Monday, July 20, 2009

Shining and enlightment - flame and flash

There are many difficulties in an attempt at concordant translation. The first is choosing a word whose meaning stretches to metaphor - this is because it is 'obvious' that words play this role in the source language. So they must also in some parallel respect play similarly in the target language. The second is finding a sufficient number of possible glosses when the source language has synonyms and the target language does not. Inventing new words may be a requirement.

These thoughts arise over my current usage of 'shine', etc in English and the many words in Hebrew used in Job that can be glossed as shine. Two synonyms occur to me - enlighten for one possible word and flash - not so sure of this one since I already used it for two other words as this table will show. Flash leads to a possible flame but I have used enflame in parallel to flash already.

Interestingly enough - the AV translators frequently did not attempt concordance and the translation suffers as a result. The clear link, for instance, from boil in Job 2:7 to the framed botch in Deuteronomy 28:27, 35 is thus lost for English readers. Equally the playful Leviathan with his eyes shining as the eyelids of dawn is lost for English between Job 3 and 41. So although complete concord is impossible between the two languages, it is very desirable to capture the frames, threads, metaphors, and overall sonic or sequential concord where possible.

ד הַיּוֹם הַהוּא יְהִי-חֹשֶׁךְ
אַל-יִדְרְשֵׁהוּ אֱלוֹהַּ מִמַּעַל
וְאַל-תּוֹפַע עָלָיו נְהָרָה
3.04 That day - let it be darkness
let God not seek for it from above
nor let a sunbeam on it shine

The next is a hapax - I did not choose 'does not rise' since I 'felt' I had already overused that sound...
ז הָאֹמֵר לַחֶרֶס וְלֹא יִזְרָח
וּבְעַד כּוֹכָבִים יַחְתֹּם
9.07 He speaks to the sun and it stops shining
and of stars - he seals them
ג הֲטוֹב לְךָ כִּי תַעֲשֹׁק
כִּי-תִמְאַס יְגִיעַ כַּפֶּיךָ
וְעַל-עֲצַת רְשָׁעִים הוֹפָעְתָּ
10.03 Is it good to you that you oppress
that you refuse the labour of your open palms
and shine on the counsel of the wicked?
כב אֶרֶץ עֵפָתָה כְּמוֹ אֹפֶל צַלְמָוֶת
וְלֹא סְדָרִים וַתֹּפַע כְּמוֹ-אֹפֶל
10.22 a land of faintness and like the gloom of obscurity
without order and the shining is like gloom
יז מוֹלִיךְ יוֹעֲצִים שׁוֹלָל
וְשֹׁפְטִים יְהוֹלֵל
12.17 He leads counselors away plundered
and makes judges dunderheads

I must do something about this one - If shine, then he makes them 'shiners' if flash then flashers - but it could be more subtle! But equally one does not want to lose the sound of plunder and dunder !
ל לֹא-יָסוּר מִנִּי-חֹשֶׁךְ
יֹנַקְתּוֹ תְּיַבֵּשׁ שַׁלְהָבֶת
וְיָסוּר בְּרוּחַ פִּיו
15.30 He will not turn away from darkness
flame [hapax] will dry his branches
and he will turn away by the breath of his mouth
ה גַּם אוֹר רְשָׁעִים יִדְעָךְ
וְלֹא-יִגַּהּ שְׁבִיב אִשּׁוֹ
18.05 Even the light of the wicked will be extinguished
and the spark of his fire will not shine
כה שָׁלַף וַיֵּצֵא מִגֵּוָה
וּבָרָק מִמְּרֹרָתוֹ יַהֲלֹךְ
עָלָיו אֵמִים
20.25 it is drawn and comes out from the back
as the flash from his bitterness goes out
on him are horrors
כח וְתִגְזַר-אֹמֶר וְיָקָם לָךְ
וְעַל-דְּרָכֶיךָ נָגַהּ אוֹר
22.28 then you will decree a word and it will arise for you
and on your ways light will shine
ג בְּהִלּוֹ נֵרוֹ עֲלֵי רֹאשִׁי
לְאוֹרוֹ אֵלֶךְ חֹשֶׁךְ
29.03 in his shining - his candle over my head
in his light I walked darkness
כו אִם-אֶרְאֶה אוֹר כִּי יָהֵל
וְיָרֵחַ יָקָר הֹלֵךְ
31.26 if I see light shining
of the precious moon walking
ל לְהָשִׁיב נַפְשׁוֹ מִנִּי-שָׁחַת
לֵאוֹר בְּאוֹר הַחַיִּים
33.30 to return his being from the pit
to be enlightened in the light of the living
טו הֲתֵדַע בְּשׂוּם-אֱלוֹהַּ עֲלֵיהֶם
וְהֹפִיעַ אוֹר עֲנָנוֹ
37.15 do you know God's setting of them
and the light of his mist he made shine?
לה הַתְשַׁלַּח בְּרָקִים וְיֵלֵכוּ
וְיֹאמְרוּ לְךָ הִנֵּנוּ
38.35 can you send out flashes and they go?
and say to you - behold us!
כג עָלָיו תִּרְנֶה אַשְׁפָּה
לַהַב חֲנִית וְכִידוֹן
39.23 against him rattles a quiver
flash of shaft and spear
י עֲטִישֹׁתָיו תָּהֶל אוֹר
וְעֵינָיו כְּעַפְעַפֵּי-שָׁחַר
41.18 his sneezing shines a light
and his eyes are like the eyelids of dawn
יג נַפְשׁוֹ גֶּחָלִים תְּלַהֵט
וְלַהַב מִפִּיו יֵצֵא
41.21 his being enflames [hapax] coals
and a flash from his mouth goes forth
כד אַחֲרָיו יָאִיר נָתִיב
יַחְשֹׁב תְּהוֹם לְשֵׂיבָה
41.32 after him is an enlightened track
he counts the depth gray-haired

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