[B-Greek] Shine: Can this song be translated into Greek?

Mark Lightman lightmanmark at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 29 21:46:08 EDT 2010


Hi, Louis,

Louis egrapse:

<So my focus has changed from deconstructing the Greek language, to
understanding what I read.
 Read, read, read. But how do you internalize
a dead language?....Write, write, write.
 (Has anyone mentioned schole.ning.com(http://schole.ning.com)?>

When you use Koine as a real language, even if just a little and even if not very well, your focus changes.
It does not mean other people cannot focus on other things.

<I am right along with those who wish to deconstruct any given foreign
language into an understandable,
disseminable, parsible format
(analysis, analysis, analysis - yes, that is what is needed).
But those
who go down this road really need to ask themselves if the end
justifies the means.>

I've asked myself this question, and I have concluded that nothing can ever justify classifying
a Greek word as  pre or post-nuclear.   But others will find different answers.

<Would those on the list have preferred Polycarp, John Chrysostom,
Eusebius, Ireneus
 and all the other NT fathers to use their (modern
20th century linguistic)  terminology
 when discussing the NT texts? I
guess those writers did "not have the tools" to properly
 discuss the
texts which they understood better than all of us. If only they
understood Greek Verbal Aspect....>

I for one would not, no.  I have come to prefer ambiguity over destroying (ANALUEIN) a Greek sentence in order to save it.
Kevin Riley recently said that God chose not to reveal Himself in a Metalanguage because ambiguity is good for
us.  I suppose if Ignatius wrote in a Metalanguage, I would understand him better.  But I am not sure if I would have
any reason to read him in the first place. 

<Randall Buth's and Christophe Rico's works have helped my greatly. When
has anyone but them said,
 "Listen to the NT being read". "Hear what
they are saying". When you go to sleep, do you hear their GREEK words
in your head?">

Check out #7f of Buth's Reasons to Listen to Greek:


<7f. Listening also helps a student distinguish language skills that are
natural from skills that are artificial, analytical and secondary.
There is no time in real language communication to do many of the
things that students are asked to do with a language ("What kind of
genitive was that?"). This does not mean that a student should not
learn how to analyze a language, but that analytical skills are
another kind of skill from language fluency. Both are good, but they
shouldn't be confused.>

Sounds like an Ad Nauseam to me.
I actually HAVE fallen asleep listening to Greek.  I have these Athenaze sound
files that I found on this site

http://spiphanies.blogspot.com/2009/03/audio-resources-for-ancient-greek.html

and sometimes when I am too tired to read any more Greek I will listen to them and fall asleep.
For me, internalization takes place right at the point where consciousness ceases, which I think is
another way of saying what I'm saying that Buth is saying that you are saying.

<Over the last year I have been translating about 40-50 modern praise
hymns/songs into Greek.
 (I've also been teaching some High school
students biblical Greek using a spoken teaching methodology).
 I've also
translated a number of classic rock songs (the 60's-70's songs had
melody, harmony, prosody
 story, rhythm; most modern songs lack this).
Translating these songs has really helped me learn and
 understand
Greek. (You can find many, not all, of them at http://www.letsreadgreek.com/songs/.)>

I've listened to every one of your songs.  Many of them are on my MP-3 Player and I have taught some
to my kids.  TON KOSMON hOLON ECEI EN CERSIN AUTOU. I know that writing this helped you internalize
and see Koine differently, but listening to it being sung by my son has helped me just as much.
A thing cannot be sung and be dead at the same time. 
 
Do you know the sum total of my French?  "Voulez-vous couchez avec moi, ce soir."
I know that because this song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuyRW31u4Zs

was on the radio all the time when I was a kid.  We would ask our parents what it
meant.  They would smile and they would not tell us, but we figured it out.  
These words may not even be real French.  Maybe the accent is wrong, and I seem
to recall reading years later that there is something wrong with the grammar.
 But I know what these words mean. I know  EXACTLY what they mean, which is to say
that I don't know exactly what they mean, and that is just fine.
They are in my soul, these words.   I want Greek to be like that.
Your songs help. Your UNO game in Greek helps.  You-Tube Koine videos help.
Analysis does not seem to help much anymore, but different people are helped by
different things. 

<What is the framework of this Song?>

That's it, isn't it?  MHNIN AEIDE QEA. I don't think Homer COULD have used a 
Metalanguage because he loved Achilles and Hector too much.  You are in love with 
Greek, Louis.  It shows all over your post.  I'm not saying a Linguist cannot
also be in love with what s/he studies.  Different people show love
in different ways.

I wonder if in the final analysis it is not so much your focus that has changed,
but your ATTITUDE.  Raymondo Panikkar talks about this.  He says that for
millennia, it never occurred to anyone to dissect a human body.  Even the dead,
especially the dead, were considered sacred in some sense, and no knowledge that could be
gained from cutting up a body would be worth it. The ends do NOT, as you
put it, justify the means.   This is really the point
behind the Iliad.  Achilles changes from being an Analyzer who wants to dissect
Hector's corpse to a lover of his enemy's father.  You have come to
see Paul as a song, a FILOS, not somebody to strap to the back of
a chariot or bury in a Lexicon.  You cannot do to
him what the Linguist does to dead words on a page.  You love,
as Othello said about himself, "not wisely, but too well."

It's good that we have Linguists that are dispassionate enough
so that they can dissect Greek the way one dissects a frog.
We should all be made of sterner stuff.  I know that my reaction
to this Linguistic Analysis is an over-reaction, and that I should
not take it personally, but I do.  These are not just words that
are being parsed and hacked up and formulated. These are words written by
and about people I love.  When I read these Metalanguages,
I feel that Hectoris again being violated, and I go all Prufrock:

"The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall..."

But that's just a critical reaction.  It does not advance the discussion.

Louis HRWTHSE:

<Can this song be translated into Greek?>

The question is not "Can this song be translated into Greek?"  The
question is whether Greek can be made into a song again.   With guys
like you around, I think it can. 

 Mark L
Φωσφορος


FWSFOROS MARKOS




________________________________
From: Louis Sorenson <llsorenson at hotmail.com>
To: Mark Lightman <lightmanmark at yahoo.com>; Donald Cobb <docobb at orange.fr>; Daniel Streett <danstreett at gmail.com>; B-Greek List mail to all <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Mon, April 26, 2010 9:05:09 PM
Subject: Shine: Can this song be translated into Greek?

 Hello all,
(Pardon my tongue-in-cheek)

I have been quietly reading all the posts about modern linguistics and Greek, translation methodologies, frameworks, modern liguistics, 20th century Bible translation methodologies, κτλ. Twenty-five years ago, it was my desire to go down this road. I did not go down that road, for various reasons. 

I have great respect for those who have spent a lot of time and effort into developing a technical language and methodology for categorizing and classifying structures, discourse frameworks, scenarios, and any other such elements. I think that many of these "elements" or "entities" are creations of linguists and grammatical analysts to turn the language of the New Testament into "machine language". This is not a bad or incorrect methodology or approach, in itself,  to understanding the language of the New Testament. 

It is, however, a methodology, which is counter-intuitive (in many aspects) to a natural understanding of "natural language". I do not seek to insult any person. I am right along with those who wish to deconstruct any given foreign language into an understandable, disseminable, parsible format (analysis, analysis, analysis - yes, that is what is needed). But those who go down this road really need to ask themselves if the end justifies the means. 

Would those on the list have preferred Polycarp, John Chrysostom, Eusebius, Ireneus and all the other NT fathers to use their (modern 20th century linguistic)  terminology when discussing the NT texts? I guess those writers did "not have the tools" to properly discuss the texts which they understood better than all of us. If only they understood Greek Verbal Aspect.... 

So my focus has changed from deconstructing the Greek language, to understanding what I read. Read, read, read. But how do you internalize a dead language?....Write, write, write. (Has anyone mentioned schole.ning.com(http://schole.ning.com)?

Randall Buth's and Christophe Rico's works have helped my greatly. When has anyone but them said, "Listen to the NT being read". "Hear what they are saying". When you go to sleep, do you hear their GREEK words in your head?" 

So thanks Elizabeth, Yancy, and everyone else who has contributed to the many threads the last few weeks. I learn so much from all of you (truly, I appreciate all your insights and contributions). But I see that my greatest need is to understand the Greek I read. I need to read with understanding. 

So how did I improve in reading the last year?  I did improve. I improved by writing, speaking, hearing and reading. Not reading grammars, but reading lexicons, and more so Greek texts. A year ago the Gospel of Luke and Acts was somewhat difficult to pick up and read, I just got through reading through Acts 9.1-12.1with ease. I noticed a difference in my understanding. Can I attribute it to my reading more Greek grammars (Wallace, Blass-deBrunner, Nigil Turner, AT Robertson)? No. I attribute it to reading Greek texts. and even more, writing and composing songs in Greek. I.e. Using active language methods to learn Greek better (in other words, I tried to communicate in Greek).

How did I do this?
Over the last year I have been translating about 40-50 modern praise hymns/songs into Greek. (I've also been teaching some High school students biblical Greek using a spoken teaching methodology). I've also translated a number of classic rock songs (the 60's-70's songs had melody, harmony, prosody, story, rhythm; most modern songs lack this). Translating these songs has really helped me learn and understand Greek. (You can find many, not all, of them at http://www.letsreadgreek.com/songs/.)

So thank you all for your contributions. Keep them up. I'm open to all of your suggestions and ideas. But in the meantime I will read, read, read and write, write, write, and of course, sing, sing, sing.

Oh, and the songs. Well help me out. How would you translate the following song into Koine-Klingon? What is the framework of this Song? What was the author trying to communicate? To whom was he talking? What was his audience? What social class was he in? What nationality was he a member of? What language did he speak? What language did he grow up speaking? In what year was he born? Did he grow up in Alaska? (If I don't know the answers to these questions, I cannot determine what he is really saying).

http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Shine-lyrics-Newsboys/1170E6D94B28380948256DEA002F3217
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cUQe3xs3eY

There are some songs that easily cross the language barrier, and some that really stretch the boundaries. In this song, there is "dictator", origami", "Eskimo", "vegetarian", "barbecue hamster", "bored", "Deadhead", "Schizophrenic", "Oprah", "science", "rational", "bouncer", "bored", "crayons", "shaker", "plate", "ballet",  "Karma", "fire the army", "What's my Line?".  Do you have Greek words for these English words?

This is truly a 21st century song. οιμοι· How can it be done? Do we rely on 21st century modern biblical translation methodologies (Nida)?  But if you listen to this song, the tune sticks in your head. Don't you wish you hear Greek rather than English?

"Dull as Dirt --  You can't assert...."

Louis Sorenson

---------------Song Text follows---------------------

Dull as dirt
you can´t assert the kind of light
that might persuade
a strict dictator to retire
fire the army
teach the poor origami
the truth is in
the proof is when
you hear your heart start asking,
"What´s my motivation?"


and try as you may, there isn´t a way
to explain the kind of change
that would make an Eskimo renounce fur
that would make a vegetarian barbecue hamster
unless you can trace this about-face
to a certain sign...

Chorus
shine
make ´em wonder what you´ve got
make ´em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored
shine
let it shine before all men
let´em see good works, and then
let ´em glorify the Lord

out of the shaker and onto the plate
it isn´t Karma
it sure ain´t fate
that would make a Deadhead sell his van
that would make a schizophrenic turn in his crayons
Oprah freaks
and science seeks a rationale
that shall excuse
this strange behavior

when you let it shine
you will inspire
the kind of entire turnaround
that would make a bouncer take ballet
(even bouncers who aren't happy)
but out of the glare
with nowhere to turn
you ain´t gonna learn it on "What´s My Line?"

shine
make ´em wonder what you´ve got
make ´em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored
shine
let it shine before all men
let´em see good works, and then
let ´em glorify the Lord

shine

shine

shine
make ´em wonder what you´ve got
make ´em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored
shine
let it shine before all men
let´em see good works, and then
let ´em glorify the Lord

shine
make ´em wonder what you´ve got
make ´em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored
shine
let it shine before all men
let´em see good works, and then
let ´em glorify the Lord

shine

Lyrics: Steve Taylor / Music: Peter Furler
© 1994 Ariose Music (a division of Star Song Communications, admin. by Gaither Copyright Management), Warner Alliance Music & Soylent Tunes


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