Friday, May 6, 2011

Yet another note on translation

Translation not only attempts to communicate with the past, it also, if it is successful, defines the host language for communication with the generations yet to come.

So translation is like a funnel. Just how influential will it be? What characteristics should it have to be influential? Who will determine its influence?

Joel Hoffman has a note on 'dust', a word dear to my heart, being the name of this blog, which I have rendered somewhat carelessly and without concordance. But my renderings are playful and it is the play that will communicate with those yet unborn, if there is any future (for 'it' that is). The KJV communicated serious piety and the divine right of kings, social conformity and risk reduction, enough law to keep brats in their places. And also it contributed rhythm, love of music, hidden wisdom secretly. That's how the word works. I only play. I cannot err. There is no creature Whom I belong to, Whom I could wrong. (Proverbs somewhere is it?).

Here is my current rendering of ground, dust, etc

אדםto its dust, their ground, the human (4), the ground, the earthling is, the dust, the Edomite, is this humus, is the human, in an earthling, humus (2), humanity (4), human (7), ground, from human, for the ground, for humanity, earthlings (2), earthling (3), dust-bowls, dust (22), but the dust, both human, as humans, any human, an earthling (3), among them (3)
עפרto dust, the dust(3), like dust, in the dust, her dust, from the dust, dust is, dust, as dust, and to the dust of
I'm gonna get that Edom outta there.
Obviously this conflicts marginally with other words as well like this one.
אנושׁthe mortal (2), the human condition, mortals of, mortal, humanity's, humanity is, humanity (4), a human's, a human(2)
and this one which I will join to the prior one 
אנשׁthey are my human, so mortals of, mortals of, mortals, and from mortals of
and this one
מתfrom mortals (2), persons, mortals
How important is it, I wonder, to comb these ones out further?  pondering...