Body Part Translation and Nya Huba, part two

1 Corinthians 8:1 in Nya Huba reads, “Knowledge comes with bringing head [i.e., boasting] but love makes a person grow.” Here are some other body part figures that are used in Nya Huba….

1 Corinthians 10:11 in Nya Huba: “These things happened as an illustration for us, and were written so that our ears would be pulled, for us for whom the last time has found us.” This is how they say “so we would be warned”. Many of the languages in this part of Nigeria use the expression of “pulling one’s ears” to express the idea of “warning”.

1 Corinthians 12:2 in Nya Huba uses this figure: “You know in the time when you were not followers, your heads were turned, you entered in worship of idols that were never with life.” That means “you were led astray”. 2 Corinthians 2:11 uses the same expression, shandǝmǝn kǝr “turn our heads”, to mean “deceive us”.

In 1 Corinthians 12:21 the NIV says, “The head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’” In Nya Huba it is “The head cannot say to the leg ‘I don’t need you.’” This illustration isn’t exactly figurative language, but the issue here is that Nya Huba has just one word that covers the leg and the foot.

The last part of 1 Corinthians 13:5 in Nya Huba reads, Nyida do gǝzǝ ndǝ nya ta wa, “Love does not hold someone in the mouth of the stomach,” that is, “Love does not keep a record of wrong.” In 2 Corinthians 4:11, “in the mouth of death” is an idiom in Nya Huba meaning “facing death”.

Nya Huba has just one expression that covers both “angry” and “sad”. They don’t make a distinction in their language. I suppose you could say that the term they use means more generically, “strong emotional reaction”. 2 Corinthians 2:1 says, “In addition to what I was saying, the thing that caused my head to turn from going to you again, I didn’t want to cut the insides of you” i.e., “upset you”, “cause you pain”.

The Greek in 2 Corinthians 6:11 refers to open mouths and enlarged hearts: “Our mouths are open to you Corinthians, our hearts enlarged.” In Nya Huba, this is translated as “You Corinthians, we spoke to you in the open and we love you right from the stomach.” In 2 Corinthians 7:11, the concept of “sincere” is “tight at the stomach” in Nya Huba. 1 Peter 1:8 in the NIV reads, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” In Nya Huba this is expressed as “Above all things, love each other with one stomach, for love covers many sins.”

In Nya Huba, 2 Corinthians 7:6 reads, “But God who puts the heart [comforts] those with heart kill self [who have no hope] put our heart [comforted us] with the coming of Titus.” 2 Corinthians 7:13 in Nya Huba reads, “That is the thing tightening our hearts. Not just tightening our hearts only, with all that we are very happy with the kind of happiness that Titus had for all of you when you cooled his heart.” The expression “tightening our hearts” means “comforting us”, and “cooling his heart” means “reassuring him”.

To say “…as he [Titus] remembers your obedience” in 2 Corinthians 7:15, in Nya Huba they use the expression hya nǝu nyacha “when he remembers how you follow his mouth”—that is, “act according to what he said” or “respect him”. A less positive “mouth” figure is used in 1 Peter 4:15, “Even if you drink suffering, let it not be about killing person, thievery, criminality, or people that are shooting their mouth in the living of other people.” The expression “shooting their mouth” means being a busybody, meddling in other people’s affairs.

Finally, 2 Corinthians ends in chapter 13, verse 14, “[The] blessing of [the] Lord Jesus Christ, and [the] love of God, and [the] joining heads of the Holy Spirit, it remain with you all.” The Nya Huba word daɓǝkǝr is literally “joining heads,” but the translators say it means “fellowship” or “union”.


About David Frank

linguistics and translation consultant
This entry was posted in Bible translation. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Body Part Translation and Nya Huba, part two

  1. Newton Frank says:

    Fun to think about!

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