Re: italics, etc.
Thu, 4 Apr 1996 12:47:45 -0800 (PST)
I appreciate Brent's confession--I eclipse my points all the time, of which
my last message is an example. Still, we need to get the cows back in before
we close the barn. Brent said, "The use of italics seems to indicate a false
relationship between English and Greek; that one can be represented exactly
in the other without any filtering". It is (or at least should be) always
true that italics suggest an inference, *relatively* speaking, in comparison
with the roman which should imply that something is either in the original
or demanded in English to make the meaning of the original adequately clear.
Those who can read the original know that the idea of exact correspondences
is theoretical, and I would hope that they see the italics as an indicator
of *relative* distinctions between more-or-less verbatim translation and
the translators' inferences.
By a similar token, I sigh whenever I see someone trying to argue that the
same Greek or Hebrew word should always be translated the same way, and thus
that a given translation is not being "literal" when it translates a word
several different ways according to context. So here again, Brent's con-
cern about we are trying to indicate exact correspondences is an issue that
has to be viewed relatively. Ideally a particular English word or phrase
(e.g. periphrastic English verbs using auxillaries for a single Greek verb)
*is* an exact equivalent for the original if one can somehow be sure that
the translation is exactly what the author meant by using the particular
word in the particular context.
In fear of eclipsing another point,