1. Has there been discussion or a rule/guideline established for how much work and additional wordage to make a beautiful translation as opposed to a more simple but not beautiful accurate translation? The main complaint is that the CUV is beautiful and the new work is not. Our thought is simple accuracy is better than more complicated (but more beautiful) accuracy — if accuracy can be achieved at all in a beautiful prose. We just want to make sure we’re thinking correctly.
2. What about English words that do not have Chinese equivalents? Do you — use many words to replace the one — create a new word — use ancient, not in common use words, if available?
3. Is there an established rule/guideline for capitalized words (Lxrd, LXRD)? There are no caps or equivalent in Chinese.
4. Chinese has different characters for he, she, it, and G_d. The latter is ancient and is not in common use and is not known by this generation. Is this what we should use?
5. Problems like GN 4:1 Adam knew Eve his wife. Do we use “to know” meaning to recognize and let context fill in details or use what the CUV uses which is “shared a room with”?
These are a sample of the problems we are encountering. Having never done this, we would like to have the knowledge of what has been done in other cultures/languages.
I recommend initially translating the words in the King James Bible, then when reading it in your language to order the words so they flow well, with the correct meaning. Also, be aware of special English expressions, which off course must be translated differently with a proper corresponding Chinese expression. For example, They cast the same in his teeth, is an English expression which would be wrong to translate word for word; in such an instance you must understand the meaning and give a correct translation in your language.
To make a word-list in alphabetical order is very useful, where you choose two or three words which can be used for an English word. (See the word-list which I did: http://www.kjv.fo/default.asp?menu=629. Using different words for rhythm and rhyme is the best and the classical way to bring forth beauty, while still being optimally true to meaning in the work being translated. A good Bible translator knows when and where to translate word for word, and where this simply is not possible.
Be sure to know and use all the words in your language, and also use archaic words. Make a list of special, difficult, and or archaic words, and put it in the introduction of the Bible (see page one in attached document for an example). One page should suffice for this, with perhaps 50 words explained. This way you are not restricted to what the reader already knows, and you can even coin new words – Biblical words – and appropriately explain them in the introduction of the holy volume. I never used more than two words for one English word, and also noticed that sometimes two English words correctly came down to one Faroese word. This is natural and well known in all translating. However, you never get five words for one KJB word. That would be going into that vile modernistic mode called dynamic equivalency, – a mode which only should be used where it is the only possibility, and therefore the right thing to do in that given instance. 97% of the time Bible translating is literal, word for word, and everywhere as close to word for word as at
all possible. Translating the Holy Bible is not at all like translating other books. God speaks of his words, not his expressions, thoughts, or ideas. So we must give all of our attention to the words of God, and translate them.
I recommend translating all the words. For example, Jonathan strengthened David’s hand in the Lord. Many translators would be tempted of the devil to leave out the word hand, thinking it is merely a special way of speech, but no, hand is also part of God’s word, signalling strength. Some things can move a little bit from translation to translation, and rightly so, but most things stay absolutely fixed.
Look well for words which have an as similar meaning as the English word as possible, and always write your decision down, after you have found the best word. Compare words with words, and give them all their proper distinctive slot in your word-list and in your mind.
I would recommend using special typographical signs and place them either above or under the word you translate for LORD; and explain this in the introduction of the Bible (see page two of the attached document, where the last six deal with this). This way you have properly made a VISIBLE distinction between Lord and LORD. These must be counted and checked (using a computer), and remember: they are always divisible by 7 in the KJB, and therefore also in a holy translation of it.
I recommend using everything in Chinese at your disposal, both old and new, and if it be not known today, explain it in the introduction. The Bible is eternal, it is not bound by present ignorance, therefore we can freely dig into the soil of our language and bring forth gold nuggets. Archaic words often have a purity about them which newer words have not. I borrowed words from Icelandic, Swedish, and Norse, languages which we share common etymological heritage with. If unknown, it will become known through the Bible, and you will even have enriched your language. This was done by Tyndale and others. The Bible shapes the languages, not the other way round, for it has supreme authority. Never bow down to beggarly worldly wisdom. Seek God’s wisdom only: and glance at books, but never wholly depend on them. Also, have no dictionary definitions as supreme authority on words; always use words Biblically, in a Biblical context. Please note that damnation is much stronger than judgment. Most likely you will have to coin a word for it. I did. The word-list helped me see the proper meanings of words, and also translation, with their proper force and strength, compared to each other. With God’s help, this can be done.
I recommend using the words KNOW and KNEW, and most assuredly nothing else. It works in every language, and has done for six thousand years. Not only is it a Biblical expression; it is even a Biblical WORD. In no language is it a common expression, but in every language is it a Biblical word and expression. It will carry in every language the notion of intimate fellowship (knowing) between a man and his wife, and therefore also give a notion of every thing that thereto belongs in the marriage. The reader fills in the blanks, the Holy Ghost teaching him. Every new reader of the Bible has lots of new things to learn, and let us be careful to give them the Book the Holy Ghost gave and is able to teach them, and not our own thoughts on it. For example, I have heard of a Faroese missionary to a tribe in South America who changed sheep to pig and bread to rice, imagining that he was doing the Lord a favour. This off course is not only wrong; it is blasphemy. People know that animals are found in other parts of the world which are not found where they live. They just need to see a picture and or hear a simple explanation of the fourfooted hairy animal, that such are found in Israel where Jesus walked, and they will even enjoy learning exactly what God inspired his writers to write. A Bible reader will learn and love the Bible’s own words, wordings, and expressions. All this is part of learning the Bible, and let us therefore faithfully give it to them to learn.
Translating the King James Holy Bible into your language you are way above any beggarly so-called bible translation done before. Never feel inferior to readings in former translations, no matter how people praise them for speaking just the way they themselves speak, they being of Alexandrian origin. If you translate the KJB correctly and with holy reverance, God will also endue you with grace to through you give it it’s beauty.
May God continue to bless your work, I pray in Jesus’ name.
In Christ Jesus,
Eg sendi síður vi og viii úr FKJ við í teldupostinum.
Spurningarnir komu umvegis Riplinger.