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English Renaissance Translation Theory

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Logos1560, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Active Member

    Oct 22, 2004
    This is the title of a book with a 2013 copyright that includes reprints from books in the 1500's and 1600's that discuss the matter of translating. It is edited by Neil Rhodes. Several of the sources are taken from the Early English Books Online [EEBO] database.

    Part One is entitled "Translating the Word of God."

    This section includes writing by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale along with part of the preface to the 1611 KJV. It also includes portions from the writings of William Fulke, such as from his 1583 book A Defence of the Sincere and True Translations of the Holy Scriptures into the English Tongue, which was also reprinted in the 1800's.

    In part two: Literary translating, it has an English translation by Gordon Kendal of part of a 1559 book written in Latin by Laurence Humphrey (1527?-1590). The title of that book was Interpretatio linguarum [the translation of languages].

    Laurence Humphrey as translated by Gordon Kendal maintained that "broadly speaking, there are three kinds of translation" (p. 266).

    Humphrey wrote: "The first kind is rather crude and lacking in refinement, since there is no distancing in it from the actual words. We might say it is overscrupulous or unduly restrained. To this category belong those who have rendered word for word" (p. 266).

    Humphrey wrote: "The next method, favoured by some translators nowadays, has the opposite fault. It is freer and looser and allows itself too much license" (p. 267).

    Humphrey wrote: "It remains to discuss the third method, the 'middle way'. This has features in common with both of the preceding" (p. 268).

    Humphrey wrote: "I call a translation 'comprehensive' when it gives the sense in full, so that every part of the meaning has its parallel, and it corresponds fully throughout to what the author has in mind, with nothing left out and nothing added" (p. 268).
  2. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Well I admire his noble aspiration with that comprehensive view. However, having a translation corresponding "fully...with nothing left out and nothing added" is a sheer impossibility. It sounds like ESV promotional material. ;-)

    The middle way in comparison with the other two sounds more reasonable despite my criticism.