Re: Translating and Inclusive Language

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Sep 04 1997 - 16:49:47 EDT

At 5:22 PM -0500 9/4/97, Eric Weiss wrote:
>This is not meant for response, but while we're on the subject of
>"fixing" the English language so Greek can be more accurately
>expressed/translated - it's too bad we can't bring back the old
>"ye/you/your/thee/thou/thy/thine," etc., distinction in translations -
>one thing the KJV and RV/ASV (I think) have going for them. [Re: the OT:
>In 1st-year Hebrew I noticed there were lots of switchings from
>2nd-person singular to 2nd-person plural endings in connected OT
>passages - the teacher said that was one reason some scholars attribute
>multiple authorship to parts of the Pentateuch.] Using "you all" when
>there is a switch in a narrative from singular to plural "you" would
>probably be awkward if done all the time.

There's no decent answer to this. We can't go back to the English of
Chaucer or Shakespeare or even of Dryden and his ilk, though we can read
them. Once we've made the commitment to the vernacular as the way the Bible
is to come to the LAOS, we have to make it the vernacular that they speak
and write, whether or not we like the instability that a living language
necessarily brings with it.

I think, at any rate.

I've already forwarded the other correspondence to the list.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:27 EDT