribri: “cut the soft” (source for this and the one above: Ronald Ross)
  • Amele: deweg cagu qoc — “cut the body” (source: John Roberts)
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “cut the flesh of the sons like Moses taught” (source: Ronald D. Olson in Notes on Translation January, 1968, p. 15ff.)
  • Newari: “put the sign in one’s bodies” (Source: Newari Back Translation)
  • Central Mazahua: “sign in his flesh”
  • Hopi: “being cut in a circle in his body” (source for this and above: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

complete verse (Romans 2:26)

Following are a number of back-translations of Romans 2:26:

  • Uma: “As for the non-Jews, they are not circumcised according to the Lord’s Law. But if their behavior is straight like the behavior that is demanded in the Lord’s Law, God will certainly receive them the same as people who are circumcised according to the Lord’s Law.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “The people not Yahudi, even if they are not circumcised but if they follow God’s law, God looks at them as if they had been circumcised.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And the same way also, for example, if there is a person who is not a Jew and he thoroughly obeys the Law, God will accept Him just as if he were already circumcised.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “So also the Gentiles, even though they have not gotten-circumcised, yet if they obey God’s law, God counts them as if they are his people who have-gotten-circumcised.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Concerning the person who isn’t a Jew, if he does what is said in the law which the Jews follow, then he is God’s person. He then becomes as though he were a Jew.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

law

The Greek that is translated in English as “Law” or “law” is translated in Mairasi as oro nasinggiei or “prohibited things.” (Source: Enggavoter 2004)

In Yucateco the phrase that is used for “law” is “ordered-word” (for “commandment,” it is “spoken-word”) (source: Nida 1947, p. 198) and in Central Tarahumara it is “writing-command.” (wsource: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)
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