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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Donut translations

Have you ever heard of donut Bible translations? I haven't either. But there are such translations. They are translations whose narrative or logical flow are missing some parts for those of us from cultural and linguistic backgrounds different from those of the original biblical contexts. So they are difficult, if not impossible, for us to understand as the original author intended. These "holes" in the translation were not there in the biblical source texts. Rather, the "missing" information was there implicitly, according to shared cultural and linguistic knowledge networks between speakers/writers and their audiences. It was very much a part of the meaning of the original biblical texts and if it is not translated, donut translations may result.

This post is a heads up that there will be an important post in the near future from one of the other blog contributors, Mike Sangrey, somewhat related to donut translations--although Mike will probably focus more on big picture translations which are glued together partly by what is missing in donut translations.

I should introduce Mike to you all. Mike has a gift of seeing the big picture (I'm more of a detail person) and has allowed God to use that gift to help others understand some very important principles about good Bible translation. Mike has been a moderator of the Bible translation email discussion lists with me for a number of years and I very much appreciate his work there, as well as his comraderie, and dry wit. I think you will appreciate's Mike's posts also.


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