[b-hebrew] Psalm 22:16 - daqar as pierced ?
peter at qaya.org
Sun Oct 1 12:47:46 EDT 2006
On 01/10/2006 09:48, K Randolph wrote:
> Languages just don't act like that, unless you are through the looking
> glass talking with Humpty Dumpty.
It's you I'm talking with, but it feels like talking with Humpty Dumpty.
> People who wish to communicate choose words according to their
> commonly understood meanings, or as we say here, according to their
> semantic domains. If he wants to communicate, he does not use words in
> weird, unique senses. A word cannot have multiple meanings and still
Nonsense. There are many words which have multiple meanings and still
communicate. In English, to pick an example at random, "bear". Or if you
want two meanings which are the same part of speech, "lie". If I say "he
is lying", I can tell only from the context which meaning is intended,
but only rarely (and then usually intentionally) is there any ambiguity.
There are many words in biblical Hebrew that work like that. Some may
have become like that because the various senses of a word have become
widely diverse. Others have become like that because, as with "lie", two
originally different words have come to be spoken or spelled the same -
as can be proved by comparison with other languages both ancient and modern.
> Translating is a different matter. It is rare that the semantic domain
> of a word in one language has the exact semantic domain of a
> corresponding word in another language. For example, (WP in Biblical
> Hebrew referred to all flying creatures, not limited to birds.
> Sometimes a translator will use terms that seem unrelated to the terms
> used in the original text in order to get the meaning across in a
> fluid, readable manner while a literal translation may not make sense
> in the target language. But I'm not talking about translation, but
> about finding the meanings of terms in a language.
Thanks for reminding us of this important point.
E-mail: peter at qaya.org
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