Lexical Pragmatics and Hermeneutical Issues in the Translation of Key Terms

Statement of Responsibility:
Harmelink, Bryan
Series Issue:
SIL International
Publisher Place:
Dallas, Texas
Part Of Series:
Journal of Translation 8(1)
pages 25-35
Translation involves, among other things, the attempt to communicate the words of one language in another language. An important part of Bible translation is dealing with the translation of key biblical terms. But is it words that we are really translating, or rather the concepts that are associated with those words? Is it reasonable to expect that in translation we will find a word in one language that will communicate “the same meaning” as another word in another language, or borrow a word if necessary? What is the relationship between words and meanings? How are different senses or different meanings bundled together in a single word? Should we be talking in terms of key biblical concepts, rather than key biblical terms, as the goal of what we aim to communicate in translation? This paper draws on insights from the field of lexical pragmatics in order to discuss realities and strategies in translating, based on the principles of representation, underdeterminacy, dynamic context, and the principle of relevance.
Publication Status:
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Work Type:
key biblical terms
lexical pragmatics
Relevance Theory
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