[b-hebrew] (RWT in meaning?

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Sun Jun 1 12:28:43 EDT 2008


It's commonly accepted among Hebrew grammarians that the waw-prefix actually is the 
conjunction.  I don't agree, but I'm in the minority.

On 1 Jun 2008 at 9:30, Yaakov Stein wrote:

> Karl,
> 
> You once asked me if I have read Tanach in English translation,
> to which I answered that I have tried, but couldn't endure the
> experience.
> 
> I think that this too is related to the issue of reading with or without
> the vocalization according to the Masorah.
> 
> The single most annoying thing I found in the translations 
> is the appearance of a large number of extraneous "and"s.
> 
> "And it came to pass"
> "And God said"
> etc. etc.
> 
> I think that at least part of the problem is that the translator
> did not use vocalized text, and misinterpreted the vav prefix
> of the long past and future tenses (vav hahipuch), with the vav of
> conjunction.
> 
> Of course, if one were to use vocalized text, one would observe
> that the vav meaning "and" is VE 
> (unless before BUMP or shva when it changes to U
> or before Y when it changes to VEE)
> while the vav prefix of the long past tense is VA.
> 
> So WAYHY is "it came to pass" while WIHY is "and it will happen".
> 
> I undertand that this ridiculous overuse of the conjunction
> is considered by English bible readers to be "biblical style"
> and they learn to disregard the "and"s.
> 
> And to me this doesn't sound like the tanach at all.
> And I think it would be a nice for someone to make a translation without
> all the extraneous ands.
> And that would be good.

Dave Washburn
"I'll hold the nail.  And when I nod my head, you hit it with the hammer."



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