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Featured Is there really an Optimal Translation theory?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Yeshua1, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    As cited by the Csb version, for do not all reliable translation really try to practice that?

    And isn't the Csb study bible same as the Holman study bible?
     
  2. McCree79

    McCree79 Well-Known Member
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    I believe it is mostly a marketing gimmick. Optimal translation theory depends on what you want for a transaltion. Obviously the Folks behind the NASB believe they have an "optimal" translation theory. The folks behind the ESV, NLT, and NKJV can same the same. The term "optimal" means best or most favorable. It is all gimmick. The CSB is closet to NIV(as far as major translations go) in method. The CSB and NIV are more of meditating translations. Somewhere between formal and functional translations. They are formal when they can be, but put an emphasis on function since they strive to maintain the orginal reader response to scripture. Even the NASB has a little "functional" in it. The CSB does have more though.


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  3. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    Without knowing the original language we can discern the range of the Hebrew and Greek scriptures by reading from various translations.

    The optimal translation theory is present within the fabric of all the responsible translations present today.

    Rob
     
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  4. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member
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    And just how is HCSB or CSB "optimal translation theory" really any different from the ESV's "essentially literal" theory?
     
  5. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Probably just used for marketing purposes!
     
  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    There are no totally formal translations, as even the Nasb/Nkjv would at times translate from more of a dynamic measure.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Actually, the optimal equivalence method was formed by Hebrew scholar Dr. James Price, and he has delineated it in two books, one more at the popular level and another very technical about Hebrew. It certainly is not a sales gimmick. I am at the airport in Houston, so I can't reference the books, but here are a few basic facts.

    1. It was used for the NKJV and the HCSB, so I suppose also the CSB.
    2. The goal is to find the optimal (not perfect, but best) equivalent word or phrase in the target language to represent the original.
    3. Grammatical and lexical form are important, but may be varied from the original if necessary, depending on the forms in the target language.
    4. The goal is also a good literary stlye, as much as is optimally possible.
    5. To help with this task of transferring forms, Dr. Price uses transformational grammar (also called generative grammar).

    More Monday.
     
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  8. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    How would that be any different though from what the Nasb and Esv have stated for their own translation method? Both want to be as "essentially literal" as possible?
     
  9. McCree79

    McCree79 Well-Known Member
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    I look forward to discussing this further once you are able.

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  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I'm waiting for my flight in Minneapolis, and have a little time. Optimal equivalence is designed to produce a more readable, more smooth and literary text than the NASB or ESV. My view is that the essentially literal method presented in the book Translating Truth is a little too literal.
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Likewise.
     
  12. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    O.E. is used in most translations: particularly the NIV, CSB, NET and company.
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Dr. Price's two books on this method are: Complete Equivalence in Bible Translation (popular level, 1987, publ. by Nelson), and A Theory for Bible Translation: An Optimal Equivalence Model (Edwin Mellen, 2007). Note that the first title was not Dr. Price's, but the publishers. There can be no "complete equivalence" between languages.

    Perhaps the best definition of the method is in the "Foreword" to the 2nd book, in which David L. Brooks of Criswell College writes, "Price's theory of optimal equivalence translation, which falls between dynamic, literal, and formal equivalence, seeks to maintain optimum equivalence between the languages at the word, phrase, clause, sentence and discourse levels, while still maintaining good literary idiom in the receoptor language" (p. viii).

    Theologically, the method is rooted in verbal inspiration. Brooks continues, "One of the primary reasons for choosing optimal equivalence is the understanding that divine inspiration extends not only to the level of Scripture's thoughts, but also down to the level of the very words and even the implications of the words" (viii-ix).

    The transformational grammar tool is described in the second book thusly: "When the message needs to be translated into a second language, the information of the message must be transformed into the equivalent information needed for a user of the second language to generate the equivalent information using its vocabulary and grammar" (p. 7).
     
  14. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    Well DUH. That's what translation is all about. That's the purpose of Bible translations. It is not some new methodology or path that is unique. Who could argue against the above? It's just common sense. Let's hear it for stating the obvious.
     
  15. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    "But why a literal translation is necessarily more in keeping with the doctrine of verbal inspiration, I am quite at a loss to know." The King James Version Debate p.90 --D.A. Carson.

    "The Hebrew and Greek text must first be interpreted -- word-by-word, phrase-by-phrase, clause-by-clause -- to determine the original meaning. Then this meaning must be painstakingly reproduced using different words, phrases, and clauses in English. The translation that most closely adheres to the verbal and plenary inspiration of Scripture is the one that reproduces the total meaning of the text, not just the words." (p.36 of How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth by Fee and Strauss)
     
  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Now (ignoring the nattering nabob of negativism), may I assume that none of you knows what transformational grammar (TG) is? It is a branch of linguistics that uses transformations to determine meaning and communicate. In this case, the translator uses TG to gain understanding of the original text and determine how best to get the forms and meanings into the target language. Caveat: the inventor of this field, Noam Chomsky, did not believe it should be used in translation, but Eugene Nida and James Price have both done so.

    Now, what is a transformation? Simplifying greatly, it is when you couch the original sentence in different forms. For example, "I walk the dog" (a "kernel sentence") can be transformed in the following ways:
    1. Negative: I do not walk the dog.
    2. Passive: The dog is walked by me.
    3. Interrogative: Do I walk the dog?

    And so forth. How this helps the translator is that when there is no direct equivalent in the target language, he can then examine the grammar of the target language and choose a form that communicates in the same way. Taking a sentence in the original with an aorist active indicative, Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν (Mar 15:31 BYZ), we look for how a simple past tense in the target language is conveyed. For example, Japanese has a past tense, so this is an easy rendering, but Chinese has no past tense. in the Chinese. In the Union Version it has this: 他救了別人. The translators used a semantic marker for "complete" (了) to do the transformation in Chinese.

    And there you have TG it in a nutshell. Clear as mud?
     
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  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Would not holding to vernal inspiration force us to adopt more of a formal aproach though?
     
  18. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The Holy spirit though inspired word by word, and not phrase by phrase, correct?
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I think you mean "holding to verbal inspiration." I believe that verbal inspiration demands a verbatim method of translation.
     
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    It is also used by the Nkjv, and I see that as being a more formal translation then any of these these!
     
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