[b-hebrew] Daniel 6:27 (time indefinite)
kgraham0938 at comcast.net
kgraham0938 at comcast.net
Sat Nov 12 18:34:44 EST 2005
Dr.Furuli:> Dear Kelton,
> We all have different "horizons of understanding," which consciously and
> unconsciously influence our decisions and even our logic. We also have
> different backgrounds in linguistics, translation theory, and theology. This
> will influence each one of us as well.
Response: Hey Dr. Furuli, thanks for writting me back. I agree our different backgrounds and theology and even our presuppositions do influence our translations as well.
Dr:Furuli:> When I teach my students how to translate words (I mean "words," because
> that is all that is on the page) from one language to another, I often use
> Ogden`s triangle of signification, with "sign," "concept," and "reference"
> at the three corners. It is of utmost importance to differentiate between
> "concept" (=meaning in the minds of persons with the same presupposition
> pool) and the "reference" (=the thing in the world denoted by the word).
Response: Let me see if I am following you, the sign is the actual word itself 'OLAM, the concept is what existed in the mind of the Hebrew writters, the reference in basically what we define in the dictionary or what we use today in English to convey that idea?
Dr: Furuli:> When you say, "Halot has the meaning," this may be a confusion between
> "concept" (=meaning) and "reference"(=what is denoted). Such a confusion is
> common in lexicons and word books, and one reason is that Hebrew-English
> lexicons do not give the "meaning" of Hebrew words, they only give English
> glosses (i.e., the most common ways to translate particular Hebrew words
> into English). Word meanings exist in the minds of living people and not in
Response: Well the obvious problem however is that those people are dead (not trying to be funny here), so it seems best to try to understand concept based off of reference and context of the passage individually.
Dr.Furuli:> No one today has the same presupposition pool as the Hebrews in ancient
> days, and concepts can seldom be defined, they must be known. So the lexical
> semantics of classical Hebrew
> is based on induction, and includes all the weaknesses and uncertaintees of
> this method. I think that the core of the cencept behind the root (LM is
> something that is hidden (my thinking is also based upon induction). Applied
> to the nominal sphere with the form (WLM, I think the core meaning is
> "hidden time" with an indifference regarding the length or nature of the
> hidden time. In other words, the concept "long" is not a part of the
> *meaning* of (WLAM. Nonetheless, in most cases the reference of (WLM is a
> "long time", even "eternity". But beware of confusing "meaning" with
Response: Ok, but how did you come up with this core meaning of "hidden time?" Did you base it off of context or did you do something special. Not arguing that you are wrong or right I just don't follow your train of thought here.
I understand (well I think I do) your distinction between meaning and reference, but how did you conclude that the meaning of 'OLAM is "hidden time?"
For instance when it says God of OLAM, do you think it means that God is the God of unknown time? Or God of eternalty?
Dr.Furuli:> One problem facing those who make a literal translation is that classical > Hebrew concepts do not exactly match modern English ones. Therefore, when
> one English word is sought for each Hebrew word (a consistent application of
> this is possible in less than 10% of all cases), there may be connotations
> connected with the English words that were absent in Hebrew, and the ranges
> of meaning may be somewhat different as well. Translators of idiomatic
> translations use many different words and expressions for each Hebrew word,
> and the problem is that so much interpretative material is forced upon the
> readers (and often the translators make wrong decisions). Translators of
> literal translations try to use one English word per Hebrew word, and
> therefore they force upon the readers English connotations and nuances that
> are connected with the English words but were absent from Hebrew. However,
> this target group is better off than those using idiomatic translations,
> because they can look up the contexts of one particular English word in the
> Bible and
> learn something about its meaning and references. This is the very reason
> for the existence of literal translations. So it is good to use both
> idiomatic and literal translations in one´s study, since they may complement
> each other.
Response: Well, I would agree that it is good if you cannot translate it yourself to use both a literal and an idiomatic translation in your study. And I understand your argument about translating.
Dr.Furuli:> As for (WLM, I see two possible choices in English that can convey the core
> of the concept, namely "concealed time" and "time indefinite". On the basis
> of my arguments above I would
> prefer the latter. To disagree with this choice is your privilege, but it is
> unfair to criticize literal translations on the basis of the methods and
> goals of idiomatic translations (i.e., smooth renderings where the meaning
> of the source language is rendered with good idiomatic expressions in the
> target language). And conversely, it is unfair to criticise idiomatic
> translations on the basis of the methods and goals of literal translations
> (i.e. to use one word in the target language for one word in the source
> language as far as possible, and to be closer to the style of the SL than
> the style on the TL).
Response: Actually, I was not trying to criticize anyone, unless you were just speaking in a general sense referring to anyone trying to criticize. My point was that indefinite usually means "undefined, unclear etc." And as far as I know that does not fit with what I know about OLAM.
Dr.Furuli:> NWT has the following rendering in Deuteronomy 15:17, "and he must become your slave to time indefinite". If you will construe this as, "and he will
> be your servant for an unclear amount of time," I would suggest a synonym
> for "unclear". Given the purpose behind the literal translation and its use
> by the target group, the words should be taken in the sense, "and he will
> be your servant for an undisclosed amount of time". The reference of (WLM
> in the case of the freed slave could be one hour, one day, or forty years,
Response: Yeah, but wasn't the point of the bond servant getting his/her ear pierced to denote "lifelong" loyalty to his creditor? Because in the previous verse it is discussing the slave desiring to stay in the household.
> Best regards,
> Rolf Furuli
> University of Oslo
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