Word for Word Translation

This meme image was inspired by a comment left on this blog by Tim, in response to the webpage for a new Bible claiming it is a “word-for-word” translation, in which he wrote, “Trying to read the English translation directly in an interlinear would confuse Yoda.”


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  • http://athenasantics.wordpress.com/ AthenaC

    I admit that my inner language geek snob gets very irritated any time I hear someone assert that a literal translation is a “better” translation simply because it’s more literal.

    A couple years ago when the language of the Mass was tweaked a bit to be more literal, I had some fun verbally poking people who would just gush about how the new language is “so much more sacred now” until I just accepted that there is no antidote for the kool-aid that they were clearly drinking.

    • Tim

      Wait; you mean the YLT isn’t Yoda’s Literal Translation? Aww, man!

  • Tim


  • arcseconds

    James, is there a reason that recent posts such as ‘Warp Speed Jesus’ and ‘Sociaist Jesus vs. Libertarian Jesus’ don’t have comments happening?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ James F. McGrath

      Are you saying that the comments are not working on those posts? If so, I will try to fix it!

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ James F. McGrath

        OK, I think comments are working on those posts now! Sorry about that!

        • arcseconds

          ta :-)

  • http://OurRabbiJesus.com/ Lois Tverberg

    James, you might enjoy an article I posted pointing out that speaking is like painting, and every language gives its users a different palette and different brushes. When you try to “paint” a scene in a different language, the same words can have different shades of meaning, so the result is never exactly the same.