Choosing the Right Words for Translation | Wycliffe Bible Translators

Choosing the Right Words for Translation

  • April 21, 2020
Mack wondering about something, with question marks over his head

When the Bible is translated, it’s important for translators to choose the right words. For example, in English we use the word “love” to describe a lot of things. You can say, “I love pizza!” or “I love you!” and they mean two different things even though both use the same word, “love,” to describe feelings about something or a person.

We also think of the heart as the place where we feel love or emotion. In a lot of ways, we think of the heart as the center of our being. But did you know that the Awa people of Papua New Guinea think of the liver as their center? Or that the Rawa people, also from Papua New Guinea, think of the stomach as their center?

That’s why it’s so important to choose the right words when translating the Bible!

In this activity, learn how the Tzeltal language of Mexico has 26 different ways to say “to carry.” Then see if you and your family can figure out which of the Tzeltal words to use when translating two Bible verses!

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