Translating across languages has its own difficulties: a Chinese poem rendered literally into English can be an unintelligible rubble of words that will always require a translator’s interpretation. Another culture has its own ways of thinking and feeling – distinctions that are themselves shaped by the language they apply; often there is no corresponding expression in English. As for puns, parodies, imitations of earlier literature, and other wordplay, these will be lost.


2 thoughts on “

  1. Our minds immediately turn to the parables of jesus. How can we hear his voice, freed from the explanatory and limiting voices of the gospel writers, and even from the translators?

    1. Imagine how startling the parables must have resounded in their first telling! Even with our layers of translation, history, familiarity, and interpretation, we never can truly escape their revolutionary challenges.

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