[b-hebrew] Genesis 3:15 "bruise"

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Dec 24 01:37:15 EST 2004


The example below of Chinese does not show how I translated, first making a literal translation then paraphrasing it to make it understandable (I don't know anyone who translates in this manner), rather I indicated what each Chinese word means, then showed how I would translate it. When I learned Chinese, my teachers claimed that each word is separate, but in practice the Chinese tend to combine words to make third meanings, just like German, e.g. "fire wagon" means train. While translating, I look for the original meaning in the language, then translate directly.

Again, in none of the definitions I found for "paraphrase" was the definition limited to within one language, e.g. English to English.

Also my teachers never considered a paraphrase of an English translation the same as a translation, rather they talked about literal vs. paraphrastic translations and shades between, all derived from the original language(s).

Sorry George, I meant Jim.

Karl W. Rnadolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> On 23/12/2004 18:41, Karl Randolph wrote:
> > Peter:
> >
> > I see your point, I think.
> >
> > For example, if I were to translate a Chinese sentence (used for 
> > neutrality in this discussion) "Fire wagon yesterday day go 
> > across iron road upon" makes no sense to someone who does not 
> > know Chinese, so a good translator then paraphrases the sentence 
> > to "Yesterday the train went down the tracks." This is where 
> > paraphrasing is used as a tool to help with translation. I don't 
> > think you object to "paraphrase" being used in this context.
> >
> >
> Yes, I do. Well, I accept that "Yesterday the train went down the 
> tracks" can be described as a paraphrase of "Fire wagon yesterday 
> day go across iron road upon". But I object to this description of 
> how a good translator works. Maybe a bad translator first prepares 
> a word for word translation and then paraphrases it. But a good 
> translator reads and understands the Chinese sentence and naturally 
> produces at the first attempt a good understandable meaning-based 
> translation like your second version.
> > Further, my teachers taught that the more one paraphrases, the 
> > more likely one is to pass from a legitimate use of paraphrasing 
> > as in the first example, to adding or subtracting from the 
> > meaning as in the second example, therefore paraphrasing should 
> > be done carefully and as sparingly as possible. The way they used 
> > "paraphrase" came to mean untrustworthy to possibly incorrect 
> > translation, a rather specialized use of the term. I was guilty 
> > in using the term in a manner that reflected this meaning, and I 
> > think George meant it in this way as well.
> >
> >
> Yes, your teachers were using the word "paraphrase" in their own 
> idiosyncratic way as a pejorative term for an incorrect 
> translation. And so was Jim, not George.
> I agree that translation should be done carefully and with as 
> little adjustment to the meaning as is necessary. But paraphrasing 
> is not a widespread part of the Bible translation procedure. I 
> suspect that your teachers just don't know how modern meaning-based 
> translations are prepared. They are not prepared by paraphrasing of 
> existing English translations, but direct from the original texts, 
> although not without comparison with earlier translations.
> > Yes, my use of the term was somewhat sloppy, following the 
> > example given above. But does this post clear the question up, or 
> > is there further clarification needed?
> >
> >
> >
> I hope things are clearer now.
> -- Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
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