[b-greek] Idioms

From: Wayne Leman (wleman@mcn.net)
Date: Sun Oct 15 2000 - 01:32:14 EDT

To: Joseph Garnier
From: Wayne Leman

Joseph, I should have taken the time to delete all the evaluatory material
from my reply to Mr. Willker and just given that small list of NT idioms in
answer to his request. But I have been pressed for time in the middle of an
intensive Bible translation workshop.

As to your your own evaluation of my intentions, you are free to your
opinion, but I can assure you that I consider no one a nincompoop nor was I
speaking down to anyone on this list. I was trying to give Mr. Willker the
information he requested. I am extremely busy, so did not take the time to
delete the material that bothered you. I did that particular study for a
different audience and was speaking as a linguist and Bible translator. It
is true that metaphors do not translate from one langugage to another,
unless the two languages happen to have the same metaphor, with the same
grounds of comparison (and this is seldom the case). Otherwise, if we
translate a metaphor literally, we distort accuracy in translation for
ordinary, fluent speakers of a language. Scholars who understand both
languages (such as many on the B-Greek list) are a special audience for whom
literal translation of idioms is valuable for understanding the source

But we are moving offtopic for the B-Greek list. I suspect Mr. Willker would
like even more Greek idioms added to his list.

You concluded:

> Speaking of opinions, you forgot to mention that none of
> this is fact, but your own opinion, and as such can be filed in the
> container where other unsubstantiated opinions belong.

Fieldtesting of all hypotheses will either confirm or disconfirm them. I
believe in fieldtesting for all Bible translations (and believe in
scientific methodology which posits and tests hypotheses) and have written
about it fairly extensively on my Bible translation website (address below).

Fieldtesting of idioms, such as those I listed, does indicate that meanings
intended to be conveyed by translators is not so conveyed to ordinary,
fluent speakers of English. That is what that chart was all about. If you
wish to carry out some (quite interesting, BTW) scientific fieldtesting of a
wide range of fluent speakers of English, you can report on whether my
pluses and minuses confirmed or disconfirmed by the testing. Probably it
would be best to report it by private email since it would be offtopic for
B-Greek. Or you could report your results on the Bible translation
discussion list:


If you would like to read the results of a fieldtesting study just completed
on a recent English version, it can be viewed at:


The proof of the pudding is in the testing, so to speak. The same is true
for all our hypotheses about the meaning of Koine Greek words, phrases,
sentences, and discourses. Although we no longer have native speakers with
whom we can test our hypotheses, there still is a lot of data which bears
upon our hypotheses.

Wayne Leman
Bible translation website: http://www.mcn.net/~wleman/bibletranslation.htm

                           1stUp.com - Free the Web
   Get your free Internet access at http://www.1stUp.com

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:36:38 EDT