Qualifications for Bible Translators?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Mar 23, 2006.

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  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Simple question here. What qualifications should a linguist have before translating the Bible? [​IMG]
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    A LOT more than I have ;) .
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Oh, Roger, you're so modest! :D
     
  4. Craigbythesea

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    The more the better.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    The more the better.

    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]"Naruhodo." ("I see, I see.")
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    The more the better.

    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Okay - I've agreed with Craig twice in one month now. Something can't be right here.
     
  7. Craigbythesea

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    The more the better.

    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Okay - I've agreed with Craig twice in one month now. Something can't be right here.
    </font>[/QUOTE][​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Come on, men, stop being nice to each other! :rolleyes:
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Honestly, in a pinch we must use whoever is on the ground and willing to work.

    I don't think it is possible to be overqualified to be a Bible translator. This is extremely important work.

    We can't always have the best qualified, but we must use the best we can get.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Are there:
    (1) Spiritual qualifications?
    (2) Linguistic qualifications?
    (3) Scholarly qualifications?
    (4) Cultural qualificaions?
    (5) Some other kind I haven't thought of?
     
  11. larryjf

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    I would suggest the following qualifications...

    1) Spiritual - Christian.
    2) Linguistic - Fluent Biblical Greek(NT) and/or Hebrew(OT) (depending on what they are translating. They also should be fluent in the language the Bible is being translated into.
    3) Scholarly - Not necessarily formal education, but should be well learned theologically.
    4) Cultural - Should be very familiar with both the culture of the text being translated and the culture it is being translated into.
     
  12. Rhetorician

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    J O J,

    I have a "sidebar" question for you:

    Do you translate from the English Bible (probably KJV) into the Japanese language? Or, do you translate directly from the Gk/Heb into the Japanese language?

    It occured to me that this may be the motivation behind the original question. Which is perfectly OK by me! But, it may make some of the "KJV Only" crowd nervous or even angry.

    If I were where you are, I would think that from the best critical texts of both of the Original Languages straight into the Japanese vernacular would be the best. As you and others who have done this type of mission's work know, that keeps you from having problems with say the idiomatic issues.

    Back on topic: I would say that all of the above would be extremely important; especially a cultural grasp of the receptor language itself.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  13. Rhetorician

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    JOJ,

    I would also include historically orthodox as a qualification.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  14. Deacon

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    While I'd be more wary of a non-Christian translator I would not list it as a qualification.

    I enjoy the translation and commentary of Robert Alter, a unorthodox Jewish professor from Berkley (of all places).

    Emanuel Tov is also a most excellent Hebrew transltor.

    Rob
     
  15. DesiderioDomini

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    It completely depends. If we are talking about making a new English translation, then the stakes go up.

    However, if we find an formerly unknown tribe in south asia who doesnt have a bible yet, then honestly, whomever is willing is qualified.
     
  16. Salamander

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    Only, uh, only those who speak the original tongues and the tongue being interpreted into fluently. The more exposure to any language is the more qualified logically, espcially the closer in point of time the originals were penned.

    Linguistics is a learned application, not a mode of study of available transcripts offered subjectively.

    I know two missionaries to Spain: both say that learning Spanish helps, but only as the verbs are applied to context in that dialect according to location.

    Learning to conjugate verbs according to how they are expressed linguistically designates the understanding accurately.

    Both say that unless you're used to conversing regularly in that region with those natives, there are those times one may find himslef to be misunderstood.

    Hmmm, sounds like a familiar notion just crossed my mind.
     
  17. CompassionateConservative

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    Rob, we're on the same page. I actually have Seminary profs who read, enjoy, and recommend the translations of unbelievers for educational purposes. They say, "You'll read what this guy wrote, and say, 'Amen!'" The problem is, he didn't believe it himself.

    Like yourself, I don't think one needs to be a born again child of God in order to translate out of the original languages. My prayer would be that God would use his translation efforts to convict him.
     
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, Rhet.

    Sidebar answer: I translate from the Greek, but am just working on a NT. (I agree that a double translation is not usually wise.) I'd have to do a lot of catching up on my Hebrew to be able to do an OT. [​IMG] I'm not insecure, though, about my qualifications for a NT translation. :cool:

    My initial impetus (there are quite a few reasons) for doing a Japanese NT was the extreme difficulty in getting permission to print a Gospel of John from the publishers of the only conservative Japanese translation.

    Motives behind my OP include: (1) It just sounded like a fun discussion! (2) I'd love to teach a college class in translation someday, and thought this would stimulate my thinking--it has already! [​IMG]
     
  19. DeclareHim

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    Dear John I hope translation of the Japenese NT goes well and that God will bless your efforts. [​IMG]
     
  20. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    DD, are you sure that simple willingness is enough to qualify one to do a tribal translation?

    I've read horror stories, as I'm sure you have, about such translations. One I read about actually completely his translation, but it was so bad his backers refused to print it. Another wrote Wycliffe, I believe it was, saying if they would just send him a dictionary of the language he would be willing to do a translation! After all, how hard could it be to do a word for word translation?? [​IMG]
     
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