[B-Greek] Jn 2.4 and translation practices
Elliot.Poe at gmail.com
Wed Nov 22 11:53:28 EST 2006
I agree that the translation of GUNH needs some work. GUNAI is
particularly troublesome. "Woman" is too brusque or impertinent an
address to translate "GUNAI." "Ma'am" and "lady" (as in "my lady")
might suggest a refined woman, and "miss" might suggest a young woman.
"Lady," like "Woman," can also be too impudent.
Perhaps the best strategy for approximating the word in English would be
to translate GUNAI more specifically than the Greek states it. In John
2:4, for instance, perhaps "Mother" would be the best translation (as it
might be in John 19:26). Elsewhere, "girl" might be appropriate (Luke
22:57). "Wife" might be a good translation of GUNAI in 1 Corinthians
7:16. A good translation for generic women (i.e. women not specifically
connected to the person making the address) eludes me. Insofar as they
are young women, "miss" might be the best we can do in (American)
English. I am not sure what to do for an older woman, but sometimes
"mother" can be applied to the aged (an obsolete usage), even if the
woman has no children.
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