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Biblical politeness

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Biblical politeness

Postby Sunken » Sun 01.28.2007 9:38 am

Today I got to wondering about how politeness is used in the Japanese translation of the Bible. If anyone is familiar with it, how is it treated? What level of formality is used in the text, and do persons that are quoted use 警護 when addressing others as they would in Japanese society? If so, which people use what kind of language, generally speaking?
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby richvh » Sun 01.28.2007 10:09 am

I haven't seen a Japanese bible, but I think you meant 敬語, as I don't see much sense in using 警護 when addressing others. I mean, why insert these extra characters into the story? Do they need extra protection?
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby paul_b » Sun 01.28.2007 10:28 am

Sunken wrote:
Today I got to wondering about how politeness is used in the Japanese translation of the Bible. If anyone is familiar with it, how is it treated? What level of formality is used in the text, and do persons that are quoted use 警護 when addressing others as they would in Japanese society? If so, which people use what kind of language, generally speaking?


There are a number of constructs, including 敬語, in the bible that are not present in everyday Japanese.

For example

証する[あかしする] to give testament / to testify
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby Sunken » Sun 01.28.2007 10:28 am

Oops?
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby clay » Sun 01.28.2007 11:19 am

There are a number of phrases that are 'real' Japanese but not really used that way in 'real' spoken Japanese like Paul's あかし example.

あなたがた anata gata - you
まことにまことに truly, truly

And of course there are a lot of bible specific words like:

放蕩息子 houtou musuko - Prodigal Son
聖霊 sei rei - Holy Spirit
過越しの祭り sugi koshi no matsuri - Passover
etc...
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby AJBryant » Sun 01.28.2007 11:55 am

I'm Russian Orthodox, and the translation of the Bible used in the RO church in Japan is deliberately antiquated -- it was translated in the Meiji period, and was intentionally translated in a way meant to evoke archaic (often) religious texts the Japanese would already be familiar with. The idea was that such a translation would "ring familiar" and be clear as to its importance and gravity thereby.

蓋神は世を愛して、其獨生のこ賜ふに致れり、凡そ彼を信ずる者の亡ぶるなく、乃永遠の生命を得ん為なり。(イオアン第三章序Z)

けだしかみはよをあいして、そのどくせいのこをたまうにいたれり、およそかれをしんずるもののほろぶるなく、すなわち、えいえんのいのちをえんためなり。


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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby coco » Mon 01.29.2007 5:39 am

Sunken wrote:
Today I got to wondering about how politeness is used in the Japanese translation of the Bible.

おもしろいですね〜 :)
http://www.is.seisen-u.ac.jp/~zkohta/bible/index.html
ここで通常の日本語訳が読めますので、
だいたいどんな感じか分かると思います。

非常に珍しい試みですが
『マタイ』『マルコ』『ルカ』『ヨハネ』の福音書は
ケセン語にも訳されています。
私は『マタイ』しか持っていませんが、非常に新鮮でしたし、
今もとっても気に入っています。 :D

発刊にあたって賛否両論あったようですが、
購読者からは絶大な支持を集めています。

ここで朗読見本を聞くことができます。
東北(とくに気仙地方)にゆかりのある方(two headsさん?)
にはお勧めです^^

この本(朗読CDつき)は、バチカンにも献呈されています。
Last edited by coco on Mon 01.29.2007 6:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby clay » Mon 01.29.2007 7:50 am

Sounds like that Bible was translated just for you Tony!

If that translation or ケセン語 is too difficult, there's always this Bible.
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby AJBryant » Mon 01.29.2007 4:28 pm

Sounds like that Bible was translated just for you Tony!


It works for me. :)

The easiest way to describe it, I think, is that it's written in what could be considered the Japanese equivalent of "King James English" -- that is to say, it's the difference between

KJV Luke 23:43
And Jesus said unto him, "Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."


and

NIV Luke 23:43
43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."


To me, the KJV just has a majesty that the RSV, NIV, ASB, etc., don't have. Likewise,

Vanilla Japanese trans of Luke 23:43
するとイエスは、「はっきり言っておくが、あなたは今日わたしと一緒に楽園にいる」と言われた。


lacks the "oomph" of

Japanese Orthodox Trans of Luke 23:43
イイスス彼に謂へり、我誠に爾に語ぐ、爾今日我と偕に楽園に在らん。
(イイススかれにいえり、われまことになんじにつぐ、なんじこんにちわれとともにらくえんにあらん。


Tony
Last edited by AJBryant on Mon 01.29.2007 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 01.29.2007 5:10 pm

the bible (in japanese) that i use is as Tony mentioned. the same as using the king james bible in English. Unfortunately alot has been lost in the translations anyways, I don't need some New translation to water it down anymore.. lol

I don't remember the kanji for all the words, but ware and nanji are used quite frequently when referring to self and others.
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby AJBryant » Mon 01.29.2007 11:56 pm

There has lately been a lot of debate in the Orthochurch over translation of liturgical and scriptural texts into English. There are many people (mostly the older folks and traditionalists) who want to use a "King James" flavor (thou, ye, etc.) and the younger, less educated (ahem) folks who want to keep it simple ("you" period).

Many of our texts are vocative, and so have recurring "Thou, who art..." -- naturally, the people who favor the modern lingo are rather dismissively referred to by some as "yoohoos" -- as the texts become "you who are".

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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 01.30.2007 2:53 pm

yes there has been alot of debate worldwide as to whether King james had an agenda when he assembled his transcriptioners. However, for what it's worth, If they couldn't agree on a word, the italicized it and put the best word forth at least that they could do.

the debate usually arises when "other" books are mentioned as more important scripture and "lost scripture" as well. In these cases, it is hard to fault the translators etc as they never even knew about some of the stuff found in modern times
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby AJBryant » Tue 01.30.2007 4:12 pm

As a former seminarian, who actually studied all this stuff, I have some very strong ideas on these things -- especially those TV shows on "banned books of the Bible."

But this is not the place to go into that sort of thing (as we have a rule in place about such discussions). So...

Back to your regularly scheduled program... ;)

Tony
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby Infidel » Tue 01.30.2007 6:08 pm

Is the Japanese bible translated directly from the Greek and Hebrew or is it translated from English?

I like KJV because it is a word-for-word translation. It gets cumbersome and annoying sometimes. But when understanding of a passage is dependent on a word with multiple meanings, I can grab a concordance and find which word was used in the Greek or Hebrew read the definition(s) and decide for myself if only one meaning was intended or if all were. Other versions are not word-for-word so a concordance isn't as useful for tying an English word to the Greek/Hebrew. KJV is basically the best bible to seek technical understanding of the original, short of learning to read/write Hebrew and Greek.

Which is why I wonder if the Japanese bible is a translation of English, so it has double translation errors, or is a direct translation.
Last edited by Infidel on Tue 01.30.2007 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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RE: Biblical politeness

Postby chikara » Tue 01.30.2007 7:22 pm

Infidel wrote:
Is the Japanese bible translated directly from the Greek and Hebrew or is it translated from English? ....... I wonder if the Japanese bible is a translation of English, so it has double translation errors, or is a direct translation.

Are we talking old or new testament? Some of the books of the old testament were originally written in Aramaic.

With the new testament it amazes me how so many of Jesus's apostles were so fluent in Koine Greek :o

I wouldn't worry to much about translation errors.
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
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