Unit 2 Assignment 2: Translation and the Bible–Luna Jerjees

Options 2 and 3

As discussed in Thursday’s panel, there are many different ways to view translation of text and translators may take different approaches to arrive at a finished product. However, this raises the question of whether we are really receiving an accurate translation of the text? Theoretically, the only person capable of translating a work perfectly would be the author of it. They know the intent, meaning, and context of their work. Does that insinuate that any other translators can never truly grasp the essence of the text? The indeterminacy of translation points to the first evidence of this. If two translators can interrupt text completely differently, how does the reader know that they are reading the true text. In that case, is the solution only to read the text in the original language?

            While the issue of translation raises many questions, I would like to examine biblical translations more closely. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Today, there are translations of the Bible in 2,900 out of the 6,877 known languages. As one can assume, there are often words that do not translate accurately, or at all, between languages, and therefore it becomes the work of the translator to most accurately replace the word. In doing so, the word no longer holds the same meaning as it did in the original language. The repetition of this in several languages, over many eras, and taking into account the evolution of language may have created completely unintended interpretations of the original text. I ponder this question because I have read passages in both the Arabic and English Bibles and have noticed vastly distinct meanings in each.

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