[b-hebrew] Footnotes, was: The translation of ehyeh

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sun Aug 7 18:05:36 EDT 2005

On 07/08/2005 17:40, Vadim Cherny wrote:

>>It is much better to put the
>>explantory reading in the text, and if necessary add a footnote giving a
>>more literal rendering.
>A dangerous path, indeed. Honestly, it should be called exegesis, not
>translation. Why keep literal rendering from the readers? At the minimum, an
>honest translator must state his preference at the beginning--something
>which I have yet to see--as to the method. ...

Most translators, at least of modern English versions, explain their 
translation principles in a preface to their translations.

I am not suggesting keeping the literal rendering from the readers, but 
putting in a footnote where it can be consulted by anyone who is interested.

>... Does he choose statistically most
>common translation? Or, perhaps, a translation justified by the context? Or,
>by the historical perspective? Or, by his exegesis needs? ...

Not his or her personal needs of course, but his or her exegesis of the 
text, with a view to the context, the historical perspective etc. It is 
impossible to translate without doing this kind of exegesis.

>... How improbable
>translation he could adopt? Say, if the translation chosen is attested for
>only 10% of the word' entries, does that warrant a footnote of caution? I
>always found it a bit odd: manuals for electric kettles contain all kinds of
>superfluous precautions, but a manual for supposedly the salvation
>translated very vaguely.

I have nothing against precautions. But if the text is all precautions 
and no clear instructions, how will you know even how to switch on the 

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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