[b-hebrew] The most difficult

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Jul 22 13:37:44 EDT 2010


The first step in translating is understanding the text.

Most difficult book to read? Off the top of my head, it probably is
Lamentations. Except for a couple of verses, Proverbs is pretty easy. Job is
sort of middling difficult, but if one starts at the beginning of chapters,
most of the book follows the flow. Like you said, the history books are
easy, except for the first ten chapters of Chronicles—that long list of
names gets deadly. Ezekiel’s main difficulty lies not so much in the
language he uses, but in the concepts he struggles to describe. Some Psalms
are difficult, some easy, but for the most part are easy to middling

All in all, I would say that that you are right that poetry is more
difficult to read than prose, and that the simplest prose is found in the
history books.

Like I said before, I haven’t made a list of verses that I think are
difficult to read, so I can’t give a list of individual verses.

Of course I am reading without points, I may sing a different tune if I had
to justify some of the points that I presently conclude are wrong.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 10:09 PM, Pere Porta <pporta7 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you, Karl.
> I think of a general difficulty.
> And so to my sense it is more easy to translate the book of Ruth than to
> translate some Psalms.
> Maybe we could say that narrative texts are more easily translated than, so
> to say, philosophic texts.
> Gn 37, which tells us Joseph's selling (by his brothers) to men who went to
> Egypt .... is more easy to translate than some fragments of Qohelet...
> Some chapters of Exodus are more easily translated than, say, several
> verses in the Proverbs... which are rather of philosophic nature...
> And so on.
> Then, maybe some chapters in Ezekiel would be between the most difficult to
> translate?  Or perhaps some pieces of Lamentations?
> Pere Porta
> (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)

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