Friday 29 July 2011

A day walking the streets of old Montreal

First full day of this holiday - on the streets and above the streets in clocks and clock towers
later this evening a few shots of a carnival near the Place des Arts before a sampling of 5 beer types at les 3 brasseurs

Thursday 28 July 2011

Holiday beginnings

Delayed at the airport but free wi-fi. On holiday till Aug 20. May post occasionally. Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - marvellous beginning -brilliantly told, very relevant to the life of the past century of race relations and medical science.

The picture is of a tree (in the background) that may not be there when we return. It has a serious fungus that renders its roots unstable. It is a shagbark hickory that has been featured covered with snow on this blog in the past - but I can't find the image at the moment.

From 2011-07-28

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Creation groaning - God as woman in the Psalter

Hear in your gut

Some arguments remove half my being from me. All the breath-bearing to praise - you recognize that phrase? I am sure you do.
כֹּל הַנְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ
The only other place where I used it in the psalms, Beloved, was to show you how I pant (that's breathing) with the labour of birth for you. Psalm 18.
וַיֵּרָאוּ אֲפִיקֵי מַיִם
וַיִּגָּלוּ מוֹסְדוֹת תֵּבֵל
מִגַּעֲרָתְךָ יְהוָה
מִנִּשְׁמַת רוּחַ אַפֶּךָ
Then seen are channels of waters
and discovered are the foundations of the world
at your rebuke יְהוָה
at the breath of the wind of your nostrils

Waters break, foundations discovered, at my rebuke - such as it is. My rebuke is a blessing, like children. You should know. At the breath - the panting - the child bearing - of the wind of my nostrils.

'Imagine' I talked that way with you, O Creation Groaning, by my Spirit.

Mind the gap

I have just returned from a mental institution where my youngest son, aged 33 is a patient, impatient, or in patient, breath borne by another mother, but bequeathed to us by adoption. Who is your Mother? A troubled boy, brain-damaged in the scientific sense by alcohol from birth, and by street unwisdom in later life. Would you nurture him?  Created time wasted? Why this birth? Why this world where the males seem to know what is right and let their good be evil spoken of?

Righteous rigorous and even gracious evangelicals are to be tolerated but ... but they are unbelievable. (Not to put too fine a point of faith on them.)

Tuesday 26 July 2011

O What Fun!

I realized in my sleep and again after my haircut while riding to the office that with little effort I could produce my glossary in psalm verse order and - hey! - we would have an interlinear.

So the interlinear of my Psalms in full Gematria color with counts of stems and word forms and - Every word accounted for - is now available here 

Enjoy - but beware, Beloved, I think it might bias you - but it also might build.  God knows how to deal with bias.  There is transcription but no vowel points - so you can learn without tying your eyes in knots.  And my stems are I think 'mostly' OK - please let me know if you find an error.  Also the English can be put together from the glosses. It was my intent. Hopefully, I have not missed any. [now split into the five books - still takes time to load but is more responsive once it's loaded - the advantage of having it on one page is for searching across all psalms]

Sunday 24 July 2011

The state of affairs in my psalmody

I have synchronized the blog and my database up to psalm 69 and will gradually get to the end of book 2 this week with posts scheduled to August 20 at Poc.  It's kind of fun, scheduling posts. You forget that they are coming and you forget that you wrote them - and there they are! With enough blogs one might keep oneself entertained for a while :).

I did what I set out to do when I stopped writing a month ago at psalm 90-91. I have reviewed every usage of every word and touched nearly every psalm in the doing. There are a few English homonyms that are easily distinguishable in context, plenty of helping verbs to ignore and a few verbs with prepositions modifying the verb that distinguish usage.  And there are a few Hebrew words where the same word is spelled differently and I have left them separate like heart (lb, lbb) and trouble (cr, crr, crh) and evil (r`, r``). I don't have an easy way to present (or read) the results in English 'root' order, so I sort of have to believe myself.  But I expect I might try a clever ordering of the glossary at some point. It would be a confirmation of the analytical function that I wrote. I have left in a few compromises besides the acrostic games and I may introduce a few more. When I do, my single page summary shows me my compromises. So far there is only one: in 39.6 and 69.12 where I use 'make' for 'give'. These I will note by verse when I see them.

Of course this is still an early step in the process - I may elect for various reasons to stand down from this discipline.  What if I actually learned something from another source!

The plan: We will be at the end of Book 2 by Aug 18.  I will be on holiday so probably won't do much except blog the odd picture from NY and the USA.

I will then write the Book 2 summary as I wrote the quick one for Book 1. Maybe I will put Book 3 on PoC scheduled in August, Sept, Oct. Book 4 would likely carry us to December.  But in the period Oct to Dec I am supposed to be researching the Psalter as story - how should I do this?  I can't do it if I haven't finished the Psalter so I will have to wait and see what approach to take.  Maybe I will need to write the summaries before continuing with any notes apart from individual notes on verses. I am sorry I did not start this way - just notes on verses. It would have helped me remember the tortuous ways of my thoughts and my resources.

I think I will have to push myself to summarize books 3 4 and 5 in September and finish the synchronization of the blog and the database from psalms 73 to 150.

I am just realizing how much time I can save using a bit of java script and cascading style sheets. Nice support from blogger.  I just increased the font-size in the Hebrew without hardly lifting a finger!

Any advice?

Saturday 23 July 2011

Madonna of the Meadows

Living Wittily has a lovely post and comment touching on the theology of seeing in John. There are multiple words for seeing in the psalms too, by the way - see (regard for the acrostics), look, gaze, take note, behold, look down, lean over to have a look,

but do read and look at this post.

Friday 22 July 2011

The unmeasurable state of affairs

My list of distinct glosses that do not conform to my rule is down below 50 and some of these are due to acrostic requirements where I must use a word that begins with a particular letter so I am not free to use my preferred gloss.  The compromise rate among these is very low - so I will leave off the process of considering verses and word usage across the whole Psalter and try and concentrate again on whole psalms.

What is this large living still life that I am trying to eat?

I have republished the glossary and lists of frames and I am now randomly republishing individual psalms. In the last two days there were more than 600 changes. I have some confidence that I have found most of the ones I can or should 'fix'. My paint brush had not stopped for nearly a week.

I am going to make notes as brief as possible - if any.  But I must move towards both understanding and expressivity. I wonder if that is possible for me.

It is curious to me that I got to psalm 90-91 before 'crashing' with the realization that I must refine the whole before proceeding further.  The singular for the merciful one - chasid, never occurs after psalm 86. It is in book 1 and forms a frame of the inner Elohistic Psalter, but only the plural chasidim, a word that dominates the final Hallels. It is as if the Psalter was designed to move from the singular example of self-governance to the full manifestation of the children of God who are known in the mercy and who know how to judge with mercy.

The whole world groans and travails ...

This chasid is one word I have just elected to translate with multiple differing glosses
חסיד the mercied one וּדְעוּ כִּי
הִפְלָה יְהוָה
חָסִיד לוֹ
יְהוָה יִשְׁמַע בְּקָרְאִי אֵלָיו
Now set down this:
יְהוָה reserved
the mercied one as his own
יְהוָה will hear when I call to him

7/21/2011 4:39:23 PMset down this, literally, 'and know for', an allusion to T.S.Eliot, The Journey of the Magi
חסיד is the merciful one הוֹשִׁיעָה יְהוָה
כִּי גָמַר חָסִיד
כִּי פַסּוּ אֱמוּנִים
מִבְּנֵי אָדָם
Save יְהוָה
for obliterated is the merciful one
for vanished are the faithful
among the children of dust

7/21/2011 4:41:12 PMvanished, פסס, (pss) a hapax
חסידך one within your refuge חסיד כִּי לֹא תַעֲזֹב נַפְשִׁי לִשְׁאוֹל
לֹא תִתֵּן חֲסִידְךָ לִרְאוֹת שָׁחַת
for you will not forsake me to the grave
You will not allow one within your refuge to see destruction

7/22/2011 10:18:17 AMone within your refuge, חסיד (xsyd) the singular merciful one of psalm 4.4, 12.2, 18.26, 32.6, 43.1, 86.2
חסיד one who is kind עִם חָסִיד תִּתְחַסָּד
עִם גְּבַר תָּמִים תִּתַּמָּם
with one who is kind you show yourself kind
with one who prevails complete you show yourself complete

7/21/2011 4:44:34 PMkind, חסיד, the singular merciful one
חסיד one under mercy עַל זֹאת
יִתְפַּלֵּל כָּל חָסִיד אֵלֶיךָ
לְעֵת מְצֹא
רַק לְשֵׁטֶף מַיִם רַבִּים
אֵלָיו לֹא יַגִּיעוּ
for this
every one under mercy will pray to you
in a time to be found
certainly in the downpour of many waters
they will not touch him

7/22/2011 8:51:04 AMone under mercy, חסיד, singular, see 16.10
חסיד one who is merciful שָׁפְטֵנִי אֱלֹהִים
וְרִיבָה רִיבִי
מִגּוֹי לֹא חָסִיד
מֵאִישׁ מִרְמָה וְעַוְלָה תְפַלְּטֵנִי
Judge me O God
and strive my strife
with a nation without one who is merciful
from a deceitful and unjust person secure me

7/21/2011 4:48:35 PMone who is merciful, חסיד, singular, not necessarily a generic characteristic
חסיד under your protection שָׁמְרָה נַפְשִׁי
כִּי חָסִיד אָנִי
הוֹשַׁע עַבְדְּךָ
אַתָּה אֱלֹהַי
הַבּוֹטֵחַ אֵלֶיךָ
Guard my life
for under your protection am I
save your servant
you, my God
the one trusting in you

7/21/2011 4:50:13 PMunder your protection, חסיד, the singular one under the חסד, that covenant mercy and loving kindness of יְהוָה

Wednesday 20 July 2011

One-trick pony still not discouraged

Up and down he wandered, up and down the 20,000 words of the Psalter, touching here, snipping there, training here, flummoxed there.

Fewer than 250 steps to go up and down - but I am ignoring some significant compromises where I think that the backward translation would be clear from surrounding text without following my 1:many rule and of course my analytic function cannot know anything about homonyms, so some of the steps are flat.  Up and down I say because sometimes I reverse a decision today that I made yesterday when I reread the whole. Tricky business this for a one-trick pony.

In my updates I am now including a time-stamp - really useful for me too! So if you are reading these translations and I hope someone is, then you know when I last republished that page. The entire page (for short psalms that have fewer than 40 recurring words) is now fully automated - no tweaking required.  Yea!!!!

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Eight O'clock

From my friend John Money, professor of history, after tennis and a fine party.  "The moral - historians nota bene:  the truth ain't necessarily what got written down.  "

Bluebottle:       What time is it Eccles?

Eccles:             Err, just a minute. I've got it written down on a piece of paper. A nice man wrote the time down for me this morning.

Bluebottle:       Ooooh, then why do you carry it around with you Eccles?

Eccles:             Welll, um, if a anybody asks me the time, I can show it to dem.

Bluebottle:       Wait a minute Eccles, my good man.

Eccles:             What is it fellow?

Bluebottle:       It's writted on this bit of paper, what is eight o'clock, is writted.

Eccles:             I know that my good fellow. That's right, um, when I asked the fella to write it down, it was eight o'clock.

Bluebottle:       Well then. Supposing when somebody asks you the time, it isn't eight o'clock?

Eccles:             Well den, I don't show it to 'em.

Bluebottle:       Ooohhh.

Eccles:             [smacks lips] yeah.

Bluebottle:       Well how do you know when it's eight o'clock?

Eccles:             I've got it written down on a piece of paper.

Bluebottle:       Ohh, I wish I could afford a piece of paper with the time written on.

Eccles:             Oohhhh.

Bluebottle:       'Ere Eccles?

Eccles:             Yah.

Bluebottle:       Let me hold that piece of paper to my ear would you? 'Ere. This piece of paper ain't goin'

Eccles:             What? I've been sold a forgery.

Bluebottle:       No wonder it stopped at eight o'clock.

Eccles:             Oh dear.

Bluebottle:       You should get one of them tings my Granddads' got.

Eccles:             Oooohhh.

Bluebottle:       His firm give it to him when he retired.

Eccles:             Oooohhh.

Bluebottle:       It's one of dem tings what it is that wakes you up at eight o'clock, boils the kettle, and pours a cuppa tea.

Eccles:             Ohhh yeah. What's it called? Um.

Bluebottle:       My Grandma.

Eccles:             Ohh. Ohh, wait a minute. How does she know when it's eight o'clock?

Bluebottle:       She's got it written down on a piece of paper.

My goose is cooked

Groan - I know of about 290 inconsistencies in my translation rule that I am imposing on the Psalter kata Bob.  So much early hunting and pecking has its cost.  290 is fewer than 600 but still so many - and few of them seem easy.

One at a time, one at a time, it is fewer than 365 steps.  A short climb.  And I must pause on every stair.  Sometimes you get to take two steps at once.

Monday 18 July 2011

Harry Potter

Shall the pot say to the Potter...

It's a good film you made and a good story.  I marvel at the growth of this story during such a long period.

We saw Deathly Hallows Part 1 on Video on Demand Saturday and got tickets for Part II tonight.  Very worth while - earned its 4 star rating.

The wild goose is nearing capture

I had some of this vintage recently - not bad at all.

My new tools are serving me very well indeed.  Every time I refine a selected synonym in Hebrew to a different gloss and synonym in English, I am thoroughly rewarded. There is for a single book like the psalms, and I am sure I could do it for all the books I have translated, no excuse for random synonyms, none whatsoever. Every time I have fixed one, I have seen my prior selection as lacking in discipline.  Of course, it is not possible that I could have had such discipline to begin with.

The goose is not yet cooked, but the few wild ones I leave in the bush will be footnoted if for some reason I fail to find an adequate unique English gloss. Note this is unique only in the sense of transparency. I am not confining myself to a single gloss for each Hebrew word - sometimes I use many, but I am attempting to complete the process of not reducing different Hebrew words to the same gloss in English.  (The English gloss may include a preposition or other modifier for distinction. And I allow homonyms to stand because the context is usually obvious.)

My tools are a single page interactive web form that I have built in the last few weeks using GX-LEAF, a Live Enterprise Accountability Framework that lends itself to the construction of Measurement and Evaluation systems. It is in use by several national and international clients for the analysis of complex problems - from running an organization to diagramming and developing forms for all sorts of interactive data entry and display.  We have recently implemented direct update to database tables through server script snippets. This feature has freed me completely from direct database table updates.  Also recently implemented is a minimal HTML output feature that allows one click copy and paste to the stand alone published pages.  In principle, we could publish direct to blogs.

I have now reviewed most of the glossary letter by letter, and I am republishing gradually each psalm post. Eliminating colour in the text, but retaining it in the supporting tables. I could keep it in the text, but I think it is largely distracting from reading.  Over at Poetry of Christ, I have scheduled the remaining posts for July, and may be able to do the same for August when I will be in NY and travelling across the US by train via Washington, Chicago, Santa Fe, and Seattle. Fun if it's not too hot. So come on early, autumn.

Now, in times past, I can understand why anyone might have encouraged me, but declined to correct. Though you couldn't see many of the errors, they were legion.  I think they are becoming fewer, and I would love to find them.  So if you see things that strike you as odd, perhaps they are, and I would be grateful if you might challenge my English in a comment.  I think these translations are suitable for an individual to read as a different but still recognizable approach to the psalms in this day.  You can carry a word to me if you wish.

Since I implemented my first version of controlled changes a little over 2 weeks ago, I have made over 2000 selected changes to individual words affecting 660 verses.  I have not yet published all these changes - so feedback should be limited to those pages that appear in the new format. The new format uses some css classes I have copied into my blog template.

Newly published at the moment are psalms 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 762, 63, 64.  Psalm 1 is also here. I will refrain from updating too quickly. I must now put my prosodic divisions in the database before publishing - just enough to slow me down and have me check individual words as I republish.  I hope to be fully republished by the end of September.  Then I think I will be prepared for the learning I will do at UVIC during my fellowship there in the 4th quarter of this year.

Friday 15 July 2011

Psalm 1 - from the database

This is an experiment.  I have made over 500 changes to individual verses and over 600 individual phrases in the past week- so I need an automated way of replacing my text.  There is too much time wasted otherwise.

Also - my thoughts on writing are changing.  The whole sense of what sort of book might be useful is changing in me.  And I am getting a little more fluency in reading.

So any thoughts on this as a replacement for e.g. Psalm 1?  I am not sure I can live with `person`

The way of the wicked and the righteousin which the main characters, wicked and righteous, are introduced, and the invitation to learn a fullness of joy in the judgement is offered

אַשְׁרֵי הָאִישׁ
אֲשֶׁר לֹא הָלַךְ
בַּעֲצַת רְשָׁעִים
וּבְדֶרֶךְ חַטָּאִים
לֹא עָמָד
וּבְמוֹשַׁב לֵצִים
לֹא יָשָׁב
1Happy the person
who does not walk
in the advice of the wicked
and in the way of sinners
does not stand
and in the seat of the scornful
does not sit
כִּי אִם בְּתוֹרַת יְהוָה חֶפְצוֹ
וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ יֶהְגֶּה יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה
2In contrast: in the instruction of יְהוָה is his delight
and in his instruction he meditates day and night
וְהָיָה כְּעֵץ
שָׁתוּל עַל פַּלְגֵי-מָיִם
אֲשֶׁר פִּרְיוֹ יִתֵּן בְּעִתּוֹ
וְעָלֵהוּ לֹא יִבּוֹל
וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר-יַעֲשֶׂה יַצְלִיחַ
3and that one will be like a tree
transplanted by streams of water
that gives its fruit in its time
and its leaf does not wither
and in all that it does, it thrives
לֹא-כֵן הָרְשָׁעִים
כִּי אִם כַּמֹּץ
אֲשֶׁר-תִּדְּפֶנּוּ רוּחַ
4Not so the-many wicked
in contrast: like chaff
that blows in the wind
עַל-כֵּן לֹא-יָקֻמוּ
וְחַטָּאִים בַּעֲדַת צַדִּיקִים
5So it is that they will not arise
the wicked
in the judgment
nor sinners in the assembly of the-many righteous
כִּי-יוֹדֵעַ יְהוָה
דֶּרֶךְ צַדִּיקִים
וְדֶרֶךְ רְשָׁעִים תֹּאבֵד
6For יְהוָה knows
the way of those righteous
but the way of those wicked will perish
Notes by verse

2in contrast, כִּי אִם. Boaz Shoshan, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, suggested that 'in this case', which was my first cut at this unique phrase, does not have sufficient contrast. Hence the phrase 'in contrast' still preserving the unique combination of כִּי אִם (see also Jeremiah 7, Deuteronomy 12, Esther 2.)
instruction, (תורה) Torah, or teaching, mentoring, but not Law in a legal sense
3that one, emphasizing the singular without the personal pronoun
4the-many, drawing attention to the singular-plural contrast in this psalm which sets the tone for the incorporation of the elect singular and plural
5so it is, therefore, but catching the sounds-like with not so.
6the way, specific by implication with the aforementioned many wicked
Companion posts to these translations may be found here

Translation and Notes last updated on 2011.
Hebrew words: 67
English words: 139
Keywords in relative order

Word and gloss * first usage12345678910VsStem
* אשׁרי happy
* אשׁר who
* לא does not
* רשׁעים the wicked
* ובדרך and in the way of
* חטאים sinners
* לא does not
* ובמושׁב and in the seat of
* לא does not
* ישׁב sit
* אם contrast
* בתורת in the instruction of
* ובתורתו and in his instruction
* אשׁר that
* לא does not
* אשׁר that
* לא not
* כן so
* הרשׁעים the-many wicked
* אם contrast
* אשׁר that
* כן so it is that
* לא they will not
* רשׁעים the wicked
* וחטאים nor sinners
* צדיקים the-many righteous
* דרך the way of
* צדיקים those righteous
* ודרך but the way of
* רשׁעים those wicked

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Siblings in a long conversation

It really is a delight to see that oil flowing down Aaron's beard over here.

I've been beavering away with my sharp teeth. I have changed 640 elements in my glossary and 355 verses in the past week and finally I have control over the process. I am gradually making the glossary and translations conform to my rule - 1 to many for Hebrew to English, not many to 1.  It is a challenge to find enough English synonyms sometimes - and to consider shades of feeling.  I also note that on the one to many I am sometimes careless - really why use two different words when one will do?

I am sure I have not found all the places I want to change.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Translating and the glue factory

Great conversation again at BBB on what's your metaphor - so many answers. The last one in my comment was 'rendering' but the comment slipped away before I finished the thought so I repeat it here

What is my metaphor for translation? Great question, and stimulating responses. I varied over the past two days thinking about this - my first thought was of a razor's edge that the word might slip between the excuses and explanations that we put in our ways.

Then I thought of the bloody-minded blunderbus - and realized that a razor might produce blood too, but a sharp and clean cut might not disable the subsequent pleasure of completeness.  Let us not be too bloody-minded.

This morning I noted what seemed a hapax in my database on the psalms - but it wasn't. I had the root wrong. So in correcting a word I have seen rendered as hope, or confidence, I was amused - though whether it is humour in the Psalms or not I cannot tell, that the root is not hope but stupidity or folly.  Psalm 78:7 - that they might set their folly on God and not forget the prodigality of אֵל. Prodigality or wantonness - it's a verse about our being taught about being translated.

And there's a third metaphor - rendered. How often I think of the glue factory when I use this word for translating!

It's not just that the horse is dead by the time we are finished but that we don't even need to be translating from one language to another to kill it.

Friday 8 July 2011

Ze chase of ze goose wild

I am sure all you linguists out there and Hebraic experts know how much of a chase of goose wild I have been on.  The simple many English gloss to one Hebrew is easy, but the reverse - no English gloss to be ambiguous on reverse translation - is very difficult. The simple reason is that the Hebrew 'conjugations' to borrow a Latin term, change the meaning of the stem in more ways than English or Latin conjugations do.  Here is an example taken from my current random walk through the Psalter as I revise my tool-set. But I will continue.

Now on my tiny netbook, I can watch TV, interact with guests, eat supper, and change my glosses without getting lost. I have combined the input of verse in English, gloss, a query that tells me when the gloss does not occur exactly in the verse, a query that tells me where the significant word or English root in this gloss occurs elsewhere in the Psalter, and a query that tells me where I think the Hebrew stem occurs. It's all very clickable and compact - has to be because there is a very small amount of screen 'real estate'.  The image below shows the problem with the gloss 'shine'.  I don't use it very often, but I will have to find a way of distinguishing these three Hebrew verbs that have something to do with 'shine'.

The left panel below lets me
  • pick a psalm, 
  • filter for glosses that are not in the text of the verse - these may be legitimate word order changes, or I may have changed the gloss and not the text
  • filter for similar glosses I have used elsewhere in the Psalter
  • update gloss, text, verse number, or root (my own numbering and transcription coding)
  • see all the other verses where I think the Hebrew stem occurs
  • see which things I have changed recently
  • and compare two verses closely - this is particularly helpful for seeing differences in psalms that repeat but are not exactly the same
In this example, I think it will be important to examine the sense of each of the three Hebrew stems and how it relates to the other places it is used - so the praise, interpreted as shine because of binyan might reflect the original meaning of Judah and its reflection in Romans where the shining comes from the praise from God for the individual. (This does not have to be a 'Christian' or 'Pauline' interpretation, by the way.)

I have omitted most of the column headings to save space, the numbers are (upper left)  position in the English text, or middle right (days since I have changed this verse). Some of them are very old. You can see the image on a wide screen or use the scroll bar at the bottom.

Humour in the Psalms

Tim at 5 Minute Bible has posted a reading of Psalm 94 under the subject Humour in the Bible. I am honoured that he included part of an email summary I sent him. I regret that I couldn't take part in the aural presentation, but time did not allow it this week.

In his reading, listen for the gaps and change of voice. How does one answer the question about the wicked that he ends with? I think the poet realizes that the problem is not a simple one that the "divisions within me" (verse 19) implicate the elect with the wicked.

Now back to seeing the psalms though it's lovely to hear them read in Tim's inimitable voice after the trumpet sounds.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Things that are changing

I have decided to dismount and cross at the crosswalk on Cook street - lane by lane cars are too much to navigate in the evening. I may do the same in the mornings. No need to hurry.

I have developed a way of seeing and reconciling word usage and verses while testing some of our newest software. This will allow me greater control over the achievement of my one-to-many rule for Hebrew to English. That rule is - it's OK to use multiple English glosses for one Hebrew stem, but I must try to avoid multiple Hebrew stems mapping to the same English word. As a consequence, if a Hebrew word is unique in the Psalter, then the English gloss must also be unique.  That's the self-imposed rule I have made for my translations.

All my translations are available from here. I am up to Psalm 58 in my brief comments and personal applications of the psalms on PoC. I have stopped making notes at Psalm 90 while I review all the translations with the new methods I have. I am currently reviewing Psalm 109, but while doing any one psalm I also review every shared word it has with all other psalms. This leads me far afield from a particular psalm sometimes.  I am pleased to say that the rate of change in my glossary is diminishing.  I do allow myself some curious anachronisms and colloquialisms in my translations. (Just keeps us on our toes.)

The Biblioblog reference library has some new software that shows what I had suspected. My Alexa ranking is losing ground, but my pages being read are increasing according to Google. The two measures don't agree with each other. The reference library seems to be counting like Google - and surprise to me - both Dust and PoC are in the top 17 today. [I suspect I am just test data at the moment]  I hope you, dear reader, enjoy the work I am doing - I certainly do.

I anticipate that my project will be completed on the psalms sometime next year. If I keep up with 10 posts a month at PoC then that leaves 8 more this month, and another 9 months worth of posts finishing about April next year (93 psalms and 4 book summaries to go). I have drafts - some quite short - on the psalms up to Psalm 89. So I can get 3 months scheduled, a short distance, without going back to writing.

I am hoping to do more individual psalm research in the 4th quarter of this year when I am doing the fellowship at UVIC.

Monday 4 July 2011

Canada Day 2011

A walk at the Lieutenant Governor's house - a frequent stroll for us since we live right around the corner from it.
The spice garden and sundial

The rose gardens are just coming out full.

Our own roses on the porch have their charm
We ended up at the fireworks - but missed most of them.

Golden grass - a beautiful withering

It was a golden grass kind of day on Saturday - a nice poetry. We walked through the park at cattle point with its curious lupin seed pods.
ending up at the oldest residence in Victoria, Tod house.

Sunday 3 July 2011


The whole thing is a contact sport,
a game, not a battle of propositions.
The rules are more flexible than one might imagine.
Rule-makers are like spectators on the sidelines.
They don't win. The stakes are high.
There is a referee. We did him in.

A quick lesson in limits

I am beginning to read at random. I can get a few words in some places without help from dictionaries. Reading a parallel diglot, I can do better but I have to match words occasionally to see where the translators went. Reading this morning in Genesis 24, I realized I am too unfamiliar with this strange tongue to do what I am doing, but equally, if I do not continue, I will never become familiar with it.

I also noticed psalm 45 has masculine singular pointing in verse 16 resolving potential ambiguity in who is being addressed. Hmmm I don't know if it is ambiguous without the pointing. Limited, as I said.

תַּחַת אֲבֹתֶיךָ יִהְיוּ בָנֶיךָ
תְּשִׁיתֵמוֹ לְשָׂרִים בְּכָל הָאָרֶץ
Instead of your fathers shall be your children
you will make them chiefs in all the earth
אַזְכִּירָה שִׁמְךָ
בְּכָל דֹּר וָדֹר
עַל כֵּן עַמִּים יְהוֹדוּךָ
לְעֹלָם וָעֶד
I will make your name remembered
in all generations
Therefore peoples will thank you
for ever and ever

Saturday 2 July 2011

A quick lesson in translation

If you want to hear or overhear what some say about translations - here is an example. The comments are a like a short course on the subject. (How would you respond to Fox’s critique of Alter? - it's a good read and there is considerable discussion at the link above.)

I love vav's and I translate them all - maybe - but not all with 'and' and not all with 'but'. Vavs connect like the hooks of the tabernacle. That means they are part of the love-space of the One who seeks us to be in relationship with himself. (For me, he insists on not being capitalized. They have already had my head, he says.)

I wonder when I will be able to let my translations stand on their own without bi-focals.  One day.

The proverbs in that link above make me think that translating Proverbs would be fun. Especially since I never use the word 'soul', -too busy being - or the word 'better' - good is sufficient - , as glosses when translating, and I love 'and' as connector. The clasps on the wedding dress are of gold and silver. As my wife noted to me here, getting hooked is a metaphor for the role of vav's.