Saturday, 12 March 2022

Psalms 1 again

A few minutes out of my spring break to look at how Forbes translation compares to the English translation of Delitzsch from the original German. I have left in a few notes, my syllable counts and on the left, the Hebrew and SimHebrew - On the right, Delitzsch are the odd lines and Forbes the even.
Psalms 1 Biblischer Commentar über die Psalmen von Franz Delitzsch

אַ֥שְֽׁרֵי הָאִ֗ישׁ‬ אֲשֶׁ֤ר ׀ לֹ֥א הָלַךְ֮ בַּעֲצַ֪ת רְשָׁ֫עִ֥ים
וּבְדֶ֣רֶךְ חַ֭טָּאִים לֹ֥א עָמָ֑ד
וּבְמוֹשַׁ֥ב לֵ֝צִ֗ים לֹ֣א יָשָֽׁב
1 ♪f BLESSED is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
And standeth not in the way of sinners,
And sitteth not in the company of scorners,
a awri haiw awr la hlç byxt rwyim
ubdrç k'taim la ymd
ubmowb lxim la iwb
Blessed is the man
That hath not walked in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stood in the way of sinners,
Nor sat in the seat of the scorners:
  • Note the continuing present tense (walks, stands, sits) in D and the past tense (walked, stood, sat) in F.
  • Both translators use the traditional blessed and archaic English to be expected from the 19th century. awri - Dr.D's selig is more connected to happy - more like a shout of joy.
  • D has a tri-colon observing the ole-veyored and atnach, F observes the separator, a sign the music ignores. To have a four colon verse requires the promotion of some accents, most often revia. But this mordent is not always pausal.
  • D prefers ungodly (Gottlosen) to the Scots wicked. There is some advantage to the explicit plural.
  • Neither translator reflects the Hebrew word order in the second and third colon. The changes in word order are unnecessary in this case and disturb the thought process. D in the German keeps the Hebrew word order - bravo. This is poetry - not explanation!
My rendering is:
Happy 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. (Psalm is here. Performance here.)
כִּ֤י אִ֥ם בְּתוֹרַ֥ת יְהוָ֗ה חֶ֫פְצ֥וֹ
וּֽבְתוֹרָת֥וֹ יֶהְגֶּ֗ה יוֹמָ֥ם וָלָֽיְלָה
2 ♪C But his delight is in the Law of Jahve
And in His Law doth he meditate day and night —
b ci am btort ihvh kpxo
ubtorto ihgh iomm vlilh
But in the law of Jehovah is his delight;
And in His law doth he meditate day and night.
  • D.'s English translator has done badly. D. retains Hebrew word order and the translator muffles it with piety. The psalms are not pious. Sondern an Jahve's Gesetze hat er seine Lust (Google gets it wrong for poetic translation also).
  • ci am is a strong adversative. Used only here in the Psalms - though otherwise common.

וְֽהָיָ֗ה כְּעֵץ֮ שָׁת֪וּל עַֽל־פַּלְגֵ֫י־מָ֥יִם
אֲשֶׁ֤ר פִּרְי֨וֹ ׀ יִתֵּ֬ן בְּעִתּ֗וֹ וְעָלֵ֥הוּ לֹֽא־יִבּ֑וֹל
וְכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲשֶׂ֣ה יַצְלִֽיחַ
3 And he is like a tree planted by the water-courses,
Which bringeth forth its fruit in its season,
And its leaf withereth not,
And whatsoever he doeth, he carrieth through.
g vhih cyx wtul yl-plgi-mim
awr priio iitn byito vylhu la-iibol
vcol awr-iywh ixlik
And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water,
That bringeth forth its fruit in its season:
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And in all that he doeth he shall prosper.
  • Again note the difference in tense in English. D allows the present. F. mixes them. I'm not good with tenses, but I think poetry is free to use what fits the present as much as possible since the present is all 'David' had and all we his readers have. His present is present to us through his words.
  • Both make verse 3 a 4-colon verse.

לֹא־כֵ֥ן הָרְשָׁעִ֑ים
כִּ֥י אִם־כַּ֝מֹּ֗ץ אֲ‍ֽשֶׁר־תִּדְּפֶ֥נּוּ רֽוּחַ
4 Not thus are the ungodly,
But they are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
d la-cn hrwyim
ci am-cmox awr-tidpnu ruk
Not so are the wicked:
But they are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

עַל־כֵּ֤ן ׀ לֹא־יָקֻ֣מוּ רְ֭שָׁעִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֑ט
וְ֝חַטָּאִ֗ים בַּעֲדַ֥ת צַדִּיקִֽים
5 Therefore the ungodly cannot stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous,
h yl-cn la-iqumu rwyim bmwp't
vk'taim bydt xdiqim
Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
  • Both translators are overly free with la-iqumu and repeat the English stand ymd
  • D has a different word for verses 1 and 5 - see above. His translator has failed him again, probably using a standard English rendering of the time.

כִּֽי־יוֹדֵ֣עַ יְ֭הוָה דֶּ֣רֶךְ צַדִּיקִ֑ים
וְדֶ֖רֶךְ רְשָׁעִ֣ים תֹּאבֵֽד
6 For Jahve knoweth the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly perisheth.
v ci-iody ihvh drç xdiqim
vdrç rwyim tabd
For Jehovah knoweth the way of the righteous:
But the way of the wicked shall perish.
  • Each uses a different rendering of the name ihvh.
  • D again prefers the present. I prefer that though I have not always rendered it so.

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