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#21 Archimandrite Irenei

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:28 AM

Dear Mr Papoutsis and others,

Firstly, welcome back to the Discussion Community.

Regarding your recent note, above, I'm grateful to read your thoughts on some of these matters. I don't believe that anyone was interpreting your efforts as being an 'official' production of one of the local Churches; but readers are always keen to assess (as they should be) the merits of any published volume that touches on texts related to the Orthodox life -- and a translation of the Scriptures, particularly of the less-than-amply-translated Septuagint, whether done professionally or privately, is certainly such a text.

I agree with you entirely that one's preferences, likes and dislikes are a matter of personal taste. This is clearly true. However, there is a difference between stylistic matters of taste, and questions of accuracy and authenticity -- and these latter are important to those who approach any published text, whether or not it meets with their approval on a personal level. It was such issues that my comments (made nearly two years ago in posting #15, above in this thread) meant to address: namely, problems of accuracy in both the rendition of the underlying Greek vocabulary, phrasing and grammar, together with issues of inconsistency in transliterations and names; coupled with severe problems of English grammar.

I do not know if you have produced an updated version of the early books (on which my comments were focussed) since the time I wrote; but with regard to the version I read, I regret to have to say that my comments made then still hold true. While you are correct (in your recent post) that there is no way to produce an exact parallel in one language of a text written in another (and thus there will inherently be some flexibility in translating Septuagintal Greek into English, for example), the problems I raised vis-a-vis the Greek were not issues of nuances or stylistic elements of the rendering, but of fundamental errors in reading the original text (e.g. incorrect/confused rendering of active and passive verb forms; replacing key terms with other vocabulary; confusing accusative participles with genitives, etc.), together with a marked inconsistency in alternating between Greek and Hebraic name forms. Again, these are not issues of stylistic preference or the subtleties of language expression ('approximation') between Greek and English: these are errors with the Greek and inconsistencies with the naming translations/transliterations.

Regarding the English produced, I feel it necessary to re-iterate my critique made in my earlier posting. The misuse of second person singular and plural forms in English cannot be defended as stylistic preference: these are simply grammatical errors, producing phrases that cannot and do not exist in English (e.g. 'thou has hearkened', 'What have thou done?', 'Who told thee that thou was naked'). This is not a mistake unique to this translation, of course; other people misuse these forms also, given that the distinction is no longer maintained in modern conversational English -- but oft-repeated error doesn't make the error correct. The fact of the matter remains a distinction between singular and plural second person in English (e.g. 'thee/you') requires that the verbs similarly be distinguished and conjugated correctly -- else what one has is, quite simply, not English.

As before, I regret that the tone of my comments (hardly a thorough review, but to some degree of detail) was and remains negative; this is certainly not meant to be a personal affront or attack, but simply what I believe to be a necessary criticism of some fundamental and extremely serious flaws with the text as produced. I am still unfortunately of the mind that this translation cannot really be used, as it doesn't accurately reflect the Greek original, nor is it rendered in correct English. However, if you truly feel a strong calling to continue your translation efforts, my hope is that these criticisms might give you encouragement in addressing areas that require substantial redress, so that the result of your efforts may be improved.

My suggestion, if you have responses / thoughts / queries / disagreements about any of the elements of my critique, would be that you quote or refer to the specific examples I cited, together with my criticisms, so that we can engage with them directly and constructively.

INXC, Hieromonk Irenei

#22 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 02:32 PM

Hello Hieromonk Irenaeus:

First, thank you for your response and your earlier thoughts on my translation/approximation of the LXX into English. As you may have already guessed I disagree with your criticisms of my translations and would like to go through each one of your points and discuss them. However I do appriciate your comments and even though they were negative I did not take them as negative, but as instructive. Lets begin

First criticism:

"For Gen 1.3, the translation is rendered “And God said, Let light be created, and light was created.” The awkwardness of the passive form in English seems to be caused by the translator’s desire to keep strictly to the voice of the Greek; however, this doesn’t work, as the Greek alternates voices between the two occurrences of the verb in that sentence (καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός Γενηθήτω φῶς. καὶ ἐγένετο φῶς). So the translation fails to render the Greek as written. But it also fails to translate accurately the key term itself, which is not ‘to create’, but ‘to come into being’. The verse would more accurately be translated, “And God said, ‘Let light come into being; and light came into being’."

RESPONSE:

The Greek phrase in question is: "και είπεν ο Θεός γενηθήτω φως και εγένετο φως" (or kai eipen ho Theos genēthētō phōs kai egeneto phōs). literally this is translated as: "And said God, "Be born light, and born was light, or light was born." I translated the Phrase as: "And God said, Let light be created (i.e. Born), and light was created (i.e. Born). I understand your point between being born and being created, but being born and being created, IMHO, hold the same connotation. in fact, if we look to the English translation of the Latin Vulgate (Douay-Rheims) we find the following transation of Gen. 1:3 - "And God said: Be light made. And light was made." The full phrase in latin is "dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux" ("And said God Be light made, and light was made"), from the Greek "και είπεν ο Θεός γενηθήτω φως και εγένετο φως." Since fiat lux would be literally translated as "let light be made" (fiat is from fieri, the passive form of the verb facere, "to make" or "to do"). Both the Greek and the subsequent Latin bear out the authenticity of my translation as an accurate rendering of the underlying Greek. Again, you and others may not like it, but to say its incorrect or inaccurate is just plain false.

Second criticism:

"At Gen 1.9, the translation reads “And God said, Let the water, which is under the sky be collected into one place…”. Here the translator begins to show what is an extremely common occurrence in the translation: mis-translation of significant terms based on expected idiom—for the Greek does not say ‘into one place’ but ‘into one gathering’ (Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός Συναχθήτω τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς συναγωγὴν μίαν). This is an interesting phrase, and one that deserves to be rendered according to what the Greek actually says (there is, for example, something telling about the creation saga, in the organisation of the cosmos here not by ‘place’, but by communion/gathering).

RESPONSE:

The phrase in question is Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεός· συναχθήτω τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς συναγωγὴν μίαν, καὶ ὀφθήτω ἡ ξηρά. καὶ ἐγένετο οὕτως. καὶ συνήχθη τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν, καὶ ὤφθη ἡ ξηρά. Now your criticism here is a bit disingenuous because you give only the phrase you want to give and not the whole phrase which is "collected into one place" which means very clearly "a gathering," which again means its an accurate translation of the underlying Greek. If someone or something is to gather, where does its gather but to a specific place. In fact, if you look up the term "Gather" you will see that it means to assemble or collect into a certain place." Again, this is an accurate transation of the underlying Greek, and to say that it is inaccurate is again false.

I will go through the rest of your criticisms later in the day, but this should start to set the tome and to frame the debate.

Peter A. Papoutsis

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 01 August 2011 - 03:53 PM.
extraneous formatting tags removed


#23 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 03:53 PM

Hello, and back again. I shall now continue with my responses to Hieromonk Irenaeus' criticisms of my translation/approximation od the LXX into English called The Holy Orthodox Bible.

Third criticism:

"One verse later, at Gen 1.10, the translation imposes the term ‘gathering’ (which had been present in 1.9, but not translated as such) where it does not exist in the Greek, and therefore fails to translate the LXX’s shift in nuance. Papoutsis’ translation reads: “And God called the dry land Earth, and the gatherings of the waters He called Seas”; but in fact the Greek does not say ‘gatherings of the waters’ but ‘systems of the waters’ (καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ὁ θεὸς τὴν ξηρὰν γῆν καὶ τὰ συστήματα τῶν ὑδάτων ἐκάλεσεν θαλάσσας). The LXX has presented an interesting and revealing reading: The waters under the sky are gathered into an ‘assembly’, and the ‘systems’ of this assembly are called seas—an interesting (if perhaps confusing!) nuance which the translation fails entirely to present, since it does not actually translate what the Greek says.

RESPONSE:

The phrase at issue is: "καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ὁ Θεὸς τὴν ξηρὰν γῆν καὶ τὰ συστήματα τῶν ὑδάτων ἐκάλεσε θαλάσσας. καὶ εἶδεν ὁ Θεός, ὅτι καλόν. Literally transated as: "And Godd called the dry (land) earth (ground, land), and the systems (gatherings/collections)of the waters (He) called seas." The bone literal transation of συστήματα τῶν ὑδάτων is Systems of water. However, we are taking about the collection of the Seas, NOT their necessary movements! In English we sea the definition of System as: System (from Latin systēma, in turn from Greek σύστημα systēma, meaning "a whole compound of several parts or members, system", literary "composition" or "gathering." given this understanding I again fail to see the validity of your allegation that I this is an inaccurate translation (or approximation) or that I have failed to express this nuance. I would argue that not only have I properly expressed this nuance through the "word" gathering," but have properly translated the underlying Greek word συστήματα. To simply translate the word as simply system is, IMHO, ambiguous. "System" of the Waters, OK, what does that mean? But "Gathering of the Waters, which in the context given which is the calling of them "SEAS makes the word choice of "Gathering" the best option that balances accuracy with the imparting of proper contexual meaning.


Fourth criticism:

"There are also problems that move away from the relatively simple matter of not translating the Greek words actually present, to a mis-translation of Septuagintal grammatical constructions that render odd (and incorrect) readings. So, for example, at Gen 1.20 we find: “And God said, Let the waters bring forth reptiles having life…”; but this is not possible from the Greek phrase (Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός ᾿Εξαγαγέτω τὰ ὕδατα ἑρπετὰ ψυχῶν ζωσῶν). If the Greek meant to say ‘reptiles having life’, it would have had to use an accusative participial construction, which it does not. The translator has tried to take ψυχῶν ζωσῶν as a participial construction nonetheless, which it decidedly cannot be in this phrase in this form; it is clearly (and must be) a genitive, so the phrase should read ‘reptiles [or “creeping things”] among living creatures’. This is a tremendous reading that the LXX offers! ‘Among living creatures, the waters brought forth creeping things’—something quite different than what is presented in the translation!

RESPONSE:

The phrase at issue here is the following: "Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεός· ἐξαγαγέτω τὰ ὕδατα ἑρπετὰ ψυχῶν ζωσῶν καὶ πετεινὰ πετόμενα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς κατὰ τὸ στερέωμα τοῦ οὐρανοῦ. καὶ ἐγένετο οὕτως." Now the term ψυχῶν ζωσῶν in this context to me is having life otherwise the translation makes no sense. It can be a monumental reading, but are the Reptiles dead? No, they are alive and are having life. Literally the phrase would be translated as Reptiles life living or Reptiles soul live. This, for me, along with the overall context of the phrase leands itself to Reptiles having live. Now can it be Reptiles among the living or souls? Sure, but to make a better translation I went with "Reptiles having life." It makes better sense in the context than Reptiles among the living or among living creatures. Again, not inaccurate, but a translation choice.

I will comment later on the rest.

Peter A. Papoutsis

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 01 August 2011 - 03:56 PM.
Extraneous formatting tags removed


#24 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 07:36 PM

Fifth Critcism:

"Some of the problems are less dramatic, but still evidence a lack of understanding of the nuance of Septuagintal Greek. So, for example, at Gen 2.5 the translation gives us the awkward and fairly bizarre phrase, “for God had not rained on the earth”, apparently unaware that the verb in Greek (οὐ γὰρ ἔβρεξεν ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν) means as much ‘to send rain’ as ‘to rain’; and when it occurs with a personal subject in Classical Greek also, always means this transitive act of sending the rain. So the translator has given us an awkward phrase in English, which makes the meaning less straightforward than it actually is in Greek."

RESPONSE: First and foremost Septuagint Greek is not Classical Greek. To confuse the two is a terrible and awful mistake. I was a little surprised that this confusion of the two, but it is what it is. Second, there are many instances in the scriptures where "God rained down fire and brimstone," or "God opened the heavens." Thus, the nuance and understanding of the phrase: "οὐ γὰρ ἔβρεξεν ὁ Θεὸς ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν" can properly be translated as : “for God had not rained on the earth.”

Thus the translation is neither bizarre, nor inaccurate. Can it be said that God did not "caused" or "send" the rain? Sure, but that's not how I wanted to translate it. So again, not inaccurate nor bizarre. As for failing to give a transitive act what do you think God is doing? God is Sending the fire and brimstone down on Sodom, but that's not what some translation say. Do we miss the transitive act? No absolutely not. This criticism IMHO is not that meaningful.


Sixth Criticism:

At Gen 3.8, Papoutsis refers to Adam and his wife as “both Adam and his woman” (the Greek being ὅ τε Αδαμ καὶ ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ). Why he has chosen this phrase for what is clearly a term meaning ‘wife’ is eminently unclear. Especially as he aims to provide a translation useful to Orthodox Christians, translating ἡ γυνὴ as ‘woman’ rather than ‘wife’ ignores the entire liturgical usage of the term (e.g. in the Orthodox wedding rite).

RESPONSE:

Is the translation inaccurate? No, the translation IS accurate. What you do not like is that I did not use the term wife as opposed to Woman. Being that Gen. 3:8 is the foundation of the Marriage Rite does not mean I have to use the term "wife" so as to establish the rite of marriage. Remember the phrase "All Translators are Traitors!" Well, I'm actually trying not to be a traitor to the text, just honest. Further, The word "Wife" is of Germanic origin, from Germanic *wībam, "woman". In Middle English it had the form wif, and in Old English wīf, "woman or wife". The Ancient Greek and Septuagint Greek term for wife is σύζυγος which means “yoked together”, or, “marriage partner." that is NOT the word used in Genesis 3:8. Gen. 3:8 establishes the foundations of marriage, but the later terminology that we use came AFTER Gen 3:8, not FROM Gen. 3:8. I think Orthodox Christians understand this and understand it quite well.

As for the English use issue I will only say this: English is an evolving language, just like Latin was and just like Greek was and still is. English has reached near global proportions to where not only Europeans, but Chinese, Malasians, Taiwanise, and many good old people in the U.S. are using English in ways that break the rules of grammar. As you pointed out many in English-Speaking Orthodoxy have done the same as I have, but I have actually broken the rules far less than they have. Further, todays rule breaking is tomorrows proper grammar. English is evolving into something new and different.

I have streed a course between "High" English and "Modern" English so as to make it accessible as well as dignified. You and others may not like it, but that is what I did. If you cannot understand it then Don't read it. But to suggest that it somehow obscures the meaning of the underlying biblical text is just false. I can say more to this, but this is good for now.

Take care and God bless, and enjoy the fast of the Panayia.

Peter A. Papoutsis

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 01 August 2011 - 10:01 PM.
Extraneous formatting tags removed


#25 Ryan

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 08:01 PM

[quote name='Panayioti Papoutsis']
As for the English use issue I will only say this: English is an evolving language, just like Latin was and just like Greek was and still is. English has reached near global proportions to where not only Europeans, but Chinese, Malasians, Taiwanise, and many good old people in the U.S. are using English in ways that break the rules of grammar. [/quote]

I can't speak to the Greek translation issues, but on this point of grammar I have two points: 1. Spoken English and written English are not the same. Anyone who studies or teaches literacy knows this- the way people speak will not be the same way they write, and what seems natural in spoken English would be considered awkward or embarrassing in a written context, and vice versa. And, however much the language shifts and changes, there is a pretty consistent standard of written English grammar that writers aspire to conform to, even in China or Malaysia. 2. Nobody says "thou has" or "thou have" today, nor has this ever been considered acceptable in standard written English, nor is it at all likely to be considered to be acceptable in the future. English grammar has actually not changed too much in the past few centuries- the main difference is the dropping of the 2nd-person singular, and also the decline of the subjunctive (which hasn't completely disappeared, though). The rules remain largely the same for everything else.

As you pointed out many in English-Speaking Orthodoxy have done the same as I have, but I have actually broken the rules far less than they have. Further, todays rule breaking is tomorrows proper grammar. English is evolving into something new and different.

I have streed a course between "High" English and "Modern" English so as to make it accessible as well as dignified. You and others may not like it, but that is what I did. If you cannot understand it then Don't read it. But to suggest that it somehow obscures the meaning of the underlying biblical text is just false. I can say more to this, but this is good for now.

Take care and God bless, and enjoy the fast of the Panayia.

Peter A. Papoutsis[/QUOTE]

#26 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 08:43 PM

Dear Ryan:

I disagree. This is because you live here in the U.S. Outside of America its a different story. I just disagree. I view English as alot more fluid than this. As for Grammar rules staying pretty much the same. No. The rules of grammar and even spelling of certain words have changed. Even in the legal field, wherein I practice, they have changed. In any even, as I have said before, I will say again. If you truly cannot understand what I am saying don't read it. Problem solved.

Peter

#27 Ryan

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:02 AM

Dear Ryan:
This is because you live here in the U.S. Outside of America its a different story.


Can you tell me where, in or outside the U.S., people regularly use phrases like "thou has" and "thou have"? I've never heard of this practice before and would be very curious to learn where this dialect is spoken.

I just disagree. I view English as alot more fluid than this.


I speak a little Mandarin Chinese. Often I make errors, in grammar, syntax, or diction. If my Chinese friends pointed out my errors, and I were to respond by saying, "Well, I view Chinese as a lot more fluid than that" it would be rather bizarre. Saying that language is fluid is one thing- saying that this fluidity gives us license to invent our own rules on a whim is a completely different thing.

I also find it contradictory to say, on the one hand, "English is fluid and I'm adapting to that fluidity" while persisting in the use of forms ("thou" and "thee") which are considered archaic in most contemporary English, written or spoken. If you want to employ archaism because you consider early modern English more dignified or stately, I can respect that- but then you are obligated to respect the basic rules and conventions governing that style.

As for Grammar rules staying pretty much the same. No. The rules of grammar and even spelling of certain words have changed.


Of course spellings have changed a great deal- spellings are much more fluid, and less fundamental, than grammar. Before standardization there was never really one correct way to spell a word. But which grammar rules do you see having changed?

In any even, as I have said before, I will say again. If you truly cannot understand what I am saying don't read it. Problem solved.



I think if you intend to make your work useful to a wide audience you should take seriously the concerns being voiced about it and not retreat into "if you don't like it, don't read it" mentality. I am telling you, as a native English-speaking Orthodox Christian, that I want translations of the scriptures to follow the basic rules of standard English grammar, and I can assure you that that vast majority of Anglophone Orthodox will agree with me. Every other English translation of scripture, Orthodox or otherwise, cleaves to this standard. It seems to me the books are print-on-demand- well, in that case, it should be very easy for you to make changes like replacing "thou has" with "thou hast". I can appreciate the amount of labor which has undoubtedly gone into your project but an obstinate refusal to accept any criticism can be severely damaging to your work.

#28 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:02 PM

Dear Ryan:

To quote Mr. Tom McArthur of the Encarta World English Dictionary:

"Describing and cataloging any language is difficult, but in the past the relatively limited scope and roles of the world's languages have allowed us to suppose that the grammars, dictionaries, and other works associated with them are comprehensive. But the scale and variety of present-day English do not permit any such confortable illusion. Even the population statistics of World English are uncertain, ranging hazily from over three hundred million people who are assumed to be native speakers to over a billion users of English of all kinds, from the most informed and fluent to the most casual and halting. The unnumbered varieties and uses of this [English] language (whether thought, spoken, written, typed, printed, broadcast, taped, telephoned, faxed, e-mailed, or disseminated on the World Wide Web) are so complex that no individual, group, or system can catch them all. Even the most extensive and flexible computer corpus currently imaginable cannot encompass all the registers and usages of the standard [English] language, let alone all the rest." - Mr. Tom McArthur, World English - Encarta World English Dictionary, St. Martin's Press 1999.

Further, to quote Michael Erard in Wired mangazine:

"The targeted offenses: if you are stolen, call the police at once. please omnivorously put the waste in garbage can. deformed man lavatory. For the past 18 months, teams of language police have been scouring Beijing on a mission to wipe out all such traces of bad English signage before the Olympics come to town in August. They're the type of goofy transgressions that we in the English homelands love to poke fun at, devoting entire Web sites to so-called Chinglish. (By the way, that last phrase means "handicapped bathroom.")But what if these sentences aren't really bad English? What if they are evidence that the English language is happily leading an alternative lifestyle without us? Thanks to globalization, the Allied victories in World War II, and American leadership in science and technology, English has become so successful across the world that it's escaping the boundaries of what we think it should be. In part, this is because there are fewer of us: By 2020, native speakers will make up only 15 percent of the estimated 2 billion people who will be using or learning the language. Already, most conversations in English are between nonnative speakers who use it as a lingua franca. In China, this sort of free-form adoption of English is helped along by a shortage of native English-speaking teachers, who are hard to keep happy in rural areas for long stretches of time. An estimated 300 million Chinese — roughly equivalent to the total US population — read and write English but don't get enough quality spoken practice. The likely consequence of all this? In the future, more and more spoken English will sound increasingly like Chinese. It's not merely that English will be salted with Chinese vocabulary for local cuisine, bon mots, and curses or that speakers will peel off words from local dialects. The Chinese and other Asians already pronounce English differently — in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. For example, in various parts of the region they tend not to turn vowels in unstressed syllables into neutral vowels. Instead of "har-muh-nee," it's "har-moh-nee." And the sounds that begin words like this and thing are often enunciated as the letters f, v, t, or d. In Singaporean English (known as Singlish), think is pronounced "tink," and theories is "tee-oh-rees."
English will become more like Chinese in other ways, too. Some grammatical appendages unique to English (such as adding do or did to questions) will drop away, and our practice of not turning certain nouns into plurals will be ignored. Expect to be asked: "How many informations can your flash drive hold?" In Mandarin, Cantonese, and other tongues, sentences don't require subjects, which leads to phrases like this: "Our goalie not here yet, so give chance, can or not?" One noted feature of Singlish is the use of words like ah, lah, or wah at the end of a sentence to indicate a question or get a listener to agree with you. They're each pronounced with tone — the linguistic feature that gives spoken Mandarin its musical quality — adding a specific pitch to words to alter their meaning. (If you say "xin" with an even tone, it means "heart"; with a descending tone it means "honest.") According to linguists, such words may introduce tone into other Asian-English hybrids. Given the number of people involved, Chinglish is destined to take on a life of its own. Advertisers will play with it, as they already do in Taiwan. It will be celebrated as a form of cultural identity, as the Hong Kong Museum of Art did in a Chinglish exhibition last year. It will be used widely online and in movies, music, games, and books, as it is in Singapore. Someday, it may even be taught in schools. Ultimately, it's not that speakers will slide along a continuum, with "proper" language at one end and local English dialects on the other, as in countries where creoles are spoken. Nor will Chinglish replace native languages, as creoles sometimes do. It's that Chinglish will be just as proper as any other English on the planet. And it's possible Chinglish will be more efficient than our version, doing away with word endings and the articles a, an, and the. After all, if you can figure out "Environmental sanitation needs your conserve," maybe conservation isn't so necessary. Any language is constantly evolving, so it's not surprising that English, transplanted to new soil, is bearing unusual fruit. Nor is it unique that a language, spread so far from its homelands, would begin to fracture. The obvious comparison is to Latin, which broke into mutually distinct languages over hundreds of years — French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian. A less familiar example is Arabic: The speakers of its myriad dialects are connected through the written language of the Koran and, more recently, through the homogenized Arabic of Al Jazeera. But what's happening to English may be its own thing: It's mingling with so many more local languages than Latin ever did, that it's on a path toward a global tongue — what's coming to be known as Panglish. Soon, when Americans travel abroad, one of the languages they'll have to learn may be their own." - Mr. Michael Erard in Wired mangazine, June 23, 2008


So Ryan, given the above evidence of the evolution and fluidity of the English language my Hybrid Modernation of the English lanaguage is not only incredibly conservative and acceptable, but the very lest of your problems compared to Wor'd or Global English forms that mix and match with indiginous languages and adopt, conform and even reform the so-called "Grammar" rules of your native English. Compared to what is happening to modern-day English I think you and others can understand my English usage and understand it well.

Peter A. Papoutsis

#29 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:17 PM

Simply because "Wired" Magazine (a rather avantgarde but not authoritativenor scholastic periodical) says so and because certain translators take latitude, does not mean it is a "God-given right" to create one's own version of English.

Secondly, if one wants one's translation to be used by native speakers, some sensitivity to the nuances peculiar to those natives, regardless of what the Chinese think, seems appropriate. Otherwise, what really is the point?

Herman the sometimes pointless Pooh

#30 Ryan

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:22 PM

Peter- The English signage in China is not presented for the benefit of Chinese- they read the Chinese signage. So who is it intended for? English-speakers. And if English-speakers cannot understand the nonsensical "English", that who is benefiting from it (comedic value aside)? I've lived in China and there are many such signs which nobody, Chinese or English, would understand without the Chinese characters underneath. Fortunately the Chinese signs tend to be grammatically correct.

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#31 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:20 AM

Ryan & Herman:

I hear you, but you never know what the future holds.

Peter

#32 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:22 AM

Ryan said:

And if English-speakers cannot understand the nonsensical "English", that who is benefiting from it (comedic value aside)?

Come on now that's funny!


#33 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:28 AM

Simply because "Wired" Magazine (a rather avantgarde but not authoritative nor scholastic periodical) says so and because certain translators take latitude, does not mean it is a "God-given right" to create one's own version of English.


OK, that's cool.

Peter the hapless translator

Edited by Olga, 03 August 2011 - 02:30 AM.
added quote box for ease of reading


#34 Ryan

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 03:55 PM

I hear you, but you never know what the future holds.


In the future, the word "pumpkin" might become a synonym for "car". Until then, I won't be driving up to my friends and yelling, "Get in the pumpkin!"

#35 Father David Moser

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 04:02 PM

In the future, the word "pumpkin" might become a synonym for "car". Until then, I won't be driving up to my friends and yelling, "Get in the pumpkin!"


Obviously you never owned the AMC Pacer.

Fr David

#36 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:25 PM

Hi all.

Before we get bogged down I would state that the best English version of the Holy Bible out there, and most accurate for Orthodox Christians, is still the Revised Standard Version with the Expanded Apocrypha, 1977 Ed. I know people have debated this issue forever, but Fr. Stanley Harakis of the GOA and Fr. Thomas Hopko of the OCA still hold the old and official position that the RSV w/Exp.Apo (1977) is still the best.

Now does it have problems? Yes, abosolutely. However, English speaking Orthodox have been adjusting the RSV for years and it has served us well in Bible Study, Seminary Study and Liturgical use (although modified to our service books). Pound for pound its still good, even with its problems from an Orthodox point of view.

What we as English-Speaking Orthodox need is for the Orthodox Church hierarchy to get up and give us an official English version of the Bible suitable for Orthodox Christians. The GOA just recently propounded on the Ecumenical Patriarch an English version of the Divine Liturgy which after careful review will be the official English translation of the Divine Liturgy for the GOA here in America. If it end up being good the other Orthodox jurisdictions can also pick it up for their own use and have it authorized in their jurisdictions.

Now, the GOA already has a relationship with the NCCC who hold the RSV copyright. Take the RSV and correct it where needed for Orthodox preferences. The OSB tried to do this but botched the job IMHO, and contrary to what they say the hierarchy was NOT involved in its translation.

The heirarchy was involved in the Divine Liturgy's English translation. The hierarchy needs to get going on an official English translation of the Bible for Orthodox Christians.

Further, I have been somewhat hounding the people over at Oxford press and the translators of The New English Translation of the Septuagint to see if a modified NETS and a Modified RSV NT is in the works. According to Oxford Press they are considering such an English translation of the Bible for Orthodox Christians, but there has not been too much support voiced for something like this. Like anything else loud and various support for something means there is money to be made for Oxford Press and a great incentive to give us an English Orthodox Bible.

So for now shoot on over to Oxford Press and contact them and let them know what you, as English-Speaking Orthodox Christians, want to see as far as an English Bible is concerned and get them motivated to put one together for us.

Maybe just maybe the new Episcopal Assembly will take up this matter being that they are charged with breaking down all American Jurisdictional lines and set up a United American Orthodox Church. What better and additional way to unite American Orthodox Christians than to have an Official English Version of the Holy Bible and the Divine Liturgy. You never know.

For now I would still recommend the RSV w/Expanded Apocrypha (1977 ed.), along with a good English prayer book and a good English Divine Liturgy book (the GOA still has its old version in the pews) and call it a day and start praying, worshiping and reading.

As for The Holy Orthodox Bible, don't worry to much about it. It will be helpful to those who seek it out, BUT it will never be our Bible. That is still pending with the Church hierarchy. Hopefully they can get going on this and end this issue for us once and for all.

One can only pray.

Peter (Panayioti) Papoutsis

#37 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 02:41 AM

obviously you never owned the amc pacer.

Fr david


hahahahahaha!!!

#38 Archimandrite Irenei

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 03:42 PM

Dear all,

I am in the midst of travels at the moment, and as such will not have the opportunity until later to reply in any kind of detail to the specific Greek grammatical issues. However, I do have just enough time this morning to make a remark or two regarding the issue of English usage. Mr Papoutsis, you wrote:

As for the English use issue I will only say this: English is an evolving language, just like Latin was and just like Greek was and still is. English has reached near global proportions to where not only Europeans, but Chinese, Malasians, Taiwanise, and many good old people in the U.S. are using English in ways that break the rules of grammar.


While this is indeed true, neither the global spread nor the changes and developments that come from regional variations in the language, provide a 'carte blanche' for simply re-writing or re-creating the language in one's own ideological image, nor to abandoning the grammatical rules for the functioning of the language itself.

Let us again remember what we are speaking of, in particular: the mixing of older second person singular and plural forms (i.e. the 'thee/you' distinction) with verb forms that do not relate to them (e.g. the usage of the second person plural verb form with a second person singular personal pronoun, 'thou has' - which is grammatically absurd). Though such a form of expression may be argued as charting 'a course between "High" English and "Modern" English so as to make it accessible as well as dignified', in point of fact it is using no English at all, since it is a misuse of English grammar; and it cannot be really suggested that this is in any sense a parallel to the organic variation of expression that comes from cultural expansion (e.g. the differing employment of English by various ethnic groups), since this is a forced manipulation of the language which deliberately contradicts its rules of grammar and expression purely for personal means. Without wishing to sound too facetious, this is comparable to someone simply saying, 'I am going to conjugate all forms of the first person with third person plural verb forms "for reasons of dignified expression" -- hence "I are going to Church", "I are happy to see you"', etc. Whatever the personal motivation for the usage may be, the end-result is simply nonsense.

You then wrote:

As you pointed out many in English-Speaking Orthodoxy have done the same as I have, but I have actually broken the rules far less than they have. Further, todays rule breaking is tomorrows proper grammar. English is evolving into something new and different.


What I actually said was that other people have, in their ignorance, also made this mistake ('This is not a mistake unique to this translation, of course; other people misuse these forms also, given that the distinction is no longer maintained in modern conversational English -- but oft-repeated error doesn't make the error correct'). In point of fact, I've never known anyone deliberately to confuse the language in this sense -- only to make mistakes in translation out of a lack of understanding of how the older forms work.

And I'm afraid that the natural evolution of language is something quite different from the forced destruction of actual English expression, and it is not crafted by a personal deformation of the language. The evolution of a language takes place as expression organically changes and develops over time, due in part to changes within cultures as well as the influences of other and new cultures. And in terms of religious / exalted language, we have seen just this with the distinction of second person forms, which were not originally specifically reverential or religiously focused (they demarcated the intimate and the formal in expression, a usage almost the opposite of how they are interpreted today), but which have become so over time. But the forms have form; they are not simply free-for-all terms.

Finally, you wrote:

I have streed a course between "High" English and "Modern" English so as to make it accessible as well as dignified. You and others may not like it, but that is what I did. If you cannot understand it then Don't read it. But to suggest that it somehow obscures the meaning of the underlying biblical text is just false. I can say more to this, but this is good for now.


While, again, I do understand your motivation and desire, I'm afraid that it is a desire which has been given form in a manner that -- unfortunately -- simply is not English. To anyone of English-speaking ears, the result sounds comical, absurd and silly, which I'm afraid is quite the opposite of your aim of something dignified. And while, yes, your approach can be to take the 'if you don't like it don't read it' line, this will regrettably limit your readership to only those people desiring to read a non-English, self-expression of sacred texts. Yet the whole point of critical discussion is to point out flaws that can be corrected, so that an end product can be stronger, more accessible and useful to a wider readership. Rather than be too defensive, it might be more helpful to consider how such criticism (which is apparently rather widespread) might influence changes to your approach and results.

As to the Greek and the accuracy there, I shall try to return to this when I have more time.

INXC, Hieromonk Irenei

#39 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 04:11 PM

Hieromonk Ireneaus:

Thanks for your post. I will await your reply. In the mean time please have a safe journey and be safe.

Peter A. Papoutsis

#40 Panayioti Papoutsis

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 07:19 PM

Dear all,

I am in the midst of travels at the moment, and as such will not have the opportunity until later to reply in any kind of detail to the specific Greek grammatical issues. However, I do have just enough time this morning to make a remark or two regarding the issue of English usage. Mr Papoutsis, you wrote:

"While this is indeed true, neither the global spread nor the changes and developments that come from regional variations in the language, provide a 'carte blanche' for simply re-writing or re-creating the language in one's own ideological image, nor to abandoning the grammatical rules for the functioning of the language itself."


That is exactly what is happening to English. for example Greek was developing naturally and quite well until the after Greek War of Independence and then the Greek intelligencia wanted to purify the language and created the artificial Greek Language of Kathirevousa that has done nothing but confuse and bewilder modern Greeks to this day.

"Let us again remember what we are speaking of, in particular: the mixing of older second person singular and plural forms (i.e. the 'thee/you' distinction) with verb forms that do not relate to them (e.g. the usage of the second person plural verb form with a second person singular personal pronoun, 'thou has' - which is grammatically absurd). Though such a form of expression may be argued as charting 'a course between "High" English and "Modern" English so as to make it accessible as well as dignified', in point of fact it is using no English at all, since it is a misuse of English grammar; and it cannot be really suggested that this is in any sense a parallel to the organic variation of expression that comes from cultural expansion (e.g. the differing employment of English by various ethnic groups), since this is a forced manipulation of the language which deliberately contradicts its rules of grammar and expression purely for personal means. Without wishing to sound too facetious, this is comparable to someone simply saying, 'I am going to conjugate all forms of the first person with third person plural verb forms "for reasons of dignified expression" -- hence "I are going to Church", "I are happy to see you"', etc. Whatever the personal motivation for the usage may be, the end-result is simply nonsense."


Again a complete over exaggeration as I have not done this nor ever translated this. I have never written "I are going to Church." So set up a stray man arguement and expect me to fall for it. No thank you.

"You then wrote:

What I actually said was that other people have, in their ignorance, also made this mistake ('This is not a mistake unique to this translation, of course; other people misuse these forms also, given that the distinction is no longer maintained in modern conversational English -- but oft-repeated error doesn't make the error correct'). In point of fact, I've never known anyone deliberately to confuse the language in this sense -- only to make mistakes in translation out of a lack of understanding of how the older forms work."


RESPONSE: So English-Speaking Orthodox did not understand and driffed off into confusion and heresy? I do not believe so. This is somehwhat hyperboly and put too fine a point on it. Basically you are canning people stupid. English-Speaking People are NOT stupid.

"And I'm afraid that the natural evolution of language is something quite different from the forced destruction of actual English expression, and it is not crafted by a personal deformation of the language."


Completely disagree. Re-rear the articles I posted above because that is what is happening world-wide to English. You and other English purists may not like it, but its happening. Do you actually believe that when Ancient Greek changed its grammar rules when it came into contact with the Middle East Greek somehow stayed pure? Ah no. Otherwise, Kathirevous would never have been created to "Purify" the Greek language. Some type of English evolution is happening, and my hybrid English is very much in the norm and acceptable.

"The evolution of a language takes place as expression organically changes and develops over time, due in part to changes within cultures as well as the influences of other and new cultures. And in terms of religious / exalted language, we have seen just this with the distinction of second person forms, which were not originally specifically reverential or religiously focused (they demarcated the intimate and the formal in expression, a usage almost the opposite of how they are interpreted today), but which have become so over time. But the forms have form; they are not simply free-for-all terms."


Again, disagree. However, I will agree that Religion HAS changed the natural evolution of a language to force it into more reverent tones. This is not a change in a given language's natural evolution or grammar?

"Finally, you wrote:

While, again, I do understand your motivation and desire, I'm afraid that it is a desire which has been given form in a manner that -- unfortunately -- simply is not English. To anyone of English-speaking ears, the result sounds comical, absurd and silly, which I'm afraid is quite the opposite of your aim of something dignified. And while, yes, your approach can be to take the 'if you don't like it don't read it' line, this will regrettably limit your readership to only those people desiring to read a non-English, self-expression of sacred texts. Yet the whole point of critical discussion is to point out flaws that can be corrected, so that an end product can be stronger, more accessible and useful to a wider readership. Rather than be too defensive, it might be more helpful to consider how such criticism (which is apparently rather widespread) might influence changes to your approach and results."


Again, complete hyperboil. Further, I am not being defensive, I am defending - BIG DIFFERENCE! For you to actually write and say: "the result sounds comical, absurd and silly" does not in and of itself make sense. The number of e-mails I have received and continue to receive from avergae English-Speaking persons that use, read and understand my translation goes against you critisms. Again, English-Speakers are NOT that stupid or dense. I, unlike you, give them alot more credit.

"As to the Greek and the accuracy there, I shall try to return to this when I have more time."

INXC, Hieromonk Irene


Please do. I await your well-reasoned response. Have a good day and safe travels.

Edited by Olga, 05 August 2011 - 10:33 PM.
added quote boxes for Fr Irenei's words for ease of comprehension of post





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