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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Translating vs. Transliterating “Beulah”

Stephen of the ESV Bible Blog has blogged today on two approaches to translation of the Hebrew word "Beulah" in Isaiah 62:4. I prefer the ESV approach which is to translate the meaning of the Hebrew word, rather than transliterate it. BTW, Stephen's post links to a post by Mark Perry which stimulated Stephen's post. I recommend that you read both posts. There is interesting discussion about translation in the comments to Mark's post.

Translation is more meaningful than transliteration, whether it is transliteration at the word level or syntactic level, with importation of foreign syntax to English or any other translation target languge. There is a place for transliteration in some ecclesiological contexts where translation of a word such as Greek baptizw might cause some churches to reject the entire translated Bible. And for scholarly purposes there is always a good place for interesting transliteration. That is in footnotes.


At Wed Jul 12, 09:16:00 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

I also think this is a better practice. And to go further, regarding Isa 62:4 (the topic of the ESV blog), I like how the NLT2 puts the words in quotation marks, so that reader has clear understanding that these are designations.

At Wed Jul 12, 12:54:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Wed Jul 12, 03:27:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

NASB: It will no longer be said to you, "Forsaken," Nor to your land will it any longer be said, "Desolate"; But you will be called, "My delight is in her," And your land, "Married"; For the LORD delights in you, And {to Him} your land will be married.

God's Word Translation: You will no longer be called Deserted, and your land will no longer be called Destroyed. But you will be named My Delight, and your land will be named Married. The LORD is delighted with you, and your land will be married.

The differences are interesting to note.

At Wed Jul 12, 04:53:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Wed Jul 12, 05:17:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

I have a 1973 edition of the 1960 original of the NASB.

The quotes are all there as in the above text, and in Him is in italics to show that it is not in the original but is only implied.

At Wed Jul 12, 05:24:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

The German that you have quoted simply can't be done in English - it is too bad! Both the absence of the passive voice and the use of the familiar singular 'you' makes it more emotive and poetic.


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