Fw: forked tongues

From: Wayne Leman (wleman@mcn.net)
Date: Thu Feb 17 2000 - 14:15:00 EST

Bart, where I translate, on an Indian reservation, "forked tongue" is
understood well, at least among some people, since they have distinct
memories of having been spoken to with forked tongue so often in the past.
The Indians here even have their sign language sign for speaking with forked
tongue. It uses the index and middle finger, slightly spread, forked shaped,
and the hand is passed over the mouth, to indicate speaking with forked

But here's another option for English that preserves the Greek metaphor
pretty well and is understood by more current speakers of English than
"forked tongue":

"Don't be double-minded or speak out of both sides of your mouth."

(The more direct "don't be" seems to be more natural current English for
the command *function* than use of the future tense to function as a
command. "Thou shalt not kill" is better stated for today's English speakers
as "Don't kill!" The meaning is the same, only the form has changed, but
forms often must change to keep translation as accurate as possible.)

Wayne Leman
Bible translation discussion list: http://BibleTranslation.listbot.com

>QNANATOU hH DIGLWSSIA. This translates into something like: "you shall
>not be of two minds nor xxx; for xxx is a snare of death."
> I'm trying to come up with an English phrase for DIGLWSSOS/DIGLWSSIA.
>I don't much like keeping the parallel with "two minds" by saying "two
>tongued (or double-minded/double-tongued)." I could use
>"equivocate/equivocation," but that gets rid of the metaphor.
> What would you think of my using "forked tongue," as follows: "You
>shall not be of two minds nor speak with a forked tongue. For a forked
>tongue is a snare of death" ?
> I must admit, it vaguely reminds me of a Smothers Brothers routine I
>used to listen to as a kid; but otherwise I kind of like it. But is it a
>phrase people still understand?

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