Gen 21.26

Paul Zellmer zellmer at
Sun Jun 6 08:19:00 EDT 1999


If you were looking to do a translation into idiomatic English, then by
all means you would use "until," since this is how English handles these
situations. However, if you are trying to come up with a resource which
is designed to help "minority language" translations stay closer to the
original, I would suggest you keep the exception concept.  Its use here
is understandable, and the target language could have an idiomatic use
that parallels the Hebrew idiom.  The intermediate adjustment to the
English idiom could easily obscure a very natural translation, and even
result in an incorrect one.  For example, in the Ibanag language in
which I work, "I have not heard it except today," after an investigation
by the translator into the significance of the unusual English form, the
translation would result in, "I have not heard it yet, today only,"
which is better expressed in idiomatic English, "I heard it for the
first time today." However, "I have not heard it until today" would
result in "I have not heard it yet including today."

I would suggest you leave idioms unadjusted in the text.  If you feel
you must make clarifications, do those in footnotes.


Matthew Anstey wrote:

> This time I have a simpler question about the use of bilti in Gen 21.26. It
> seems best to fit into the description of "exceptive clause" in W&O 38.6. In
> interlinear format:
> wegam           'anoki          lo'     shama`ti        bilti           hayyom
> and.also        myself          not     I.heard.[it]    except          today
> Is the meaning do you think, "Nor have I heard of it until today". If bilti
> is best rendered as "until" here, then we will probably gloss it as "until"
> and attach a note, but I justed wanted other opinions before doing this.

On June 6:
  1931  "There Ought To Be A Moonlight Saving Time" by Guy Lombardo hits
  2012  Transit of Venus (between Earth & Sun) occurs

Paul and Dee Zellmer, Jimmy Guingab, Geoffrey Beltran
Ibanag Translation Project
Cabagan, Isabela, Rep. of Philippines

zellmer at

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