>traduttore, traditore


“translator, traitor”

William Tyndale dying for a translation

Bill Mounce was on the committee that created the English Standard Version Bible, one of many English translations of the Hebrew/Greek Bible. Below is his lecture to his Greek class on the translating process and translations. It is a fascinating talk about bibles and what we take for granted and what we often don’t realize goes into creating a translation.
If anything comes through, for me at least, is how important it is to know Greek rather than rely on others’ translations. Still, I am appreciative of the translations I have.

Umberto Eco wrote some interesting thoughts on the process of translation in his article, A Rose by Any Other Name.

Ninety percent (I believe) of War And Peace’s readers have read the book in translation and yet if you set a Chinese, an Englishman, and an Italian to discussing War And Peace, not only will all agree that Prince Andrej dies, but, despite many interesting and differing nuances of meaning, all will be prepared to agree on the recognition of certain moral principles expressed by Tolstoy. I am sure the various interpretations would not exactly coincide, but neither would the interpretations that three English-speaking readers might provide of the same Wordsworth poem.

~ Umberto Eco, from A Rose by Any Other Name

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