[B-Greek] re my wooden interlinear translations

George F Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Fri Nov 4 16:39:40 EST 2005

On Fri, 04 Nov 2005 15:11:05 -0600 "Dan Gleason" <dan-bgreek at hotmail.com>
> re my wooden interlinear translations
> Dr Conrad wrote: Dan, you've made perfectly clear that you intend to 
> persist 
> with  this  "interlinear" mode of transliteration despite the fact 
> that  
> several  respondents have called attention to its inaccurate  
> representation 
> of  the sense of the Greek. So here "immerse" for  "BAPTIZW" has 
> been  
> faulted by several respondents as inaccurate  certainy for the 
> second  verb 
> form here (BAPTISEI), and while you  might think "a Holy Spirit"  
> accurately 
> represents the Greek text  PNEUMATI hAGIWi, what you're  deriving 
> from the 
> Greek is pidgin- English rather than an equivalent  of what the 
> Greek text 
> says.  What's wrong with this "interlinear"  style of "translation" 
> is  that 
> it's based on an assumption that the  "forest" of a sequence  of 
> discourse 
> is no less and no more than but  exactly equal to the  sum of the 
> "trees" of 
> words inside that  sequence. I think that's  been stated in 
> different ways 
> in several of  the responses to your  idiosyncratic renderings of 
> Marcan 
> texts, but I  felt it was worth  reiterating "yet once more again," 
> despite 
> the fact  that you've  made it obvious that you intend to go on 
> doing it 
> this way.
> DG: Dr Conrad and others have criticized the way I translate many 
> times. As 
> you can deduce, there is a night and day difference between the 
> grammar in 
> my posts verses the grammar in my translations. I am very cognizant 
> of the 
> fact that my translations sound like pidgin English and that the 
> grammar is 
> tortured. I know my translations sound idiosyncratic. And I know it 
> rubs 
> many of you the wrong way - it's not a proper translation - it's 
> frustrating 
> to read - I should know better - and all that.  I thought that the 
> comment 
> of the "forest of trees being equal to the sum of the trees" was a 
> very 
> accurate description of my translations. I just want you all to know 
> that is 
> the way I read the Greek text.  I read it in painfully literal way - 
> and I 
> do it on purpose - for a purpose. And the reason is not to get 
> people mad at 
> me. And the reason is not to make fun of the text. And (kai) the 
> reason is 
> not to insult your intelligence. I do it to emulate Marks style, 
> which 
> appears on the surface, at times, to be grotesque. I do it because I 
> am 
> writing a book on Mark - that views the imagery of the text as a 
> form of 
> stagecraft one would see in a Greek play. The scenes are simple and 
> so are 
> the props. You have characters and choruses. The descriptions are 
> minimal. 
> The dialogue is easy to remember. My commentaries on the text are 
> going to 
> be from a metaphorical viewpoint in the style of Friedrich Weinreb 
> who wrote 
> Roots of the Bible. The grotesque grammar is not to be corrected. 
> The 
> translation is to be as wooden as I can render it. That's where the 
> "carpentry" begins. That's what joining this list is all about. I 
> don't want 
> any mistakes in my translation. I want my translations to look like 
> raw 
> lumber - and out of that lumber I will build the commentary on the 
> "play." 
> It's all about visual stagecraft puns.
> So, in closing, I just want to let you all know I am not mad or 
> upset. I'm 
> not interested in defending my translations, my take on the text, my 
> incorrect grammar, winning anyone over to my point of view, or 
> anything like 
> that. I just want to ask some simple questions about how to 
> literally 
> translate the text. I thought that doing it through the buffer of a 
> standard 
> English bible translation might be the best policy to keep everyone 
> happy.
> Dan Gleason

I don't mean to attack or encourage you in your project, but did you ever
consider that a better way might be to do a real translation in which you
do not ** mimic ** Mark's Greek style but to attempt to find an **
equivalent ** style in English which would convey a sense of what you
believe you find in Mark?


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