Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thoughts on translation, Part 9.4: New taboo

This detail shows "my sister, my bride" modernized 
as "my beloved."  Other versions use
"my treasure, my bride," and one of the oldest
[Wycliffe, 1382] calls her "my spousess"
and "my friendess."  I like those!  

Song of Solomon: timeless love poetry in contemporary calligraphy. 

Topic four:  Some translations use terminology that was common back in ancient times but that reads wrong today.  For instance, there is really no way to refer to "my sister, my bride" [VI: 12 and many other places] without tripping up the modern reader.  And while the "queens" of VI: 8 - 10 require no extra effort to visualize, women in love don't want to hear about "concubines."  

People looking at scripture in calligraphy will make allowances for incest and polygamy in Bible verses, but why distract them?  there are many other way to phrase these verses.  

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