Translation pet peeve

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Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2013 7:10 PM

Josh:

 Kids now-a-days can't spell, don't like reading, and have ugly print handwriting. Tongue Tied

 

With all the negative things I have to say regarding today's educational system, I will say nothing regarding handwriting.  You wouldn't want to see mine.  Sometimes I can't read it myself.  Why do you think that I use a computer so much?  Stick out tongue

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 1509
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2013 7:15 PM

Bruce Dunning:

I get bothered when translators choose to use gender-neutral language instead of the original gender. I know why they do this (trying to translate what they believe the meaning is) but I don't like it.

This is why I don't like the TNIV and the NIV 2010. Actually that is a whole other conversation. I also really disliked how they eliminated the NIV84 and how they call the NIV 2010 just NIV. Did this bother anyone else?

Yes, I agree with you. Gender-neutral language is not my cup of tea. It can change the authors literary intent at times. For example, in Luke 15, Luke wants to set up a contrast between a man and a women in his two parables. The parable of the lost sheep starts with "What man of you..." (Luke 15:4) and the parable of the lost coin starts with "Or what woman..." (Luke 15:8). At least that is how the ESV has it.

Most new translations ruin this with gender neutral language.

NIV: "Suppose one of you..." "Or suppose a woman..."

NRSV: "Which one of you..." "Or what woman"

Huh?

Posts 1509
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2013 7:21 PM

elnwood:

Some pet peeves:

1. Sentences beginning with "And." It's good Hebrew (and Greek) style, but it's bad in an English translation, and adds nothing to comprehension.

Yeah, this too! I was reading through Second Samuel today using the ESV and there was a lot of this. Poor grammar drives me nuts - even when it's on purpose!

2 Samuel 14:4-7

4When the woman of Tekoa came to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and paid homage and said, “Save me, O king.” And the king said to her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “Alas, I am a widow; my husband is dead. And your servant had two sons, and they quarreled with one another in the field. There was no one to separate them, and one struck the other and killed him. And now the whole clan has risen against your servant, and they say, ‘Give up the man who struck his brother, that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed.’ And so they would destroy the heir also. Thus they would quench my coal that is left and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth.”

Posts 1145
William | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2013 7:52 PM

I will point something else out that goes with our education.....60 percent of high school seniors cant pass the GED and its getting 3 times harder as of 2014.

Posts 451
Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2013 7:54 PM

David Ames:

Mitchell:

gender-accurate translations

I am Lost.  

Are gender-accurate translations true to the original wordings [[only men]] or true to  the the "TRUE" meaning of the text in context.  [[gender neutral]]

Well first off, I reject the idea that words have meaning outside context. Any word can mean pretty much anything on its own, and only in the usage of a writer within a sentence does it gain specific meaning.

Second, the original wordings didn't say only men. The Greek masculine (whether a pronoun or a noun like ἀδελφοι) doesn't indicate a "group of men," it indicates a "group that includes men." All the masculine tense tells us is that is wasn't just women. It could have been just men, or just as well could have been a mixed group.

It used to be that translators could use the masculine in English to match the masculine in Greek, since both could indicate either a male or mixed group. For better or for worse, English doesn't have that option anymore. There's no good way to express these ideas in the English without committing to a particular gender makeup. Using the English masculine isn't a "literal" translation, because in current usage that explicitly excludes women. Similarly, something like "brothers and sisters" explicitly includes women, which the Greek doesn't do either. Both options are interpretive. So we can go with something awkward that doesn't get the meaning across at all (e.g. "siblings" or "brothers and maybe also sisters"), or we can make the (theologically and Biblically justifiable) interpretive decision that when Paul says "brothers," he probably doesn't just mean men.

Or we could make the interpretive decision that Paul did in fact mean only men. In my view, that's exactly what non-inclusive translations have done, intentionally or not, because that's what "brothers" means. If I say "nobody was at the movie except for me and my brothers," you would be flat out, objectively wrong if you assumed my sisters were there too. If a translation says God has only chosen the "brothers," it says just as explicitly that He hasn't chosen the sisters. That's bad theology, and doesn't belong in anybody's translation. There are some places where an exclusively male translation is appropriate, but the translators must be careful and aware that when they use the masculine, they are excluding women and ought to have good reason to think the author meant to exclude women.

The only other option is to say we have two versions of English - one for the Bible and one for the vernacular. As George's quote above shows, Wycliffe might have something to say about that.

Posts 176
Bill Coley | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2013 9:29 PM

In my final year in seminary, some 28 years ago, I used my chapel preaching opportunity to call our community to confession over the failure of our language. Back then I sounded alarms about the imagery and vocabulary of everyday church life, but I could just as easily have displayed my passion for gender-inclusive language in Scripture.

Consider this: You’re the interpreter of Matthew 5.47. You have a choice:

    1) You can choose “brothers and sisters,” a phrase that both clearly and accurately conveys the original text, and is not subject to confusion.

    2) Or you can choose “brothers,” a word that accurately conveys the original text, but is also subject to multiple interpretations.


Why would you choose words that can be interpreted to mean something other than what the text intends, when legitimately you have the option of using words that mean only what the text intends?

Posts 103
Mark O'Hearn | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 5:56 AM

Mitchell I would generally agree with your thoughts.  Of course, words even in isolation are held to a range of possible meaning.  Indeed, with the inclusion of other words (i.e., context) their actual/singular meaning is revealed to the reader. 

While I enjoy meaning-based translations, with regards to word-for-word translation, I would insist that form also communicates meaning to us.  Form is generally obscured or even lost in meaning-based translation.

All this gender discussion is based upon folk’s theology with respect to whether there is a different role for males and females in the church.  While I see such a difference in the Word of God, I am not bothered by meaning-based translations being more inclusive where both sexes are being referred too, but admittedly this is a further interpretative challenge by the translation team away from the words in the original languages. 

When speaking I pay attention to masculine pronouns, especially in the Gospel meeting, to ensure no young girl thinks for a moment that God’s salvation is not for her too (the assembly uses the KJV, I use the NKJV). 

My generation readily understood mankind included men and women, boys and girls.  While it is also an important theological reality (i.e., all come from the first man Adam), I understand the changes in society and language, and will therefore use humankind when speaking.  I prefer the use of brethren (KJV, NKJV) when appropriate over brothers (HCSB), but I am fine with brothers and sisters (NIV, NLT).  With the exception of a few passages, I believe all this gender-inclusion debate has more “heat than light.”

Regards

Posts 10774
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 6:57 AM

Well, I continue to think the issue of hiding 'men' in the Bible is modern theology.  Which is fine; quite a few denominations recognize continuing prophetic introductions of the divine, and can re-write the theology as needed.

But you'd be hard pressed to find women in the OT without a sizable number of pages to try to argue it (talking about religious gatherings, or 'at the gate'  where the religious writings would have significance). 

The NT isn't far behind. Most modern denominations have dumped prophesy, gifts, etc as described in 1 Cor. and instead run with the pastorals. Women are A-OK not even attending the meetings since they already paid their 'Eve' dues.  It's the men that have serious problems and have to go.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 103
Mark O'Hearn | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 7:17 AM

DMB, with regards to 1 Corintians, perhaps more so we have adopted the divisions and spiritual pride, and I fear the sin within the church, in addition to those things Paul corrects them concerning the Lord's Supper.

Regards

Posts 4625
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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 8:20 AM

Paul Golder:

George Somsel:

Bruce Dunning:

You misunderstood me. Perhaps I was not clear enough. I understand why the Jews didn't pronounce the name of God. I just don't know why translator's chose LORD other than that was the word that the LXX translators use.

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRdfX7ut8gw

OK, you made me laugh out loud...

George!        *smile*                       Thank you!    Very appropriate indeed!                                                                                     Peace to all!                     

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

Posts 1634
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 9:34 AM

Josh:
Kids now-a-days can't spell, don't like reading, and have ugly print handwriting.

I belong to a congregation that offers a day school and is very interested in educating the next generation.  They have also been know to host student-teachers as well. A few years ago the K/1 teacher had a student teacher and they found out that the college student-teacher was unable to even READ cursive handwriting...  It is a different world out there.

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

L8 Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox Silver, Reformed Basic, Academic Essentials

L7 Lutheran Gold, Anglican Bronze

Posts 4889
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 10:22 AM

As an educator, I don't see the same level of need for the skill of cursive handwriting that has existed in times past. I don't think it is a bad skill to develop, but keyboarding (whether on computers or smart phones) has utterly eclipsed handwriting as a means of communication. Don't misunderstand, handwriting is always going to be necessary, but the purpose behind learning cursive has lost most of its shine. I just scanned the papers I collected today from high school aged students, and only one or two used cursive-like style, and even that was applied to essentially print-like letter forms. Fwiw, that is pretty much what my cursive style is too--a combination of print and cursive. Honestly, I much prefer trying to read print as opposed to cursive; the discreet elements make discernment less of a chore. Don't be at all surprised if cursive goes the way of swordplay, equestrian, and blacksmithing in terms of "must have" skill sets...and in my opinion, each of those three precede cursive in the importance cue.

En garde! Idea

Posts 28729
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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 11:07 AM

My aunt born in 1908 rarely used cursive - it was diminishing in importance even before keyboarding became critical. After all, when did the typewriter replace handwriting in legal documents?

And, BTW, can we stay out of theology? Translation if done well should be a linguistic not theological endeavor. Yes, I recognize that every translation is an interpretation but the intent of any translation should be to reflect the original meaning as well as possible in the target language not to reflect the translators' theology.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 10774
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 11:14 AM

You're certainly welcome to pursue your theology.  But the transition from hebrew/aramaic to greek was pure theology. And so today as well.  There's nothing neutral in human communication.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 451
Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 11:17 AM

MJ. Smith:

And, BTW, can we stay out of theology? Translation if done well should be a linguistic not theological endeavor. Yes, I recognize that every translation is an interpretation but the intent of any translation should be to reflect the original meaning as well as possible in the target language not to reflect the translators' theology.

That's fair, but my main point is that there is no non-theological translation available to us when it comes to gender issues. Either we explicitly include women (thus going further than the original languages) or we explicitly exclude women (thus, again, going further than the original languages). Theology is the only way to adjudicate. 

Posts 4889
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 11:24 AM

DMB:

There's nothing neutral in human communication.

Hey, hey, hey...the Swiss are neutral!

Geeked

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 11:30 AM

MJ. Smith:
And, BTW, can we stay out of theology?

So if we comment on an discussion that is against the forum rules to begin with, we can't discuss that which is also against the forum rules? Smile

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 11:39 AM

Mitchell:
there is no non-theological translation available to us when it comes to gender issues.

I disagree. I see it as strictly a linguistics issue that some have chosen to make theological. It is a case in which English is changing in a manner that requires a change in the English translation. But either way it's not a Logos issue.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 11:51 AM

David Paul:

DMB:

There's nothing neutral in human communication.

Hey, hey, hey...the Swiss are neutral!

Geeked

You mean that they've had an operation?  Surprise

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 4889
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2013 11:56 AM

George Somsel:

David Paul:

Hey, hey, hey...the Swiss are neutral!

Geeked

You mean that they've had an operation?  Surprise

Of course...have you seen their cheese? Part is missing!

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