Re: Translation Theory

On Mon, 2 May 94 20:07:00 PDT you said:
>    ...     A final point I want to raise about some of the appends on this
>thread (a word, I might note, way outside of any of the uses of the word
>thread in my profession, while we are talking about meaning).  It almost
>seems like some of these appends are expressing some sort of
>reader-response translation theory in which thing "mean" something to the
>reader and that need have nothing to do with what the author "meant".
>Am I misreading something?  That's an interesting point of view but
>I hardly think that any writer writes with the intention that her/his
>readers will  impart any old meaning to the text.  This touches on a subject
>that has also been part of this thread.  What's the difference between
>translation and meaning?  Is there really a difference between what a
>word refers to and what it means?  I'm not an expert in linguistics by
>any means so maybe I'm missing a nuance here?

I would certainly hope that we are not losing a distinction between what the
author means and how the reader responds. I think rather, however, that we
are assuming that the original author of a Biblical text is writing for a
target audience that is different from the 20th-century reader; and part of the
problem of translation of the Biblical text is bridging the gap between the
mind-set and experiential world of the Biblical author and those of the reader
for whom one translates.  We must indeed endeavor to grasp what the Biblical
author MEANS, but success in that endeavor surely does depend on more than a
knowledge of the original language; it involves accommodating oneself, sofar as
possible, to the milieu of original author and target audience. And while I
think that Larry Hurtado is right about a translator's preferrably not trying
to transfer message into modern idiom wholesale (instead, assisting reader to
understand original context), there is nevertheless a need to make the ancient
text INTELLIGIBLE to the modern reader without simply assuming that there's no
significant difference between the contexts of the ancient author and the
modern reader. Am I not stating the obvious? Or is this really controversial?

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