The foolish things of this world
One year I had a short term position in an international baccalaureate class, teaching the Enlightenment and Latin American Revolution. We discussed everything from Aristotle to Bolivar, in French. Two years later I read in the news that one of the classes I taught became the top ranking class in Canada in the International Baccalaureate exams. They were exceptional students. (I don't think I was there long enough to be able to take any credit for these results, but it was quite the experience just the same.)
I still remember how a group of students stood around me crying (don't ask me when high school students took on that affectation - not mine as a kid!) on my last day with them. But now they are all at Harvard and Standford and well taken care of.
From there I went into my present job not far away in the poorest district in the province, maybe the country. I think about our children here, abandoned by parents who live on the street, physically and sexually abused, some with parents who don't speak English and often don't even have a language in common.
One hearing impaired child was mute until 9 years old, with only a rudimenatary ability to communicate. Another watched as his father commited suicide. Some boys fall off their chairs if you speak too loudly, and you know that the startle reflex is there for a good reason. Some girls are sent out of the country at 13 years old to be married to men they have never met, and one girl knows that her mother was murdered by her in-laws.
So when I sat down tonight to write I lost interest in grammar, and sat thinking of the children. And then I looked up a verse or two here and there and let the Greek New Testament fall open on an easy passage. I decided this time to let the Greek flow into English as I read and then I wrote it down. Here is a small piece of what I read,
- βλέπετε γὰρ τὴν κλῆσιν ὑμῶν ἀδελφοί ὅτι οὐ πολλοὶ σοφοὶ κατὰ σάρκα οὐ πολλοὶ δυνατοί οὐ πολλοὶ εὐγενεῖς ἀλλὰ τὰ μωρὰ τοῦ κόσμου ἐξελέξατο ὁ θεὸς ἵνα καταισχύνῃ τοὺς σοφούς καὶ τὰ ἀσθενῆ τοῦ κόσμου ἐξελέξατο ὁ θεὸς ἵνα καταισχύνῃ τὰ ἰσχυρά1 Corinthians 1:26-27
- For think of when you were called, my friends, that not many were wise according to the flesh, not many powerful, not many well-born. But the foolish things of this world God has chosen to shame the wise, and the weak things of this world God has chosen to shame the strong. (Mine)
- For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; KJV
However, when all is said and done I find that the CEV communicates the meaning well. Is there a way to meld the rhythm and compactness of my translation with the communicative effect of the CEV?