Thursday, May 19, 2011

Moving towards transparency in translation

Transparency is as I had earlier noted, a word that describes my goal as a translator.  My goal is not 'meaning'. Meaning must be learned from the one who reads. I do use the tools of meaning but I can't impart it. I am more like a funnel than the material that passes through the funnel. To be a good funnel, I want not to clog up the passage, and I want to be easy to clean when I must be put back on the shelf.

I am almost at the numeric half-way point in my project to do a concordant translations of the psalms. A full one-to-one mapping from one language to another is of course impossible. And there are times when I accept that. (distant grumbling).

In the past 3 days I have made changes - usually small but in all cases significant - to 44 psalms (77 in the last week.) In the last 2 months, only 6 psalms have not had their translation tweaked. (I have changed 982 out of 2525 verses.) Yesterday was difficult because last week I had in error confused a couple of roots and I had to undo changes as well as do new ones. I was dealing the with word groups related to living, sitting, dwelling, residing, being a guest or a sojourner or a stranger.  I know I made things clearer - easier to see through that lattice that we have been given.

On PoC I have published psalm 42 and 43. In response to a post from Elizabeth at WIT, I have put up a preview of psalm 73 here. This is contrary to my disciplined policy of waiting three months but Elizabeth's post is too important and the psalm seemed to fit well. Perhaps our culture would do well to pay attention to the psalms and their affirmation as well as their correction of the fleshly reality that we take part in.

Please feel free to point out errors in my glossary and question my translations and comments. The glossary that I have created has become a way of reviewing every decision I have made. I have been very slow with psalm 74 because several words in it raised questions for me about whether a decision on a gloss was good or not. It is really easy to scan for one psalm. Psalm 74 has 195 words. I can see them just by using find for '74.' in the browser. The unique roots and glosses just stand up and say hello. And the debris in the funnel can be seen and removed or clarified.