Does a Translation Have to Sound like a Translation?

First, read David Frank’s post.  Second, comment there by the guidelines or here at this blog post as openly as you care to.



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4 responses to “Does a Translation Have to Sound like a Translation?

  1. I saw the pingback and it took me a second to catch on: Better Better Bibles Blog! Cool! Any comments of your own? If you do, I don’t know if I can keep up with you. By the way, I’m not sure anyone completely agrees with what I have said, not even my fellow BBB bloggers, but this is my position that I am trying to explore.

  2. Thanks for writing, both your fascinating post at BBB and also your comment here. In your post, your exploration of ideas is interesting and challenging in a positive way. (I just read Eric Metaxes’s huge and substantial Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography and was wondering about quotations of Bonhoeffer in transation. NACHFOLGE for “Cost of Discipleship”? Also, I’ve just read Victor Frankl’s “Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager” translated as “From Death-Camp to Existentialism,” and more recently re-titled in English as, “Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy.”) I’m working on something related at Aristotle’s Feminist Subject but hope to give my thoughts more directly here soon enough. (The comments you already have at BBB are just wonderful! Wayne’s one statement against “this foreignness [of Jewish religious practices] to be communicated in foreign English” is one I’m thinking about already.)

  3. This is amazing, because as I have resolved to do more reading of great books, I had just decided yesterday that Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning would be next on my list. My daughter is reading it now, and she is the one who referred me to it. I’m sure I can’t keep up with you in reading, though.

  4. Frank, That is amazing also because it was my daughter who read and recommended Frankl’s book to me. Let me know what you think. Frankl continued to use German, even when some American’s questioned that. A good translator from German, then, into American English in particular, would want to understand Frankl’s ways of using German that are not Adolf Hitler’s ways of using the language. And Hitler’s translators, from German into American English for purposes of his propaganda, tried to make the racist man sound less racist, less foreign, and, indeed, more American. James Murphy, who worked in Goebbels’s Nazi Ministry of propaganda from 1934 to 1938, used Americanisms to make Mein Kampf sound not foreign here in the USA. Here’s an old blogpost where I try to show some of that.