Monday, August 22, 2005

The Bible as you've never heard it

Fascinating article in the Guardian, of all places, about a school in Jerusalem set up to give non-Jews the Hebrew skills to translate the so-called 'Old Testament' into their own languages:
One challenge for the translators is to find equivalents for words that don't exist in the native tongue, such as "snow" in tropical Benin, or where vineyards or types of animals and plants don't exist, in Africa or Asia. In translating "stiff-necked people" (Exodus 32:9), for example, one translator came up with "blocked-ears" and another with "as hard as a grasshopper's head". These may be far from traditional translations, but they make sense in the local vocabulary and world view of the intended audience.
The Jews -- hard as a grasshopper's head. I like it!

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