"Unknown words and concepts do inevitably come up when translating the Bible."

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J Ng's picture

Sounds like good ole Eugene Nida's principles of translating--better late than never!

Aaron Blumer's picture


There's a difference between saying "translate to the equivalent reader response rather than an equivalent word" (which is what Nida is widely understood to teach--perhaps incorrectly), and saying "translate to a non-equivalent when no equivalent exists."

The former philosophy feels little or no obligation to maintain a close equivalence where the latter departs from close equivalence reluctantly as conditions in the receptor language require. So paraphrasing occurs when necessary ("conies" becomes "shaphan animals" or something like that, for example) but is avoided when not necessary.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Jonathan Charles's picture

How about coining a new word like Tyndale did with words like "scapegoat," "passover" and probably others I can't remember off the top of my head.