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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Translation audience

Many in the real estate business say that the three most important rules for their sales success are:
  1. Location
  2. Location
  3. Location
In the same way we might say that the three most important rules for the "success" of a Bible translation are:

  1. Audience
  2. Audience
  3. Audience
Of course, there are many other important Bible translation principles, really the most important of which is translation accuracy. But it is critically important for Bible translators to know who their intended audience is. Some Bible translation teams specifically say who their target audience is. Others do not. Most English versions cannot be for all English speakers, since they are not written in English that is understood by or sounds good to all English speakers. Many versions are, whether intentionally or not, targeted at particular audiences, such as those who are speakers of English as a second language (the first audience of the TEV/GNT), the TNIV (advertising now states that it is intended for 18-34 year olds), or those who understand Bible English.

What audience is the Bible version you use targeted at? What version would you recommend to unchurched neighbors? What version would you recommend to your high school children?

It has often been said for other things, "One size doesn't fit all." And the same is true of most English Bible versions. What are the implications of Bible translation audience for our pulpit or Bible teaching ministries, evangelism, personal devotions, and Bible reading for literary pleasure?

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At Tue Aug 09, 03:06:00 AM, Blogger Paul W said...

Hi Wayne,

I can't work out the Trackback function blogger even after months of blogging. I just want to say this is a stimulating post and that I've addressed the first question you raise in it in my blog in relation to the NRSV. Over the next few weeks, I hope to address every one you raise, for my own church has wrestled with these issues in choosing a pew Bible. For the record, we choose the CEV after talking with the NZ Bible Society.

At Tue Aug 09, 08:05:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Paul, I would not have known how to add Trackback to a Blogspot, either, except for the fact that there is now an automatic installation procedure for Blogger and Blogspot posted at Haloscan. The installation went very smoothly for me. We still have to manually ping the other person's blog, but there are webpages for doing that such as Simpletracks. I use Simpletracks now for pinging posts on other's blogs which I have posted about. A blogger does not need to have trackback installed on their blog to be able to use Simpletracks.

I have read your post on Translation audience and it is good.


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