The Linguist

The Linguist 55,5

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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30 The Linguist Vol/55 No/5 2016 OPINION & COMMENT Email with your views Reasons for reading the Bible I must take issue with Glynis Thompson's otherwise excellent letter (TL55,4). There are several quite different contexts in which the Bible is read, and quite different kinds of readers or hearers. Therefore, translating the Bible is not something to be achieved according to a single philosophy. When the Bible features in liturgy, in the synagogue for instance, or in the Russian Orthodox liturgy, its words are proclaimed in a religious building to a congregation for whom the sacred words are part of a familiar cultic action transcending time and space. No one would suggest that the biblical words in ancient Hebrew or Church Slavonic need be replaced by a 21st-century lingo. Assuredly, "some concepts in the original may not even exist in the target culture", but we cannot expect the poor translator to bridge a cultural gap of two, three or four millennia. Somewhat nearer home, in a process analogous to the reception of Shakespeare, the liturgical reading of the King James Bible created a listening public who applied it (correctly understood or not) to a vast number of daily contexts, sometimes savouring its hallowed cadences and sometimes transposing them into irreverent pastiches. The invasion of modernised and supposedly more accurate versions destroyed the hegemony of King James and also wrecked what had become a linguistic possession in the minds and hearts of the nation. Finally, "books are meant to be read and enjoyed". Indeed. But part of such armchair enjoyment (which I enjoy immensely!) may consist in looking up the cross-references and allusions which used to be signalled in the footnotes. Graham Harrison FCIL A career at 60 In answer to Hannah Embleton- Smith's point that pro bono work is considered a "must" to launch a career as a translator ('Master in the Making', TL55,4), may I point out that things seem to have changed a lot since I started translating? I retired from my day job at 60 with a good command of French and Italian but my only qualifications were passes at higher standard in government language- allowance examinations. I managed to show that I was fit to become a member of the Institute of Linguists and launched myself into legal and financial translations. I am still doing this work 19 years later. Admittedly, I had a pension, so I did not need to earn all my living that way, but I did achieve £35,000 a year at a maximum. It is sad that there are so many hurdles for young translators and that they have to work for free to launch themselves. Perhaps Jessica Moore's 'Strong Foundations' (TL55,3) provides part of the answer. There are many more young bilingual people in the UK now than 20 years ago. Gordon Pirie MCIL Get the picture You ask for comments on the look of the magazine. I generally like it. However please do not use irrelevant library photos, at least without giving their provenance. The present case in point is the photograph across pages 10-11 ('The Voice of Women', TL55,4). Grace Kenny MCIL Right intonation I wonder if you can throw light on what is meant by "some problems are unique to the other language. Polish, for example, is an intonational language and children will often over-intonate" ('Strong Foundations', TL55,3). English is an intonational language, too. And what does "over-intonate" mean? Jonathan Marks MCIL STAR LETTER Star letter This week's star letter writer wins a BBC Active Talk Complete self-taught course. For a chance to win your choice of course (French, Italian, German or Spanish), please share your views via

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