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Friday, August 05, 2005

Das Bibel-Blog

Das Bibel-Blog posts in German on topics similar to those we post about here at BBB. The latest post even links to our recent post on Christianizing the Old Testament.

For those who do not read German, and partly to show how inadequate machine translation is, here is a BableFish translation of the Das Bibel-Blog post linking to us:
In Waynes Better Bibles Blog I look actually each day purely. There or several, frequently longer, appear daily interesting contributions.

Today a contribution dedicates itself to the overeagerness, which some translators of English Bibles put with the Christian reinterpretation of the old person of will to the day. Naturally Wayne deals there also with the notorious quarrel apple place Isaiah 7.14. An article worth reading!

I work still on my article, into which I compare with one another one of my favourite places in nearly 70 translations. This goes now hopefully the next days on-line.
Obviously, an important lesson to take from this poor translation of good German is that translation of any kind, including Bible translation, is much more complex than just matching up words from one language to another and making some simple adjustments for syntactic differences. Yet much of the English that I read in a number of versions which are "essentially literal" is often not too much better than the English produced by the BabelFish translator. We can do better! And if we do better, we will produce better Bibles.

There is no reason that I know of why strange English needs to appear in any English Bible version. It is possible to remain fairly close to the forms of the original biblical source texts as well as translate to language which follows the rules of good literate English. One can produce "essentially literal" translations, as they are promoted by Leland Ryken, and still produce good quality English which Dr. Ryken, a professor who has taught English literature for 30 years, would approve of if his students turned in such English in their class papers.

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