Monday, May 3, 2010

Considerations for Translating New Testament Greek to English

A bit off-focus for this blog, but this is the best place I have for soliciting some help from others of you who regularly with the Greek NT. I am teaching an Advanced Greek class, and I have split the class into translation teams working on translating Luke 16:19-31, the story of the rich man and Lazarus. As one part of the course, we have spent nearly the whole semester working through each verse of the text. Now I am asking them not to simply translate the Greek but to compose a translation of the text. (There is a difference...) I was unable to find any resource that concisely described the types of things I wanted them to keep in mind as they worked. So, I have tried to compose and organize a list of considerations when composing a translation. Here's the introduction I wrote:
When translating New Testament Greek into English, we sometimes are seeking simply to confirm the accuracy of an existing English version. Sometimes we can look at the Greek and produce a translation in our mind that reflects our understanding of the text. In the considerations that follow, however, I am trying to note the kinds of things we should be thinking about if we are actually trying to produce a share-able translation. That is, we are trying to produce a translation that is faithful to the original Greek text, will stand independently from our explanation of it, and will communicate effectively to its readers.
HERE is the 3 page PDF of what I pulled together. If anyone is interested enough to read it and comment upon it (corrections, additions, suggestions...), I would be grateful. If you know of a similar sort of list to which you can point me, that would be appreciated too.

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