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Formulating and structuring the target text. The first stage is concerned with assessing the source text with all its rele- vant characteristics. The second stage involves the creation of a mental rep- resentation of the content of the text in all its facets. The third stage implies the construction of a new text, as a counterpart to the source text.

The interpretation of the text is a prerequisite of any translation. Without interpretation there is no understanding, and without understanding no trans- lation is possible. In itself, a text is a series of signs.

A competent reader sees in it a succession of words with a possible meaning, which she or he interprets in a particular way. Skilled readers may be able to establish the supposed meaning of the biblical texts. This process requires extensive textual analysis and exegetical study, and even then the supposed meaning of the text—what the text may have meant in its original context according to our best recon- structions—is no more than a proposal.

This process of acquiring understand- ing of the biblical texts may seem difficult and even problematic, yet there is no valid alternative to this. Only after that can one make an attempt to reconceptualize the text in terms of the target language and construct a target text as a counterpart to the source text. When translating from Biblical Hebrew or Greek into Dutch or English, one finds that complete equivalents are only available in a minority of cases.

In most cases, there are no one-to-one relations between words in ancient Hebrew or Greek, on the one hand, and those in our modern languages, on the other. Furthermore, languages greatly differ from each other with regard to syn- tax, grammatical rules, patterns of speech, idioms, etc.

However, the singular form in Hebrew here has a general meaning. In English and Dutch it sounds more natural to use a plural form to this effect. A singular noun in the source text can be represented by a plural in the target text as we saw above. In a similar vein, a noun can be changed into an adjective e. Changes may occur in the order of words, in the structure of sentences, in shifts from active to passive or the other way around , or when the subject of a clause in the source text may best become the object of the clause in the target text.

Many more types of translation shifts could be added to these. Obviously, a very formal translation one that tries to maintain as many formal and structural elements of the source text as possible will require rel- atively few translation shifts, whereas a translation that intends to be an easily readable text in natural language will require many translation shifts.

Translators, generally speaking, will try to avoid making shifts that are unnecessary, that is, unnecessary from the perspective of the goal of their translation. Translators make their contribution in three areas. First, they must gain an understanding of the text. Then they must create a mental representation of the content of a text in all its facets, and, finally, guided by this mental repre- sentation, they must shape the text anew in a different language, in a way appropriate to the goals set for their translation.

Translation thus requires a combination of several skills: interpretation skills, such as expertise in the biblical languages and texts and their exegesis; 13 See Barclay Newman et al. The source text and translations To define the source text of the Bible is a complicated matter. The books of the Bible originally comprised separate books. Over the course of time they grew into canonical collections, still later into a fixed canon.

What counted as Scripture for the NT authors clearly was, more or less, the same collection as the later Old Testament, but not always exactly the same. Moreover, in most cases these authors used a Greek version of the OT books. The Bible of Christianity was initially a canon of Greek books.

In later centuries systems were devised to categorize the texts and supply numbers for chapters and verses; these became permanent features, until they were conceived of as being part of the text. The custom of taking the collection of 66 canonical books as the basis of a translation project, translating the 39 books of the Old Testament from its original Hebrew and partly Aramaic source text and the 27 books of the New Testament from its original Greek text, may now seem familiar but was only introduced by Western Protestantism.

The Bible as we know it today is based on a very stable textual tradition and we have excellent editions available on which to base our trans- lations. At the same time, the form and format of the Bible we have become used to has been developed over the course of many centuries.

And when we look at the Bible including its many translations, both ancient and modern, its transitional character becomes even more pronounced. To most of its readers, the Bible is not primarily a text from a distant past, but a living text to which they relate. The text is part of an ongoing tradition, which keeps on presenting new meanings to its readers and taking on a new relevance to their ever- changing lives.

For centuries Bible translations have provided the medium for this ongoing process. Translations can be seen as new representations of the text within this tradition, with their own individual characteristics, their own form, style, 16 BGT contains the sixty-six books of the Protestant canon. This was not done for reasons of principle, but of practicality. The project was carried out by NBS alone, as the expected readers and promotors were to be found mainly among the various Protestant congregations.

It was decided that if there was interest from the Catholic Church in an extended version in plain Dutch encompassing the deuterocanonical books, a subsequent project could be undertaken with a Catholic partner organization. Every translation proves to be a product of its time, and this applies as much to the very first ancient translations as to the most recent ones. This overview shows us three things: 1. A translation can never coincide with the original text. That this is an impossibility has already been shown from a theoretical and linguistic point of view.

It is also impossible from a historical point of view, since every translation is by definition a project that designs its own objectives and is marked by its own historical context. Given the rich history of the texts and their accumulation of meaning, full justice can never be done by any one translation to the entire wealth contained there. A translation is no more than a partial eluci- dation of the original. Translations are intrinsically part of this ongoing tradition of interpre- tation and reformulation.

They not only serve tradition as representa- tions of the text, but they also contribute to shaping tradition anew. Given the profound importance of translation in shaping and reshap- ing the biblical tradition over the past years, any new Bible translation—made by competent translators according to a well- thought-out plan—should be welcomed, especially if it meets the needs and preferences of a significant group of users.

The range of translation The biblical languages have, like all languages, their own grammatical sys- tems, conventions, idiom, and modes of expression. Furthermore, the biblical texts have their own genre characteristics and are part of a cultural context that differs strongly from our own time and culture. When translating we have to take into account both the source language, text, and culture, with their characteristics, and the target language, text, and culture.

As a result, the translation is distanced from present-day readers as a sort of throw-back to a past culture. In this way the text is brought closer to its present-day readership. In the literature there are many variations to be found with reference to these two poles. Applied as an overall designation for a translation, these terms have only a very general meaning. The question is: Free to what standards, on which linguistic levels, to what extent, etc.?

To answer these questions requires painstaking analysis of the text. Assessing a translation demands much more than critics usually realize. This is be- cause a translation can take different positions on the source-target scale with respect to different levels. To give one example: NBV on the linguistic level is positioned close to the target domain.

The language used is contemporary and natural Dutch. This choice of language fitted in with the target culture by using a monetary unit known to the readers, as we might choose euros or dollars today. So, often translations cannot be simply confined to one position between source and target, being either literal or free.

These initial decisions are fundamental choices that largely define the nature of any given translation. It would seem that success- ful translations—in terms of being respected for their competence and well- accepted by their target audience—are based on a number of fundamental decisions, consciously taken in advance, that are in agreement with the ob- jectives of the translation and are consistently followed. There is, however, no general rule that dictates what initial decisions trans- lators must take.

There is no standard rule. See James S. It is a question that still divides opinion today. There is no absolute criterion, but three broad standards that are generally accepted can be mentioned. These three standards apply not just to Bible translation, but to all literature, and show attitudes to translation within West- ern culture.

These norms can be described with the keywords accuracy, com- prehension, and expressiveness. The sum of these three factors is the reliabil- ity of a translation. The norm of accuracy requires a translation to be dependable. It focuses on the correspondence between the source text and the target text, where the latter must reflect the former.

The concepts involved here are equivalence and similarity. These concepts are crucial in designating the unique intertextual relationship between the source text and the translation. This is what distin- guishes translations from all other possible types of text.

The norm of comprehension is concerned with how well the source text can be understood. The translation offers the reader a representation of the source text as understood by the translator. A translation is commonly expected to be a text that makes sense to the reader. The norm of expressiveness focuses on the aesthetic aspect of translation. It goes hand in hand with the experience the reader may have while reading the text.

A translation of any literary text deemed of relevance should have the potential to appeal to the reader, and this is certainly true for the Bible. The translation therefore must use form and style in such a way that the text potentially has an emotional impact on the reader.

And the translator is accountable for the lack of expressiveness of the translation. A good translation takes account of all three dimensions of the source text. The first standard ensures that the target text is recognizable as a translation, as opposed to a rewriting of the source text. The second standard makes sure that the target text preserves the coherence and unifying thought that governs the source text, instead of producing a series of sentences but not a meaningful whole.

The third standard guarantees that the target text will appeal to the reader just as the original did to the first readers, and that the text is brought to life again. Finally, the reliability of a translation is the sum of all three norms men- tioned here.

Every translator of the Bible, and indeed of any literary text, must take these three norms into account. These standards always have a role to play in the process of translation. However, we must bear in mind that these are general norms that can be implemented in highly different ways. With regard to the accuracy of the translation, this diversity is well known.

Furthermore, the norm of comprehen- sion can also be applied in different ways. It may be deemed sufficient that the translation can be under- stood correctly, and left to the reader to accomplish this. It is important here what kind of readership a translation is designed for: highly educated and well-experienced readers or a more general readership. Finally, the expressiveness of a text—the appeal it may have to the reader—to a great extent depends on the reader herself and what she is accustomed to.

The three dimensions of a text—form, meaning, and emotional appeal— are to be taken seriously by any translator. These are three general norms for good translation: accuracy, comprehension, and expressiveness. However, 14 Translating the Bible in plain language-corr-PMarks. Bible translations generally aim to reach the standards of accuracy, com- prehension, and expressiveness, each in their own way. In cases where the standards conflict with each other, it is interesting to see which one prevails.

In such cases, the merits of the conflicting standards have to be balanced against each other, just as judges assess the importance of conflicting laws and rights. So in deciding priorities for conveying the text to the reader, is the letter, the spirit, or the soul of the text predominant?

Translations take divergent routes in this regard. Here is one example. For SV, the standard of accuracy also includes the preservation of the formal charac- teristics of the source text: idioms, expressions, and syntactic phrases and constructions typical of the biblical languages. These are often adopted into the target language of the translation. Furthermore, the standard of accuracy, applied in this way, often overrules the standard of comprehension. In many modern translations we see the opposite.

First of all, the standard of accuracy is applied in a distinctly different way, taking a modern approach to language by recognizing the particularities of the different languages in- volved. For example, NBV, aiming to produce a meaningful text, contains examples of fluent, compre- hensible renderings in the text accompanied by a footnote that concedes that the meaning of the Hebrew is less clear than the translation suggests.

These are two possible ways of dealing with the general standards for trans- lation, and the choice for one or the other depends on how one sees the role of the translator. Translation principles and aims No translation can ever claim to be the mirror image of the source text as such.

Instead, every translation provides its own reflection of selected aspects of the source text. Every translation has its own specific principles that lead to a particular approach to translation. The idea that the source text dictates what the trans- lation looks like is right only to a certain extent. It would be more to the point to say that the principles behind a translation determine the way in which that translation forms a reflection of the original text.

The principles relate to the 15 Translating the Bible in plain language-corr-PMarks. In translation theory this is called the skopos—the aim or objective of a translation. Furthermore, translation principles determine how the three general standards will be applied, and how they are to be balanced against each other in conflicting cases.

BGT as a translation Main guiding principle BGT was conceived with the specific aim of offering a Bible translation that was readable and comprehensible for as wide a Dutch readership as pos- sible. Readers of widely different reading levels should be able both to un- derstand and to appreciate this translation.

In order to achieve this ambition the main guiding principle for this translation relates to the target domain. The main guiding principle for the translation was defined as the norm of clarity and comprehensibility. On this basis, BGT is a strongly target-oriented translation. The character of the translation is determined to a great extent by the criteria that follow from the norm of clarity and comprehensibility, such as the use of plain language, clear sentences, and cohesive textual units.

With regard to language, the norm is related to word frequency. Words that are well known are those used the most often. With the help of word-frequency lists and specialist dictionaries it is possible to establish which words belong to the basic, most widely shared vocabulary 23 K. Reiss and H.

Lawrence Venuti 3rd ed. Plain language, in other words, is not something highly sub- jective, but something that can be established quantifiably and objectively. A lexicon of basic Dutch, then, was the main resource for our translation see chapter 2. On the level of the text, clarity and comprehensibility depend to a large extent on two factors: the arrangement of information and inner cohesion.

The first factor relates to the way in which the textual information is presented, arranged, and ordered. Important elements in this regard are the sequence of information a [chrono]logical order is easiest to understand , the extent of the information provided per sentence, and the density of information the ratio of explicit to implicit information.

The second factor is the inner cohe- sion of the text. The connection between the sentences has to be clear. Fur- thermore, reference words such as pronouns should not be ambiguous. If their antecedent is not clear, it must be made explicit. These factors are crucial for conveying a clear understanding of any text and have played a seminal role in our work on BGT see chapter 3. The guiding principle and the three standards The main guiding principle of clarity and comprehensibility shows a clear focus on the standard of comprehension.

Whereas this standard, relating to the meaning of the source text, can be applied in quite different ways as il- lustrated above , BGT interprets it as the aim to produce a text that is under- standable to as large a readership as possible. This particular focus, however, does not mean that the other two standards are less respected in the transla- tion. On the contrary, the translators have tried hard to do full justice to the standards of both accuracy and expressiveness.

Let us look first at the standard of accuracy. In order to fulfil its aim, BGT has to be recognizable and acknowledged as a translation. The goal of clarity and comprehensibility has to be reached by means of translational steps.

BGT was produced as an independent full-scale translation from the biblical source texts, and all translation choices can be traced back to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek originals. Even so, the final formulation is always the result of an attempt to preserve correspondence to the source text as much as possible. In other words, transformations must al- ways be proportional no radical shifts if a subtle solution is possible and efficient serving the aim of clarity and comprehensibility and using the min- imum number of translational shifts.

This approach allows BGT to be quali- fied as a translation. As was to be expected, after its release there was much discussion about whether BGT might count as a reliable rendering of the bib- lical source texts. This will be referred to in chapter 7. The great majority of Dutch Bible readers appear to accept the claim that BGT in its own way is an accurate rendering of the biblical texts.

The standard of expressiveness also played an important role in the trans- lation project. From the outset it was clear that clarity and comprehensibility should not stand in the way of expressiveness, but should enhance it in the best way possible.

The translation had to retain the emotional force of the original and speak to the reader. Our goal was to produce a text that would appeal to the reader, was a pleasure to read, and would stimulate the imagi- nation. Although our strict language limitations formed a great challenge in this respect, the greatest surprise in our work was the potential of plain lan- guage.

Plain, everyday language—if used in a skillful way—has a great di- rectness and expressive power. That is why this translation is able to produce a strong emotional response in many readers. Translation rules From the translation principles all sorts of practical guidelines were derived for making translation choices. We call these the translation rules of BGT.

Together with the principles, these translation rules establish the translation method used for BGT. The translation rules regulate the use of translational transfor- mations, such as generalization, explicitation, implicitation, strategies for ren- dering metaphors and other forms of expressive language, etc. Translation rules furthermore deal with the rendering of weights and measures, the use of forms of address, and punctuation, etc.

This book focuses on the translation method used for BGT, discussing it thematically in five chapters. In every case we will go back to the translation principles, discuss the relevant translation rules, and show by the use of ex- amples from the translation how it works out in practice. The translation principles express the aim and the translation rules define tech- niques, limits, conventions to be followed, and fixed ways of dealing with particular problems.

But it is the work of the translators to achieve in the case of every individual text the right balance between comprehensibility, accu- racy, and expressiveness. Resources During the pilot stage, two versions of a translation in plain Dutch were tested, one with and one without explanatory notes accompanying the trans- lation.

The tests made clear that the explanatory notes did not work for readers from the primary target group. If the notes were read at all they mainly caused confusion, not because their content was not clear, but because readers had difficulty making the connection between the notes and the text. Various easy reading experts confirmed these disad- vantages of notes. At the start of the translation project we decided, therefore, to make a trans- lation that should be able to function without explanatory notes.

But what to do with the technical biblical terms e. We decided to add a glossary to the translation to explain these terms. This glossary is discussed in chapter 2. One important feature that substantially adds to the comprehensibility of the text was our policy of adding section headings. In BGT the biblical text is structured in short pericopes, each with a brief heading.

This greatly en- hances the readability of the text. For the use of section headings, see chapter 3. The decision to make a translation without notes also precluded the possi- bility of adding notes that explain particular translation choices or give alter- native translations. Although this decision may be debated, it seems clear that refraining from footnotes is a wise policy for a translation that opts for com- prehensibility and readability. This principal aim demands a page layout that is clear and calm, not complicated by notes.

Furthermore, the choice of foot- notes to be adopted will always be arbitrary, since there is only room for a tiny fraction of the notes needed to adequately clarify all translation decisions. The decision to produce BGT without notes was made within the Dutch context, where different Bible translations are readily available, most of them freely online.

BGT does not function in a vacuum but complements other ex- isting translations. Controversial translation choices in BGT certainly must be accounted for. This, however, can be achieved without cluttering the translation itself. In a substantial number of publications in Dutch both in print and online, most of which are freely accessible, the translators have explained their choices, in particular with regard to controversial issues.

To put it succinctly, for those who need it, BGT offers a clear translation without compromising its clarity by notes, whereas for those who want it, information concerning debatable translation choices and alternative options is available elsewhere. Translation team and procedures The translation team consisted of five OT specialists, three NT specialists and four specialists in the Dutch language.

The translation work was carried out over a period of seven years, from to The translators always worked in pairs consisting of one expert in biblical languages and one Dutch language specialist. In addition to the translation work on the Bible books that was done in pairs, the whole team met on a monthly basis. In these meetings sample texts from all the translation pairs were discussed by the team as a whole, and trans- lation rules and strategies were discussed and sharpened.

Furthermore, each of the three sections, the OT experts, the NT experts, and the Dutch experts, regularly held their own meetings. Together, these two translators made the first version of the translation. In this provisional version, the exegete was already applying the principles of BGT.

In order to be able to do this, all the exegetes were trained in working with plain Dutch. To achieve the right balance of accuracy, comprehensibility, and expres- siveness was a shared responsibility. Both indicated what should be changed or improved and made suggestions for the translation. The im- proved version was again read aloud. Usu- ally, a meeting of the four translators involved was necessary for solving the final difficulties and coming to an agreement.

Their contribution was usually made in the third phase of the translation. They pointed out diffi- culties that were still present in the texts and how these might be solved. By letting them read the texts aloud, by discussing the texts and asking questions about them, it was possible to assess whether the texts had indeed reached the target level anticipated.

Checking the use of exegesis and the use of the Dutch language: x Many academic specialists in the fields of biblical studies, translation studies, and the Dutch language were consulted during the project. They commented on particular texts. Although these specialists had no formal role in the project, the translators profited from their input. Reactions to pre-published texts: x During the project, various well-known biblical passages were pre- published in our quarterly magazine on Bible translation Met Andere Woorden in order to inform readers about the nature of this new transla- tion.

All comments, improvements, and suggestions regarding a text—no matter where they came from—were assessed and processed by the first pair of translators. The third version, resulting from the external input, was again submitted to the two reviewers for approval.

Phase 4: Consistency The various books were translated over a period of seven years. The adjusted texts version 4 were then ready for the final editing. The editorial work was done, again, by an exegete and a Dutch lan- guage specialist working together.

In one year they went through all the texts meticulously, examining language, style, comprehensibility, and consistency. They were supported by the Paratext specialist and supervised by the three translators who had coordinated the OT, NT, and Dutch language sections, respectively, during the work. This final editing resulted in the final version, which was sent to the publisher.

The archive of the Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling The electronic archive of the Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling, a major trans- lation project — , contains a wealth of material exegeti- cal and translational notes, studies, comments, etc. This material was available to the translation team of BGT, enabling them to trace the texts in a thorough and relatively fast way and also to solve dif- ficult translation issues.

This helped to speed up the translation work. A separate electronic archive was established that includes the documents relating to the respective stages of the work on BGT. This series of twenty-nine articles about BGT provides insight into the translation process and the choices that were made. In many of these articles, focus is placed on individual examples from the translation. For the com- plete list see Appendix at the end of this book. What can BGT offer?

BGT offers something new to the Dutch audience. Its focus on clarity and comprehensibility makes it a Bible that can be read and understood by virtu- ally every reader. The goal set for BGT demanded clear choices and major translation transformations.

As was to be expected, BGT elicited much discussion see chapter 7. This chapter has shown that, after all, translation is a search for the best way to reformulate one text into another within a framework set by the initial norm and other governing principles.

In compar- ison with Dutch Bible translations that were already available, this elucida- tion adds something new and essential. The gain of this translation is first of all the comprehensibility of the biblical texts for a very broad readership, which also includes groups of new readers. A second gain is the appeal this translation has to many readers, thanks to the directness and familiarity of plain language.

Many readers express the view that the Bible presented in this way speaks to their hearts. It is clear that the norm of comprehensibility and the use of plain language come at a price. Certain nuances, richness of language, imagery, deliberate ambiguity, much-loved terms, and biblical language are lost. However, this does not outweigh the gain. All these features are readily available in other Dutch translations. But in addition to these, there is now also a Dutch trans- lation making the Bible understandable for any reader and speaking to the hearts of many modern readers.

Availability in print, online, and in audio form In BGT became available in print and online with restricted access. About one year later BGT became freely accessible online at www. Furthermore, the complete translation was pub- lished in audio form, in cooperation with the Dutch organization, The Christian Library for the Blind, also freely accessible at www.

First impression A selection of four examples illustrates the character of BGT. He helps us when we are in trou- 2 Therefore we will not fear ble. Therefore no short of the glory of God, 24 and one lives close to God. He forgives the sins of every- is in Christ Jesus, one who believes in Jesus Christ. For God wants to be good to us. International context In the international context, BGT shows similarities to various other Bible translations that use plain language.

It was designed to be understood when it was heard read aloud, not just when it was read silently. In addition, there are various Bible translations in easy English freely of- fered online; the best known of these is the Easy English Bible www. Translating the Bible into plain language, aiming at comprehensibility at a basic reading level, has been an established procedure for many decades. In this international context, the approach of BGT is far from unique.

However, just as we were inspired by earlier examples, our accomplishments with BGT may be of interest to those involved in Bible translation throughout the world. Several characteristics of this translation stand out and will be fully explored in this book: 1.

Solving the great difficulties: The average modern reader lacks the background knowledge of and cultural sensitivity to the world of the biblical texts. How to deal with implicit information? The reception of the Dutch BGT: How was this new translation pre- sented, how was it received, and what explains its success? I am deeply ashamed. Plain language forms the common basis of our language, the words we use daily.

It must be distinguished from slang, trendy, or highly informal lan- guage. Plain language, instead, means high-frequency language, the words most often used as measured over a longer period. This well-known and com- monly shared vocabulary formed the basis for BGT.

The approach chosen for BGT is based on research into comprehensibility. We defined our method by asking two questions: 1 What is comprehensible language? The answer to these questions, based on scholarly research, became the basis for our translation approach. This chapter deals with the first: What is comprehensible language? Texts that have to be understood by as great a readership as possible should contain well-known words. To understand the text well, a reader should be able to 31 Studies in these two fields have been brought together on the website www.

This knowledge base contains hundreds of mostly English scholarly articles as well as review articles relating to language and text comprehension. The chance of reaching that percentage increases in proportion to the number of generally known words used. High-frequency words How well words are known depends on how often they are used. Well- known words are high-frequency words, i. The more often a word is used, the better known it is.

Word frequency was therefore taken as the basis of the BGT vocabulary. When we were putting together the BGT lexicon, the available data in this field were used. First, there was the Basiswoordenboek Nederlands, a dictionary with around high-frequency words. All sorts of words from this lexicon belong to our modern culture, but the concepts and things they signify do not appear in the Bible. Also, many words that are essential for a Bible translation are missing from this basic lexicon.

For this reason the Dutch language experts on the translation team com- piled a BGT wordlist. These additions were made, again, on the basis of word frequency e. Some words were approved straightaway, but others were rejected, and a third group was approved but only in a specific context. In this way we worked with a very restricted lexicon that was expanded during the translation project whenever necessary. Word frequency was our guide: Do not use an infrequent word if a frequent word will do as well.

At the same time, we had to beware of certain pitfalls. The avoidance of quite specific words could result in clumsy circumlocutions. And an unwelcome side effect of ordinary language can be that it sounds childish and simplistic or that it lacks impact and appeal. Therefore, some- what less frequent words occasionally had to be tolerated. An important purpose of the BGT wordlist was to guarantee consistency in word use among the various translators. Imagine one translator regularly 34 P.

The joint word- list was one of the important features of the project. Any new or additional word that a translator wanted to use was assessed by the Dutch language ex- perts in the team. One of their functions was to monitor the joint lexicon. What makes a word difficult? Besides word frequency there are several other relevant factors to be mentioned: x Abstract words are more difficult than concrete terms. Lexicon of 3, words When the translation was finished, the lexicon was checked and corrected on the basis of the whole corpus of text of BGT.

This research, which was carried out by the Institute for Dutch Lexicography using a specialist com- puter program, established that the vocabulary of BGT contained some 3, words. This number includes all compound words and derivatives such as bedroom, insecurity , but not biblical names. To create a lexicon of under four thousand words was not a goal in itself; it was the result of our approach of using ordinary, well-known words as much as possible.

In the end this number of words was sufficient for expressing everything that needed to be expressed in the translation. Besides, the passive vocabulary of the average Dutch reader is much greater than four thousand words. When children finish primary school, most have a vocabu- lary of at least five thousand words. Yet our aim of offering a generally comprehensible text could adequately be met with a lexicon of some four thousand words. This can be explained by looking at the compilation of the word-frequency lists.

The group of words that occur most often in language use is relatively small. This is primarily a corpus of some two hundred words that can be used in practically all situa- tions, e. After this comes a group of around five thousand words that occur in all sorts of general broad contexts. All the words that are found in the next category many tens of thousands are more specific. They often refer to particular sit- uations or particular subjects. So anyone wishing to employ a generally com- prehensible vocabulary must try to restrict him- or herself as much as possible to the approximately five thousand most frequent words in the Dutch lan- guage.

According to a rough estimate, about two- thirds of the BGT vocabulary falls into this group. One-third consists of less frequent words that concern a specific situation or topic. They are essential to a Bible translation. In comparison to the 3, words used in BGT, NBV uses more than eleven thousand different words this does not include biblical names.

Comprehensibility of language is not just a matter of using well-known words. It is equally important that these words be used in their most frequent i. This was also part of the language policy of BGT. Strategies applied for the use of high-frequency words Choosing the common alternative Preference for high-frequency words often meant the choice of a simpler word than found in other translations.

Take a closer look at a few of these examples. A good example of this is Esth We give both the NBV and BGT versions here together with an English trans- lation: Esth NBV NBV-E 5 5 Toen deze dagen voorbij waren, When these days were over, the richtte de koning een feestmaal aan king laid on a banquet for all the voor alle bewoners van de burcht van inhabitants of the citadel of Susa, Susa, van hoog tot laag.

Dit duurde both great and small. This lasted zeven dagen, en het werd gehouden seven days, and it was held in the in de binnenhof van de tuin van het courtyard of the garden of the koninklijk paleis. The Hebrew source text contains stylistic characteristics that serve to evince the wealth and exotic atmosphere in the Persian court. NBV deliber- ately echoes this exuberance, more strongly than most English translations do. NBV uses exotic terms draperies, byssus, and alabaster , long and com- plex sentences, and an exuberant style.

In this way the translation seeks to convey to the modern reader the style and atmosphere of the text. Dat feest duurde zeven That party lasted seven days, and it dagen, en het was voor iedereen, was for everyone, for rich and poor voor rijke en voor arme mensen. Het feest werd gevierd op het plein The party was held on the square in de paleistuin. Daartussen there were white pillars. Between hingen mooie doeken van wit en them hung beautiful cloths of blauw linnen.

De doeken waren white and blue linen. The cloths aan de zuilen vastgemaakt met were attached to the pillars with witte en rode koorden en met white and red cords and with silver zilveren ringen. De vloer van het rings. The floor of the square was plein was gemaakt van allemaal made of all sorts of wonderfully prachtig gekleurde steentjes.

Op de colored stones. On this floor were vloer stonden banken van goud en seats made of gold and silver. The guests were given wine in 7 De gasten kregen wijn uit glittering golden cups. There was schitterende bekers van goud.

Wijn more than enough wine, as you was er meer dan genoeg, zoals dat would expect from a king. Those were als de gasten wilden. Plain and simple formulations are used in order to compose an accessible text. Where other translations choose different words, BGT always employs by preference the same ordinary word. This approach naturally raises questions. They seem to be synonyms. But this is not the issue at stake. Indeed, every reader of the Psalms could already tell that.

This kind of transformation is used very often in BGT. It is a helpful strategy for pre- serving the essence without using unknown words. Whether and how this strategy can be applied depends to a great extent on the function the word fulfils in its context.

First, in v. Later, in vv. BGT does not mention the particular kinds of crop, but makes clear that the hailstones destroyed all the ripe grain, but not the crops that had not yet come up. Only the grain headed and the flax was in bloom. Verses read like an afterthought.

Therefore, NIV places them in pa- rentheses. BGT has opted for another solution: it positions vv. This reorganization of textual information is dealt with in the next chapter. If a word fulfils an illustrative function in the context, it can be helpful to render it with a more general term. BGT-E You treat me as a prisoner. The stocks consisted of two beams with openings for the ankles.

It is an image of restriction of freedom and imprisonment. Job claims that God treats him as a prisoner. Sometimes people ask why we did not choose a modern-day 35 Translating the Bible in plain language-corr-PMarks. BGT opts for generaliza- tion, but not for modernization. The latter implies a shift of culture which is not appropriate in a translation , and runs the risk of being soon outdated by new developments, whereas a generalization is both clear and enduring.

For readers with a limited vocabulary or a limited knowledge of biblical realia, generalizations help to make the text more understandable. This is not merely a cognitive but also an emotional matter. This kind of generalization also helps readers to experience the text in its expressiveness.

If the compre- hensibility requires less effort on the part of the reader, there is more leeway to feel the emotional force of the text. Choosing a paraphrase Difficult terms can sometimes be paraphrased. We will mention two exam- ples. Even this, however, remains difficult to grasp for many readers. We all immorality, impurity and know that.

They form their own dissensions, factions 21 and groups and look for a fight. They get angry envy; drunkenness, orgies, quickly and treat each other as enemies. They drink too much, and at parties they get completely out of control. And they do many even worse things. People become jealous, angry, and selfish.

They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are 21 envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. There is more on this subject in chapter 5, about the treatment of biblical concepts.

Avoiding idioms Our daily use of language is shot through with idioms, conceptual meta- phors, and expressions, e. BGT is reluctant to use idiomatic expressions. Idiom is difficult in particular for people for whom Dutch is a second language, but all other readers have to make an extra effort too in deciding whether the words are meant literally or figuratively.

But she did not to get rid of him, but she did not get get what she wanted. Certain expressions, however, are so frequent or so difficult to replace that they could not be avoided. Such fixed expressions are difficult to replace and are widely known. Unambiguous use of language BGT strives to use words with an unambiguous meaning.

This raises the question of how BGT deals with imagery. The use of imagery in biblical texts is, after all, at odds with any attempt to reduce ambiguity in the meaning of words. Because imagery and figurative language are complicated and fundamentally difficult to deal with, a separate chapter has been devoted to this subject chapter 6. The use of less frequent words under certain conditions No alternative available In a number of cases there was no simple equivalent available to serve as an alternative to a difficult word.

This is not a frequent word, but there is no alternative available in Dutch. The word is therefore freely used in BGT, more than five hundred times. Other examples are the names of unclean animals in Lev 11, such as the stork and the red kite. Nevertheless, as a comparison of NBV with BGT shows, this list of animal species can be made much less difficult: NBV-E BGT-E 13 These are the birds you are to detest; Now the following are you may not eat them and you must regard the birds you may them as abhorrent: the griffon vulture, the absolutely not eat: the red bearded vulture, the black vulture, 14 the kite, the ostrich, the osprey, red kite and the various types of buzzard, the stork and the hoopoe, 15 all types of crow and raven, 16 the all types of vulture, ostrich, the short-eared owl, the tawny buzzard, crow, falcon, owl owl, all types of falcon, 17 the little owl, and heron.

And you are the fish owl, the long-eared owl, 18 the also not allowed to eat bats. God knows this is true! In certain cases, however, the legal connotation of witness is what is im- portant. In such instances the word cannot easily be avoided.

Deuteronomy , for instance, deals with the role of witnesses in legal procedures. Deut ESV BGT-E A single witness shall not suffice Suppose that somebody has against a person for any crime or for committed a crime and one any wrong in connection with any person saw it. There is then only offense that he has committed. Only one witness. In that case the on the evidence of two witnesses or offender cannot be found guilty. Only then can you go to court.

A less usual word is sometimes only used in a particular context. Glossary of technical and biblical terms Some words and concepts are so firmly associated with biblical language and worldview that they cannot be avoided. Even if these words fall outside the limits of plain language, they are nonetheless used in BGT. These words have been included in a glossary, which can be found both at the end of the printed edition of BGT and online.

The glossary lists and explains some sixty biblical terms that occur in BGT. Here are some examples of the explanations: apostle An apostle is someone who has been given the task by God or Jesus of telling the good news. A blessing is spoken aloud, and sometimes a gesture is made at the same time. People who are blessed by God are happy. They become rich and live long. Ani- mals can be offerings, and also grain, or any food that was 41 Translating the Bible in plain language-corr-PMarks.

Some offerings were totally burned up, but others could be eaten. It is difficult, sometimes impossible, to encapsulate the significance of these terms in just a few sentences. However, these short definitions help readers to get the gist of the terms. In this way, biblical terms that proved to be unavoidable could be used in BGT.

Biblical names The names in the Bible, which comprise personal names, geographical, and ethnographical names, are often mentioned as being a difficult element in the text. Many names are unfamiliar and have an unusual spelling, or are some- times very long. It might be conceivable to simplify and modernize Bible names Sam instead of Samuel, Tim instead of Timothy, etc.

Maintaining biblical names is therefore a fundamental aspect of a translation. Still, much can be done to enhance the comprehensibility of a text in this respect. In the first place, it should be made clear what sort of entity a name refers to, whether a person, a city, a region, a people, a river, etc. They all belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. The strongest men belonging to David also made ready. Jer At that time Jeremiah wanted to go to the region of Benja- min.

In the other two texts the references to Benjamin are ambiguous. David said:. He went to live in settled near a certain Adullamite Adullam, with a friend called whose name was Hirah. She was the certain Canaanite whose name was daughter of Shua. In this way the frequency of difficult names within a textual unit can be re- duced for more information see chapter 4 under making implicit and harmo- nizing.

Numbers In order to make a text more legible and comprehensible, it is helpful to indicate numbers by numerals. Numbers in BGT for weights, measures, per- centages, and amounts are always written in numerals. Numbers in lists are always written in numerals as well. In other contexts most numbers are writ- ten in numerals, but some in letters, according to general Dutch conventions. For ordinal numbers the same rules apply as for cardinal numbers.

If an ordinal number is used in numerals, the appropriate suffix is used as in English, e. Dutch Bible translations strongly differ from each other in this aspect. BGT has 3,! That was on the first day of year, the water had dried up from the first month.

Noah was then the earth. All the men of census, from twenty years old and twenty years or older were then upward, for six hundred three counted. There were , thousand, five hundred fifty men. This example also shows that in BGT, weights and measures are transformed from the biblical units to our own present-day units. Clarity at sentence level The idea that short sentences are easy and long sentences are difficult is an oversimplification.

Usually, it is the structure of the sentence that is decisive 41 NBG, the NBS Bible translation published in , is a formal equivalent translation. A long sentence that is constructed in a clear way does not have to be difficult. The structure of the sentence is therefore key to whether or not it can be understood. What does this involve? Avoidance of difficult constructions Most Bible translations contain complex sentences and difficult construc- tions.

BGT avoids these as far as possible. This means that complex sentences as offered by the source text are reformulated and restructured and often split into various sentences in order to achieve a clear translation. All the Hittites all the trees within the borders of at the gate of the city had seen that the field—was deeded 18 to Abraham had bought the field.

The Abraham as his property in the field was in Machpela near Mamre. Limited subordination Transparent sentences are the framework of an easily readable text. Subor- dinate clauses add to the complexity of sentences. Using no subordination at all would lead to very simple sentences. However, such a radical approach does not work for a Bible translation, for two reasons.

First, a text composed of merely main and coordinate clauses, without any subordination, is unnat- ural to most readers. It produces a staccato sentence rhythm and ruins the expressiveness and tension of the text. Second, textual cohesion is an im- portant factor in determining whether or not the text is comprehensible. Sim- ple sentences without subordinate clauses are perfectly understandable on a sentence-level. But for comprehension on the level of the text the cohesion among the various clauses and sentences is essential.

In order to achieve this, some subordination is necessary. BGT therefore opted for a limited use of subordination: within a sentence one subordinate clause is always allowed, but preferably no more than one. Furthermore, the translators deliberately al- ternated simple and more complex sentences. But 45 Translating the Bible in plain language-corr-PMarks. I also shared my life also our own selves, because you with you, because I have come to had become very dear to us.

The grammatically layered and complicated sentence of 1 Thess is di- vided into several sentences in BGT. In certain cases, secondary sub- ordinate clauses were allowed as well, for example, if avoidance of such a clause would sound contrived.

In cases like this a secondary clause was pre- ferred to a lengthy or unnatural-sounding circumlocution. Acts They will pretend that they want to find out exactly what he has done wrong. Limited inversion BGT prefers the most usual word order for the Dutch language: subject- verb-predicate.

Deviations from this common pattern are carefully employed in BGT. Sentences with inversion are less transparent than those that follow the common word order, but variation in sentence construction also has cer- tain advantages. First, inversion may be needed to put the focus on the right part of the sen- tence, or to form a connection with the preceding sentence.

Generally speak- ing, the focus of the Dutch sentence comes at the end; what is known or im- plied comes at the beginning of the sentence and new information comes at the end. A change in this pattern can draw attention to a particular element of information. But I shall punish the are good to you. But the people people who treat you badly. It is chiefly used in the poetic biblical books, in partic- ular in Psalms.

You are the God who gives life. When will I be with you again? Copyright Information : Margaret C. Jacob and Catherine Secretan Hardcover ISBN : Softcover ISBN : Edition Number : 1. Number of Pages : IX, Skip to main content.

Search SpringerLink Search. Editors: Margaret C. Buying options eBook EUR Softcover Book EUR Hardcover Book EUR Learn about institutional subscriptions. Table of contents 12 chapters Search within book Search.

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Hij zit gewoon te kletsen'', zegt De Vries. Volgens de misdaadjournalist had hij met de productieleider van het programma afgesproken dat hij de tijd zou krijgen om over een boek van zijn rechterhand Kees van der Spek te praten. Aan het einde van de talkshow zegt Van Nieuwkerk dat het boek nu in de winkel ligt. Van Nieuwkerk besluit: ,,Ik ga hiermee ophouden. Dit is niets voor de tv. Grensrechters De Vries is niet alleen journalist, maar ook voetbalmakelaar.

En over die sport heeft hij een uitgesproken mening. Nadat jongens van 15 en 16 jaar de jarige grensrechter Richard Nieuwenhuizen in hebben doodgeschopt, twittert De Vries dat grensrechters vaak 'stuitend partijdig en grenzeloos onsportief' zijn:. Maar: ,,Ik praat alleen maar over zaken waar ik iets van weet: misdaad, sport, media, politiek en nieuws. Op het gebied van kunst, muziek, cultuur, literatuur, religie en wetenschappen zul je mij nooit horen. Gratis onbeperkt toegang tot Showbytes?

Dat kan! Ja, ik wil gratis onbeperkt toegang. Volledig scherm. Leon van Wijk , Laatste update: , Facebook Whats App. Nieuwe trailer van Kidnapping Mr. Heinekenfilm eerder in VS te zien dan in Nederland. Peter R. Heinekenfilm Peter R. Jammer, snel gestopt.

Aanvaard de social media-cookies om deze inhoud alsnog te tonen. Twitteraars steken vervolgens massaal de draak met De Vries:. Was begonnen aan Homeland, maar schrijver is blijkbaar nooit ontvoerde soldaat-terrorist geweest. SebastiaanVerschuren sverschuren. Quote Je zit raar te kletsen Peter R.

Zie het elke week. Onderdeel van het probleem. Log in of maak een account aan en mis niks meer van de sterren. Er is een nieuwe trailer verschenen van de Amerikaanse verfilming van De Heineken ontvoering, Kidnapping Mr. In het filmpje is de ontvoering van Alfred 'Freddy' Heineken, gespeeld door Sir Anthony Hopkins, te zien en de voorbereiding daarvan. Die mag van de misdaadverslaggever een 'make over' krijgen, iets waarin hij zich gesteund weet door een reeks BN'ers.

Hij voegde daar wel 'in alle bescheidenheid' aan toe en verklaarde dat hij 'natuurlijk al langer op televisie is te zien'. Twitteraars nemen hem zijn opmerking niet in dank af. Ze zijn woedend. Nou, over Wim Dankbaar waren zij gauw klaar, want die hoorde volgens Rechter en Officier van Justitie Matthijs van Nieuwkerk achter de tralies.

Grot Lol hadden de beschaafde HerenPeter R. Dat ooit tijdens Peter R. Over de aantoonbare duistere rol die Peter R. Ook geen woord over het feit dat Peter R. Oud-rechercheurs verbijsterd over uitzending Peter R. Wat nog restte waren allemaal deskundige, eerlijke, uitgebalanceerde, beschaafde opvattingen en meningen van de Moordenaar en rechtens vastgestelde Maffiajournalist en politie-informant Peter R.

Bij Matthijs van Nieuwkerk komt Peter R. Allemaal gesubsidieerd. Ook komt Peter R. Grote Lol. Bovendien ontvangt Peter R. Twee keer Kassa voor Peter R. Kan het nog socialistischer? Wat Peter R. Matthijs van Nieuwkerk vindt alles prachtig en geweldig wat Peter R. Daarnaast adoreert Matthijs van Nieuwkerk Peter R. Nooit zal Matthijs van Nieuwkerk vragen naar de betrokkenheid van Peter R. Nooit zal Matthijs van Nieuwkerk vragen aan Peter R. Nooit zal Matthijs van Nieuwkerk vragen om een reactie van Peter R.

Like Like. Ultrarijke inteelt heerst en verdeelt al eeuwen via overheid, media etc. Ambtenarij volgt orders blindelings op anders volgt ontslag. Daarom mag er ook niet gefilmd worden tijdens zittingen van Micha Kat. Ben benieuwd wanneer het oliedomme stemvee eens wakker wordt in dit Pedobaggerbeerputtenland. Wim Dankbaar doet er verstandig aan a la Knijff meteen voor de aanval te kiezen en een kort geding aan te spannen met als eis dat Matthijs en Peter R de Vries in DWDD voor het vaderland zich verontschuldigen.

En laat die man maar eens beginnen met het tevens eisen van een flinke schadevergoeding voor de reputatieschade die hem inmiddels is aangedaan en het leed voor zijn familie. Dankbaar is veel te lief voor het schorriemorrie. Niks niet verdedigen voor TV. Dat lijkt wel een unieke kans, maar dat wordt een flauw tvspel en dan zijn ze er weer gemakkelijk van af gekomen. Jij begrijpt dat Steven.

Jij snapt wat ik bedoel. Beste Steve Brown, of topic maar ik kan op de oudere berichten geen commentaar meer geven dat wordt nml. Is dat bewust gedaan of ligt dat aan mijn computer? Wndy, wij weten ook iet hoe het werkt. Dat heb je nou eenmaal met Volksnieuws en Street Soldiers redactie. Het is een vieze laffe doorgefokte hond die straks niet meer op zijn achterpoten kan blijven staan. Zum kotzen die man! Ach gut daar hebben wij weer de OM-loopjongen Peter R. Steve, kun jij deze uitzending engels ondertitelen en naar allerlei TV-stations in de VS sturen.

Hoe het met het auteurschap zit weet ik niet, maar valt na te vragen bij Brandpunt. Denk dat zij geen bezwaar zullen maken met internationale aandacht voor hun uitzending. Het zou immers mooi zijn als de Vries alsnog voor paal wordt gezet in de VS…! Co-auteur Hans Mauritz vertelt hoe het zit met het verboden dagboek Gepubliceerd op 6 nov Ook ik ben een complot denker,, dat gaf jij mij zelf in,, immers hoe vaak heb jij Justitie afgebrand als een stelletje waardeloze niks kunners?

Dat veranderde toen jij de politiek in wilde,, wat niet mocht,, immers Peter jij was een kennisgevaar. Daarna ben je steeds meer aan de hand van Justitie gaan wandelen,, als rechtgeaard complotter kan ik dan ook zeggen; is dit jouw politieke rol nu Peter? Tegen goed geld.

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