Jesus was hungover?

IMG_1969b

One of the privileges of a translation consultant is being part of discussions to decide what word in the target language (language being translated into) will best convey the meaning of a Biblical concept. Sometimes the choice is obvious. Many times it requires thoughtful debate and a dose of creativity.

When the Chuwabo translators were drafting the book of John, the word “osisimuwa” came up for discussion. If you ask older speakers, they would say it means “to resurrect” in the same sense you or I understand it–someone who was dead comes back to life. However, among the younger generations this same word has taken a more colloquial meaning. To illustrate, if a person gets so drunk they pass out, the next morning when they wake up they will have “resurrected.”

Clearly this is not what we want to convey about Jesus’ resurrection! We don’t want anyone misunderstanding that Jesus got so drunk he blacked out and didn’t wake up for three days. Or that Jesus claimed to be “the hangover recovery and the life.” Instead, the Chuwabo translators opted for the more literal and less ambiguous phrase “raise from the dead.”

One thought on “Jesus was hungover?

  1. I love translations stories about the meanings of words and how they affect the translation. Thanks, Monica. Jean

    *From:* A Kernel of Wheat [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] *Sent:* Monday, January 18, 2016 10:24 AM *To:* jean_bell@wycliffe.org *Subject:* [New post] Jesus was hungover?

    Monica Moss posted: “One of the privileges of a translation consultant is being part of discussions to decide what word in the target language (language being translated into) will best convey the meaning of a Biblical concept. Sometimes the choice is obvious. Many times it r”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s