Thursday, July 2, 2009

What do you think you are doing!

No one has asked, but I think it is important to try and identify what I think I am doing when I translate.

First - Job is an intensely personal poem. It meets human emotion outside of the covenant framework. This is a contrast to the Psalms where I met both personal and corporate issues within the covenant framework.

Though Job is in the privileged and governing class, there is little focus with respect to governance and the corporate life of a nation or of Israel. So I work from within my own personal and individual frame in my assumptions about this poem and what I think it might mean. (So far I have largely held my peace on 'meaning'. When I complete, I will collect a few thoughts on such a topic.)

When I come to the details of content, I note especially those things that are in concord with my sense of God as love. This is a sensible reading. Experience that word 'sense'. My reading should appeal to feeling, touch, sensation, sound, rhythm, pattern, and those things that are known by the individual body as a sensing and sense-absorbing mechanism. This is a large part of the awakened individual's struggle with the goodness of creation.

Finally, my target is learning - for me, and for anyone who reads me. May novices lose their fear of translating and recognize the enormity of the decisions that are made on their behalf - and fear not to make a few themselves. May the expert, if any reads, see the types of confusion and error that creep into the best of efforts and see then how better to teach or approach the text.

With respect to concordant translation, my selections of word-root equivalences in Hebrew and English are in a constant state of revision. I am convinced that concordance is important for the sound and meaning of the text. Some concordance is more important than others. Words seldom used (2 to 5 times) and words used as threads (6 to 12 times) in the various conversations are critical. Words frequently used (50 times) are of lesser importance in this respect.

If only it was simpler!

Here is desolation, waste, and ruin - let's see how discordant I have been :( I fixed a bunch :)

יד עִם-מְלָכִים וְיֹעֲצֵי אָרֶץ
הַבֹּנִים חֳרָבוֹת לָמוֹ
3.14 with kings and counselors of earth
who built desolations for themselves
supposedly unique - but see 14:11, 30.30
כא בְּשׁוֹט לָשׁוֹן תֵּחָבֵא
וְלֹא-תִירָא מִשֹּׁד כִּי
5.21 from the scourge of a tongue you will be withdrawn
and you will not be afraid of ruin when it comes
כב לְשֹׁד וּלְכָפָן תִּשְׂחָק
וּמֵחַיַּת הָאָרֶץ אַל-תִּירָא
5.22 at ruin and penury you will laugh
and from the living of the earth you will not be afraid
יא אָזְלוּ-מַיִם מִנִּי-יָם
וְנָהָר יֶחֱרַב וְיָבֵשׁ
14.11 waters fail from sea
and stream desolate dries up
ג בְּחֶסֶר וּבְכָפָן גַּלְמוּד
הַעֹרְקִים צִיָּה אֶמֶשׁ
שׁוֹאָה וּמְשֹׁאָה
30.3 in want and in penury barren
gnawing of drought yesterday
desolate and waste - same word twice = 38:27
יד כְּפֶרֶץ רָחָב יֶאֱתָיוּ
תַּחַת שֹׁאָה הִתְגַּלְגָּלוּ
30.14 as a broadside they burst on me
beneath desolation they roll over me
ל עוֹרִי שָׁחַר מֵעָלָי
וְעַצְמִי-חָרָה מִנִּי-חֹרֶב

my skin is black upon me
and my bones scorched from dryness

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