Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Bible translations: which is best?

Bible translations: which is best?

Do you have a translation question?

Bible translations: which is best?

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Tue 07.27.2010 8:03 pm

I have a copy of the Japanese Colloquial Version. I'm contrasting it to the Japanese Living Bible online. I notice a lot of difference between the two. I believe the latter takes more liberties with the translation, but I want to know which sounds best to Japanese readers? Below is the translation for 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Japanese Colloquial Version:
ところが、主が言われた、「わたしの恵みはあなたに十分である。わたしの力は弱いところに完全にあらわれる」。

Japanese Living Bible:
そのつど返ってくる答えは、こうでした。 「いや、治すまい。 しかし、わたしはあなたと共にいる。 それで十分ではないか。 わたしの力は弱い人にこそ、最もよく現われるのだから。」
User avatar
Cyborg Ninja
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue 08.29.2006 8:16 pm

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby NileCat » Wed 07.28.2010 4:33 am

I felt the translations differ too much. I googled and found out this page.
http://bible.cc/2_corinthians/12-9.htm

New International Version (©1984)
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

New Living Translation (©2007)
Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

English Standard Version (©2001)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

........


Obviously, the texts based on are different.
Which do you think the best? :)
User avatar
NileCat
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Japanese

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Wed 07.28.2010 6:44 pm

Well, in English I like the NIV, the ESV and the RSV. The Revised Standard Version keeps some of the poetic style of the King James version, but it's outdated compared to the NIV and ESV. NIV is most readable out of the three. By asking which is best, I really just had to keep the title short and hoped people would state the differences between the Japanese versions like I did above for the English ones.
User avatar
Cyborg Ninja
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue 08.29.2006 8:16 pm

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby SakeIt2Me » Wed 07.28.2010 7:58 pm

I read an article about a university study that compared accuracy of translation and lack of bias in some of the world's major Bible versions, I can't remember where it was done but anyways the New World Translation was spoken of really highly, so I got it. Best part, it's free here: http://www.jw.org/index.html?option=QrYQZRQVNlVlYR
You can get a free MP3 or AAC. [Or if you want a real one just wait for a JW to show up, it's still free. Then you gotta deal with people though. :) (I like free stuff...)]

I dunno, what do Japanese speakers think of it?? It's supposed to be in each language's modern usage but still accurate...
I've compared NWT with KJ and Gideons (can't remember the actual name...) It still requires a pretty decent vocabulary. I like that it makes it obvious which texts are considered spurious, handy dandy if you actually care whether a translator just added something in to make a monarch/overlord happy haha.
Maybe I will meet you one day, maybe Wednesday, maybe not...not
SakeIt2Me
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed 07.14.2010 6:13 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Female

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby chikara » Wed 07.28.2010 9:43 pm

Cyborg Ninja wrote:...... By asking which is best, I really just had to keep the title short and hoped people would state the differences between the Japanese versions like I did above for the English ones.

Are the Japanese versions translations of the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts or translations of English translations of Greek and/or Latin translations?
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
User avatar
chikara
 
Posts: 3577
Joined: Tue 07.11.2006 10:48 pm
Location: Australia (SA)
Native language: English (Australian)
Gender: Male

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby phreadom » Thu 07.29.2010 7:21 am

SakeIt2Me wrote:I read an article about a university study that compared accuracy of translation and lack of bias in some of the world's major Bible versions, I can't remember where it was done but anyways the New World Translation was spoken of really highly, so I got it. Best part, it's free here: http://www.jw.org/index.html?option=QrYQZRQVNlVlYR
You can get a free MP3 or AAC. [Or if you want a real one just wait for a JW to show up, it's still free. Then you gotta deal with people though. :) (I like free stuff...)]

I dunno, what do Japanese speakers think of it?? It's supposed to be in each language's modern usage but still accurate...
I've compared NWT with KJ and Gideons (can't remember the actual name...) It still requires a pretty decent vocabulary. I like that it makes it obvious which texts are considered spurious, handy dandy if you actually care whether a translator just added something in to make a monarch/overlord happy haha.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_ ... cal_review

The NWT is an arguably biased version of the bible that was translated inaccurately in part to promote the specific beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses over that of accuracy, which seems to have been a shame considering that good scholarly work was done aside from that bias. That link above gives a number of reviews of it and includes examples of said bias.

Personally I tend to use the NIV for reference. And while some aspects of the NWT seem intriguing regarding its efforts at pedantic accuracy in some aspects, that laudable goal seems tainted by the numerous examples of eisegetical denominational bias in other aspects, which seems to severely undermine the reliability of the text over-all, as you would have to take extra effort to be aware of where the translation shifted from the scholarly to the biased (on top of the somewhat unnatural language used in it in their attempt at pedantic grammatical accuracy, which would seem to make it a slightly more uncomfortable read than versions like the NIV... and in fact from reading some of the NWT right now I can see where heated debates over exegesis vs eisegesis could start, something that does not belong here at all).

chikara wrote:
Cyborg Ninja wrote:...... By asking which is best, I really just had to keep the title short and hoped people would state the differences between the Japanese versions like I did above for the English ones.

Are the Japanese versions translations of the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts or translations of English translations of Greek and/or Latin translations?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_tran ... apanese%29

It sounds like there were a variety done from many different sources, many including translations from more "modern" Chinese versions, or the King James Version, or the Latin Vulgate, or 16th Century Greek compilations, etc.

The "Japanese Living Bible" (1977) appears to be a translation directly from the English "The Living Bible" (1971), which was itself a paraphrase by a single man of the American Standard Version (1901), which was based on the Revised Version (1881-1895), which was in turn based on the King James Version (1611)... :sweatdrop:

The English "New Living Translation", which was update of "The Living Bible" that finally brought in Greek and Hebrew scholars to update the text, was not released until 1996, and as far as I can tell, none of the "Japanese Living Bible" versions were based off this version, but rather the older "Living Bible" referenced above, and all that entails.

It sounds as thought the "Japanese Living Bible" is much more popular than the Japanese Colloquial Version as far as I can tell from my cursory searching. So that one will probably be much easier to read, as it is geared much more toward ease of understanding than scholarly accuracy, if that's what you're shooting for.

(While I think it would be interesting to see comparisons of how the translation paraphrasing differs, and how one version might sound better to a Japanese reader, I want to make sure that the discussion stays on that topic rather than straying into any more religiously motivated discussion.)

With that said, since I can't read that level of Japanese I can't do any further research from possibly better sources to try to find out much more detail on the matter. :(

With that said, please keep in mind Rule #6 from the FAQ:

"6: We request that you do not discuss religion or politics, even in the off topic section, in order to reduce needless friction."

Just a reminder. So far this discussion seems to be of a relatively scholarly bent. Please keep it that way.

In closing, I think we should keep in mind that what Cyborg Ninja originally asked was:

Cyborg Ninja wrote:I have a copy of the Japanese Colloquial Version. I'm contrasting it to the Japanese Living Bible online. I notice a lot of difference between the two. I believe the latter takes more liberties with the translation, but I want to know which sounds best to Japanese readers? Below is the translation for 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Japanese Colloquial Version:
ところが、主が言われた、「わたしの恵みはあなたに十分である。わたしの力は弱いところに完全にあらわれる」。

Japanese Living Bible:
そのつど返ってくる答えは、こうでした。 「いや、治すまい。 しかし、わたしはあなたと共にいる。 それで十分ではないか。 わたしの力は弱い人にこそ、最もよく現われるのだから。」


and

Cyborg Ninja wrote:Well, in English I like the NIV, the ESV and the RSV. The Revised Standard Version keeps some of the poetic style of the King James version, but it's outdated compared to the NIV and ESV. NIV is most readable out of the three. By asking which is best, I really just had to keep the title short and hoped people would state the differences between the Japanese versions like I did above for the English ones.


In short, I'm guessing that like they said about the NIV being the easiest to read (while still being very accurate), they just want to know which Japanese version would be the parallel of that... a good, fairly accurate, and yet easy to read version.

What this thread should not be about is modern day English translations of the bible (or pretty much anything else on the vein I touched on, such as textual criticism, eisegesis vs exegesis, etc), the type of discussion that could very likely be sparked by bringing up the Jehovah's Witness version of the bible, etc. If the conversation strays off the scholarly path, I'll be stepping back in and locking the topic. This forum isn't for proselytizing, it's for learning the Japanese language. :ninja:

Please stick more carefully to the question(s) asked. If you feel the desire to digress into those other topics, please take it to PM (private messages). Thanks.
猿も木から落ちる
User avatar
phreadom
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1762
Joined: Sun 01.29.2006 8:43 pm
Location: Michigan, USA
Native language: U.S. English (米語)
Gender: Male

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby NileCat » Thu 07.29.2010 2:01 pm

Phreadom, you used tons of words I don't know! :)
But I agree with you, I think.
Regarding the Japanese language, honestly, it's impossible for me to tell "which sounds better" by only reading those couple of lines without having a vast knowledge about the book. I for one respect both of them.
User avatar
NileCat
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Japanese

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby SakeIt2Me » Thu 07.29.2010 7:51 pm

Whoa, sorry I didn't mean to bring religion into this at all! I mean, certain religions promote certain translations for sure, but because this is a strictly literary discussion and accuracy is pretty important to me I brought that up. And I'm so cheap/poor I thought the link was helpful. I didn't think mentioning that would upset anybody, I apologize. :blush:
I'm supposed to know English and I don't understand about ten of the words phreadom used, lol. But I agree, no religion and politics in forums!

After some googling, I think the article I read was referring to this comparison work: Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament [Paperback]Jason David BeDuhn (Author) where he compares translations in major use, comparing the english used to the original language texts. Too bad there isn't a japanese scholar doing the same, you could just check a comparison book. Or maybe there is, I'll go googling again...

But are there any straight Hebrew-Aramaic-Greek-Coptic to Japanese translations out there? Maybe by the time I can consider looking at a Japanese bible (as in able to comprehend Japanese enough) more info will be around.

Edit: According to Wikipedia, there was a 1978 fransiscan translation from the Hebrew and Greek into Japanese. So that answers my question I guess. Now back to learning japanese for me, I think I should have stayed out of this thread!
Maybe I will meet you one day, maybe Wednesday, maybe not...not
SakeIt2Me
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed 07.14.2010 6:13 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Female

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Thu 07.29.2010 11:47 pm

I don't think anyone was bothered, Sake. At least I wasn't.

I'm surprised a lot of Japanese Bibles don't translate from the original source, or at least the Seputagint. I noticed that the Japanese Colloquial Version was easier for me to read than the other translation. Maybe that's because it was such a close translation to the English language. I thought people would say the other translation was more colloquial Japanese than the Colloquial Version.
User avatar
Cyborg Ninja
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue 08.29.2006 8:16 pm

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby phreadom » Fri 07.30.2010 1:05 am

I wasn't really upset by it. I just want to make sure that nothing comes up that would motivate anyone (like myself) to get dragged into a discussion that doesn't belong here. ;)

Does anyone know what the translation history is of the Japanese Colloquial Version? I had a lot harder time finding information on it.

(There do seem to be pages for some of the Japanese translations that are only in Japanese on the Japanese Wikipedia, so those might give some more information about other translations...)
猿も木から落ちる
User avatar
phreadom
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1762
Joined: Sun 01.29.2006 8:43 pm
Location: Michigan, USA
Native language: U.S. English (米語)
Gender: Male

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby AJBryant » Fri 07.30.2010 8:14 pm

I'm Russian Orthodox, and in Japan we use the translation done by St. Nicholas of Japan.

Our translation of 2 Corinthians 12:9 reads as follows:

然れども主は我に謂へり、我の恩寵は爾に足れり、蓋我の能は弱き中に行はる。故に我寧甘んじて我が弱きを誇らん、ハリストスの能の我の内に寓らん為なり。

しかれども しゅ は われ に いえり、 われ の おんちょう は なんじ に たれり、 けだし われ の ちから は よわき うち に おこなわる。 ゆえ に われ むしろ あまんじて わが よわき を ほこらん、ハリストス の ちから の われ の うち に やどらん ため なり。

Tony
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Bible translations: which is best?

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 08.09.2010 11:28 am

From what I remember the Japanese King James version is a translation based off the German copy of the King James version. I might be wrong though, but I seem to remember that many of the Biblical names were Germanic in nature..
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English


Return to Translation Questions or Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests