[b-hebrew] Translation theory and NP$

James Read J.Read-2 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Mon Jul 13 11:10:29 EDT 2009

Hi Rolf,

actually, on thinking more about his, I think that 'creature' probably  
works the best in most cases.

James Christian

Quoting James Read <J.Read-2 at sms.ed.ac.uk>:

> Hi Rolf,
> I can see what you are saying in principle. But I think that 'soul' is
> perhaps the poorest choice of word possible if the aim is to guide a
> reader to understanding of NP$ via consistent translation. The
> majority of texts seem to place the semantic domain of NP$ as synonym
> of life but with occasional more abstract shades (and occasional more
> concrete shades). A good choice of word, in English, doesn't spring to
> mind but whatever it is it should be a close synonym of 'life'.
> English 'soul' doesn't really qualify as it carries with it all kinds
> of semantic baggage that 'life' doesn't.
> In fact, the more I think about it I don't really think it is possible
> to choose 1 word in English which is a synonym of life and which works
> in all contexts of NP$. But, I agree, that we could definitely do
> better than using 30 different words of completely different meaning.
> James Christian
>> Second, I would like to have a translation like Youngs literal
>> translation  and the New World Translation that are very literal
>> (together with Wuest's Expanded translation). A strictly literal
>> translation is in a way a semi-translation. For example, when the NWT
>> consistently uses the one English word "soul" as a translation of
>> NP$, the readers must on the basis of the context find the references
>> of "soul". Therefore, the readers have a part in the very process of
>> translation.The advantage of a literal translation is that the
>> readers may come as close as possible to the original text through
>> their mother tongue.  But this can of course be a real challenge. One
>> other advantage of such a translation, is that the readers can see
>> where other modern translations for different reasons have broken
>> fundamental translation rules and in effect has lead their readers
>> astray.
>> Third, I would like to have an idiomatic translation that is as
>> literal as possible, but not is a semi-translation. This means that
>> more than one word is used for NP$, but much fewer than the 30 or
>> more words that are used in modern translations, Footnotes with
>> alternative readings and alternative translation possibilities would
>> also be appreciated. When a person who does not know the original
>> languages works to get an understanding of Biblical passages, he or
>> she will learn a lot by comparing different translations. It is
>> impossible to transfer the whole original meaning of the verbs and
>> clauses from the source language to the target language-a part, great
>> or small, is lost in the process, and a part, great or small, is
>> added. Different translations may stress different sides of the
>> original meaning, and therefore it is an advantage to use several
>> translations.
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