Iver Larsen iver at larsen.dk
Thu Jun 8 06:35:09 EDT 2006

>I am working on a Portuguese New Testament translation and looked for a long
> time for the ideal word for PARAKLHTOS. We have the transliteration
> "paracleto" in Portuguese.  I could use a footnote and explain the term, but
> preferred to use the word "mentor". I seems to covers all possibilities for
> PARAKLHTOS. A mentor encourages, counsels, instructs, guides, defends, etc.

I have been working on a modern, communicative translation into Danish. We have the same problem. It is not easy to find
a good word for PARAKLHTOS.

The traditional Danish translation is "talsmand" which means "spokesman". But in the language of today it is used
narrowly for political spokesmen or a spokesman for a group or workers in relation to the management. So we rejected it.

We ended up with "advisor" which is very similar to mentor. I didn't think about using "mentor", but it may be
possible. The main problem I have is that it implies someone who has been doing a particular job for a long time, has
lots of experience and is now "handing over" to those he mentors. For those reasons, I prefer the more general
"advisor". My daughter has an MA supervisor, but in Danish he is not called a supervisor, but an advisor (vejleder). An
advisor (in Danish at least) is expected to encourage, instruct, guide, counsel and even defend.

I am not sure whether the best word in English or Portuguese is "advisor", but it seems to work fairly well in Danish. 
(We put a footnote giving alternative renderings.) In the case of 1 John 2:1, we are using a word that talks about 
intercession rather than advisor, which is used in the four instances in John's Gospel.

Iver Larsen
Translation consultant

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