Journal of Translation

The Journal of Translation is an academic journal of translation theory and practice with a special interest in Bible translation and in translation involving minority languages and cultures. Its purpose is to encourage scholarship, to enlighten the reader, to stimulate thought and discussion, and to promote appropriate cross-cultural and cross-linguistic communication.

Announcement of Bible Translation Conferences 2007 and 2008
Editor’s Foreword
by Catherine Rountree
Change at the Helm Again
Once again there are changes in the editorial and administrative staff of the Journal. Ralph Hill has turned over his position as International Translator Coordinator to Bryan Harmelink who will serve on the editorial board of the Journal as the “first among equals.” My goal is retirement in the not too distant future. So we are dropping the mantle of the Journal onto the shoulders of David Frank. David has years of experience in both linguistics and translation. In addition, his editorial and writing skills...
This article proposes a cline of Greek imperativals, that is, a progressive ordering of Greek imperativals from a totally unmitigated command to a highly mitigated exhortation. It grows from a study of 1 Cor. 10:6–10. In this passage, the Apostle Paul shifts from a first person form of the verbal construction to a second person form, then to two first person forms, and finally back to a second person form. I did not find the explanations in the commentaries for these usages to be satisfactory. I accordingly propose that the use of the different persons is to be seen as part of an increase in...
In this article, I begin with section 1 by presenting the five main sacrifices found in the first seven chapters of Leviticus, including their relations to the requirement for Israel to be holy. In section 2, I describe the functions of the levitical sacrifices, and in section 3, I compare these with the functions of the multifarious sacrifices carried out by the Supyire people in southern Mali. After arguing the case for translating the functions rather than the forms of the levitical sacrifices (contra the majority of English translations), I present, in section 4, suggestions for Supyire...
This essay addresses the relativity of knowledge and its relevance to the assessment of quality in translation. The discussion is framed in terms of Thomas Kuhn’s theory of paradigms and paradigm communities. The concept of paradigm is used to delineate the various legacies that inform contemporary translators—their biblical/theological education, their tacit acceptance of an Aristotelian philosophy of language, and the subtle influence of the Age of Enlightenment. Because each model of translation determines the praxis of translation, it also determines how quality is assessed. It is...
Julius Nyerere, the former president of Tanzania, was renowned for his political leadership. He was also an accomplished and dedicated poet, teacher, and translator. Having translated Shakespeare into his beloved Swahili language before becoming president, he took up Bible translation in his retirement. His goal was not simply to communicate his message faithfully and clearly, as any Bible translator should do, but also to engage his audience in a direct and personal way. Instead of the usual prose of the Gospels and Acts, he adopted the ancient but still popular poetic form of the tenzi as...
Most languages have a wide variety of strategies for communicating politeness, however these are always highly culture-specific and relate closely to broader cultural norms that affect the application of Grice’s maxims, for example.
Focus strategies include the use of greetings, modal particles, and various forms of participant reference. Typical initial greetings may take the form of wishes or blessings in biblical Hebrew but questions in West African languages (which reserve wishes and blessings for leave-taking and thanking); therefore, more literal translations may invite misunderstanding...