[LMB] OT: Translation

Eric Oppen ravenclaweric at gmail.com
Sun Sep 12 19:36:32 BST 2021


Translation is always inexact; there are always things that can be said
easily in one language that can't be easily expressed in another.  The more
different the languages are or the more different the cultures speaking
those languages are, the more inexact it inevitably becomes.

In something like the Bible (the Old Testament very much in particular)
this crops up, a lot.   There are words that appear once in the Hebrew
writings that don't ever appear again and can't be figured out from
context.  Also, like English, Hebrew changed over time, and words changed
their meanings.

Before the appearance of the Vulgate Bible (St. Jerome's Latin translation)
there were a lot of Latin versions of the Christian sacred writings around,
often with big differences between them, depending on who was doing the
translating.  If you get to a college with a really good religion program,
you can find "Interpreters' Bibles," with all the various translations on
the same page so people can compare-and-contrast.  These are HUGE---the one
I remember from St. Olaf was about five times bigger than our Britannica
encyclopedia set at home.


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