Re: A Question re. Translation

Date: Tue Sep 10 1996 - 00:12:55 EDT

  TO: Debbie Hampton
FROM: Harry J. Harm
DATE: 9 September 1996
  RE: A Question re. Translation

Dear Debbie,

Greetings. I am serving as a translation consultant to a committee who
is translating the Bible into a Native American language. I have also
helped teach graduate level translation theory courses.

You are correct in your view that translation is a very complex process.
I am teaching a short course at a local church. It is called "Why do
Bible Translations Differ?"

Below is some of what I cover in the first lesson:

    Translation involves the transfer of meaning from one language to
    the another language...There are several different kinds of
    meaning. Two kinds that we will talk about are referential and
    emotive. Referential meaning is sometimes called denotational and
    emotive meaning is sometimes called connotational...The goals of
    translation are as follows:
         1) Transfer the COMPLETE referential meaning
         2) Maintain the same emotive meaning
         3) Make sure the function remains the same
         4) Remain true to the historical setting
         5) Make the target language text sound natural
    These goals are impossible to meet.

One overhead transparency has the following about what one needs to know
before one translates:
                      Need to Know
    1) Grammar 1) Grammar
    2) Vocabulary 2) Vocabulary
    3) Writer/speaker 3) Yourself
    4) Original audience 4) Prospective audience
    5) Social setting 5) Social setting
    6) Cultural background 6) Cultural background
This, of course, is simplified but I hope that it is helpful.


Harry :{)


From: "D. Hampton" <>
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1996 15:42:01 +0800 (WST)
Subject: A Question

Hello B-Greekers,

First I suppose I should introduce myself. I'm a "little
Greek" who has been learning a lot by just lurking here
for the past few weeks. My name is Debbie Hampton. I'm
32. I started studying Greek on my own from Werner's
Programmed Primer about 10 years ago. I did an
Introductory course with the Presbyterian Reformed
Church's John Knox College, where we were encouraged to
read the New Testament text itself. I've been continuing
to learn on my own since then.

I am unlurking because I have a question. I am doing an
undergrad course in Education Studies and for an
assignment I have to write a course outline, using
Bloom's taxonomy. I want to outline a course in Basic

My problem is that Bloom categorizes translation as a
comprehension skill at a lower level than skills like
application of knowledge, analysis of elements or
relationships or synthesis of unique expressions. He
seems to have categorized it with the view of words and
expression in different languages having simple
one-to-one equivalence of meaning.

I would like to argue in my paper that the skill of
translation involves the elements of analysis of the
elements of a Greek expression, applying knowledge of
grammar, structure and usage to interpret the functions
given to words and expression in the Greek, identifying
these functions, generating English expressions that
convey the same functions and synthesing a unique English
language expression with meaning equivalence.

Is this a justifiable view of translating Greek?

Thanks in advance for any and all help.

:-Debbie Hampton

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