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« Chuck Colson's "The Faith" | Main | Inspired By… The Bible Experience Named Finalist for Four Prestigious Audies® »

February 12, 2008


Jobes' premise that the correspondence between the word count of a translation and its original may suggest the translation's degree of accuracy could be improved in two ways. First, the experts tell me that Hebrew is inherently less verbose than English and that Greek is inherently more verbose than English. If true, a standard condensation and expansion factor could be derived. I understand that the UN has done such a study. Jobe could apply the mean condensation/expansion factor to the underlying languages, which would yield the number of English words that the mean predicts would be in a translation. That might be a better comparator than the unadjusted figure, because it tries to account for language differences. Second, Jobe should address to what extent translating tends to add words. For instance, if Hebrew is translated into English and then separate translators translate the English back into Hebrew, the resulting word count could be compared to the original word count. I suspect that, if the study were done properly, the resulting double translation would have more words. This is based on a translators' (proper) desire to try not to leave anything out of the translation. If that were the result of the study, then that would confirm Jobe’s point, because the double translation resulted in more words and clearly could not have made it more accurate than the original.

There are churches I know that they consider the Bible as the written word of God. KJV is considered as the closest to its original text. However NIV is popular and they say its the closest to KJV. no matter what others think, whether it's the Word of God or just a mere traslation, the Bible is still THE Holy book and experts must do their best with the guidance of God to deliver the message with accuracy.

The hope of green fields, we yearn for the dream!

Are you doing anything tonight/this weekend/tomorrow?f you are not busy tonight, would you like to go out with me?

Most commentators miss Dr. Jobe's point: She employs the analogy of bilingual translation and the comparison the verbosity of translations to shatter the icon of quality translation as a simple function of formal, word for word adherence to original texts.

At page 16, she states "concepts of formal versus functional equivalence ... [are] used to valorize or demonize a given English translation, which has been quite counter-productive for scholarly debate of translation philosophy." She cites the "very verbose ESV" as a demonstration that "all good translations must be a mix of both formal and functional equivalence."

She does not seem to state that statistical analysis of verbosity relates to excellence in translation. Thus, the "How to Lie With Statistics" comment is a complete misreading of her thesis.

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