Context, Context, Context

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Rippon, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    I will begin this thread by quoting from snips from How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Mark Strauss.

    "Translators cannot translate words 'literally'; they must translate them according to their meaning in context."

    "Context determines which meaning is intended."

    "A speaker or writer chooses the lexeme that best communicates a particular sense in that context."

    All three of the above are from page 48.

    "The fact that most words do not have a literal meaning is important for translators to recognize. It would be inappropriate to insist on using one English word for each word in the source language." (p.49)

    "There is no one-to-one correspondence between English and Spanish, or between English and Hebrew. Bible translators must therefore be in a constant mode of interpretation, sensitive to which meaning senses of a word are being used...All translation is interpretation. The translator must first determine the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek term in its context. Then he or she must find an english word, phrase, or clause that reproduces that meaning as accurately and clearly as possible...Translating 'literally' (i.e., one-to-one) is unreliable." (p.49,50)

    "There is not always a 'right' translation for a particular Hebrew or Greek word or phrase. While some renderings are certainly better than others, and translators must constantly seek the best option, two or more synonyms might work equally well in a particular case. As always, the goal of translation is not to duplicate the form of the original but to reproduce its meaning.
    ...Words may be synonymous, or nearly synonymous, in certain contexts but not in others. There is seldom if ever exact synonymy between words, either within a language or across languages." (p.50)


    "The principle again is not mechanical replacement of words. It is a careful and measured assessment of their meaning in context." (p.50)
     
  2. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    there is a difference between the philisophy guiding the translation process though, as in Dynamic/Mediating/Formal , correct?

    And that would result in some differences among the various translation due to that, correct?
     
  3. Rippon

    Rippon
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    All of my quotes in the OP applies to all Bible translations.
     
  4. Rippon

    Rippon
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    I will be giving some snips from The Challenge Of Bible Translation :Communicating God's word To The World. The editors :Glen Scorgie, Mark Strauss and Steven Voth.

    D.A. Carson addresses weaknesses of those who think that a word "in the receptor language must have exactly the same semantic range as the word in the source language." He says it is rarely the case. "That is why all translations use a variety of words to render one source word, or one word in the receptor language to render several words in the source language." (p.74)

    D.A. Carson :"Contextual consistency has priority over verbal consistency (or word-for-word concordance)." (p.92)

    Steven Voth :"One cannot, of course, limit oneself to 'dictionary meanings' of words,...it is necessary to look at the sum total of the contexts in which a given word is used in order to arrive at a more accurate meaning or meanings of a particular lexical unit." (p.326)

    Mark Strauss :"It is context alone that determines which sense of a lexeme is intended within its semantic range." (p.134)
     
  5. Rippon

    Rippon
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    The following is from Mark Strauss.

    "With reference to lexical semantic, all agree that words (or, more precisely, lexemes) do not generally carry a single all-encompassing or so-called 'literal' meaning but rather have a range of potential senses (a semantic range) in which the word is used. The sense intended by the author must be determined by the context in which the word is used. An accurate translation is one that determines the correct sense of a word or phrase in the source language in each particular context and chooses an appropriate word or phrase in the receptor language to capture that sense. Consistent word-for-word replacement is an unreliable method of translation."

    "Related to all this, all agree that the various senses of a Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek lexeme (its semantic range) do not overlap exactly with the various senses of an English lexeme. In other words, there is never absolute synonymy between lexemes (either within a language or across languages). For this reason, an English word or expression must be chosen that most accurately represents the meaning of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek in each particular context. " (p117)
     

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