Bible Translation Studies Definitions

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I've thought for a long time of doing a thread on the terms used in Bible translation. What are your definitions? You can give a definition from a book, or your own definition, or one you've heard or seen somewhere else.

    Here are some possibilities: literal, paraphrase, dynamic, functional, render, revision, idiom, version. :type:
     
  2. Deacon

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    The difficultly is that many of people that are interested in these terms usually study the topic in books...

    ...but some people that are stilllearning the terms don't seem to read, participate or understand these type of threads.

    Rob
     
  3. John of Japan

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    Aw, come on Rob, give me a couple of definitions. :wavey:
     
  4. John of Japan

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    Interlinear: a literal translation that translates not only word for word, but keeps the word order of the original. It is called interlinear because such a translation is usually printed with the original and the translation lined up together.
     
  5. Logos1560

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    One of the definitions of the English word render is "translate." In terms of the subject Bible translations, the word render is used with that definition "translate." Thus, it means that you take a word or phrase in one language and then render or translate it into a word or phrase in another language that has as close a meaning as possible to its meaning in the original language.
     
  6. John of Japan

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    Thanks, Logos. Good definition.

    I don't think I can do better on a definition for paraphrase than this one:

    “paraphrase: The statement of the contents of a passage, text, etc., in the same or another language, without following the original text verbatim” (Dictionary of Linguistics, by Mario Pei and Frank Gaynor, p. 159).
     
  7. Rippon

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    With that definition, even the NASBU would be classified as a paraphrase.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    On second thought, maybe it is a little too wide of a definition. Please give us your definition.
     
  9. John of Japan

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    Translation studies: the scholarly discipline that researches how translation is done.
     
  10. Rippon

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    From Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 5th edition 1945 (noun)"A restatement of a text,passage,or work,giving the meaning in another form...

    A paraphrase is a free and commonly amplified rendering of the sense of a passage,whether in the same or in a different language."

    (verb)"To express,interpret,or translate with latitude."
     
  11. John of Japan

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    This is an improvement, especially with both noun and verb meanings given. However, for our purposes I do like Pei/Gaynor's point that it might be in either the same or another language.
     
    #11 John of Japan, Jul 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2011
  12. Rippon

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    But part of Webster's meaning which I had quoted said the very same thing.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Sorry, I missed that. Been missing a lot lately--getting ready for furlough and brain-tired.
     
  14. mandym

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    Paraphrase: In layman's terms to translate the perceived idea rather than individual words.
     
  15. John of Japan

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    Excellent, Mandy. This is a good way to show the difference between a word-for-word method and paraphrase.
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Word-for-word: a translation method that seeks to find the closest possible equivalent in the target language for every single word in the original document
     
  17. Deacon

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    Here's one I have a problem with:

    DEFINITION: literal
    ■ adjective
    1. taking words in their usual or most basic sense; not figurative.
    2. (of a translation) representing the exact words of the original text.
    Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

    My church’s statement of belief reads: “The Bible is to be interpreted in a normal literal way…”

    Sounds good doesn’t it?
    But the term “literal” is so slippery and hard to grasp, particularly in the context of translation and interpretation that rather than solve problems, it causes them!
    and its modern use muddies the meaning even more.

    For example: “I literally die every time I hear that joke!”

    If “literal” means simply means “usual”, “simple” or “basic” we lose so many colorful forms of speech and probably the author’s original intent with it.

    Rob
     
  18. Jim1999

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    word-for-word: a translation method that seeks to find the closest possible equivalent in the target language for every single word in the original document.
    --------------------------------------------------

    I think John is correct here. We need to find the exact eqivalent of "meaning", "thought", "intention" of the language being interpreted.

    Not just the words being used. Remember, the NT was in Koine Greek and not classical Greek. It was also the common language of the common people.

    I could speak in English that you couldn't understand. I need to understand what Americans may think with the same words I may use before I employ them.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. John of Japan

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    My method is word-for-word, but seeking coherence and good literary quality in the target language.
     
  20. John of Japan

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    Try this from a secular translation studies scholar:

    "Literal translation is a translation strategy or techinique involving a choice of TL (Target Language--JoJ) equivalents that stay close to the form of the original while ensuring grammaticality in the TL" (Key Terms in Translation Studies, by Guiseppe Palumbo, p. 70).

    He goes on to quote another scholar about the usage of the literal method: "Newmark (1981) sees this technique as the best option for translating texts where the form is as important as the content, such as great speeches, autobiographies and literary works; these are the kinds of text that require what he calls a semantic translation approach" (ibid).
     

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