[b-hebrew] History of the Bible
peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Jan 5 16:54:31 EST 2005
On 05/01/2005 18:01, C. Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
>Lets take a hypothetical contemporary situation where a woman, an SIL
>person, is translating Genesis into one of the Turkic languages. This woman
>uses all the computer based tools that SIL provides for their translators
>plus commercial products like BibleWorks, etc. This woman knows a little
>Hebrew but she is not a specialist in Semitic languages.
>How dependent will she be on ENGLISH versions in her rendering of Genesis
>into the target language?
>Peter knows the answer to this one.
Yes, although none of the translators are actually "an SIL person",
although they are working on a project in which SIL is a partner.
And the answer is: not at all! At least for some of the translators.
That is because they were working from Russian, Turkish and other
existing translations into languages which they know, as well as from
the Hebrew - and one of the team was working from English as well.
But your point is well made: they are dependent on existing translations
into languages they know. So was Wycliffe. So in fact have nearly all
translators of the Hebrew Bible, except for the original Septuagint and
Targum translators. Even people like Ferrar Fenton who claim to have
translated it from the original without reference to any other
translation were in fact surely semi-consciously referring to the
translations which they already knew well from many years of study. And
the same is of course true of Eugene Peterson, translator of The Message
- although I don't thik he claims not to have used existing translations
at all. And surely it is also true of Alter, who must know the Bible in
English rather well.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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