Saturday, November 5, 2011

Children of dust

For the record, I have abandoned the rendering of בְּנֵי אָדָם as children of dust.  There were several conflicts against my rule of concordance.  Also I had to be more serious in a few places. I am not generally updating my translations and notes on this blog any more, but for this one, I have done it and will eventually republish the stand-alone pages that contain glossary etc. I have decided generally to use 'children of humanity' or 'human child' depending on the plurality. In a few places where there is some irony or criticism, I have used 'earthling', or 'humus'.  I have now removed the conflict with עָפָר. It was quite a serious conflict, e.g. compare these verses

תַּסְתִּיר פָּנֶיךָ
תֹּסֵף רוּחָם
וְאֶל עֲפָרָם יְשׁוּבוּן
104.29you hide your face
they are vexed
you gather their spirit
they expire
and to their dust they return


תֵּצֵא רוּחוֹ
 יָשֻׁב לְאַדְמָתוֹ
בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אָבְדוּ עֶשְׁתֹּנֹתָיו
146.4its spirit goes forth
it returns to its humus
In that day its gleams perish

similar thoughts in different words. It would not do to have used the same word 'dust' in English.

O dear - I am becoming serious.