Friday, October 2, 2009

ben Sirach on Translation

"You are urged therefore to read with good will and attention, and to be indulgent in cases where, despite our diligent labor in translating, we may seem to have rendered some phrases imperfectly. For what was originally expressed in Hebrew does not have exactly the same sense when translated into another language. Not only this work, but even the law itself, the prophecies, and the rest of the books differ not a little as originally expressed."

-Sirach Preface

This could well be the plea of all Greek and Hebrew students for mercy from their profs as they grade translations on tests.

2 comments:

  1. LOL!

    Had I not had the "key" of the Scriptures to refer back to, my translations would be something between Elvish, Klingon, and gnostic gibberish. Have mercy!

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  2. Hopefully closer to Elvish - Klingon is just not a real language. (Yes, Elvish is.)

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