Aspects of the translation technique of the Septuagint : the finite verb in the Septuagint of Deuteronomy

Nieuwoudt, Bernard Andre (1992-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 1992.

One copy microfiche.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Two major religions, Judaism and Christianity, use the ancient Hebrew Bible as Holy Scripture. These books were translated in the last three centuries before the common era. The oldest of these translations is the Septuagint, a Greek translation. Not only are the Hebrew and Greek texts that were involved in the original translation process missing, but precious little is known about the doctrine and translation methods of the translators of the Septuagint. Much can be learned about these crucial issues, however, if the translation technique followed by those ancient translators is studied by comparing the present Hebrew and Greek texts. A new method to determine and describe the translation technique of the Septuagint was proposed and tested in this dissertation. This method is based on the use of the Computer Assisted Tools for Septuagint Studies (CATSS) data base and statistical methods. The translation technique of the book Deuteronomy was described using different criteria, all of which measure the frequency of non-literal renderings. Three different groups of criteria were utilized, viz. the Tov criteria as proposed by E. Tov, criteria defined using the markers in the CATSS data base called the CATSS criteria, and grammatical criteria using the person of the verb. Each criterion was applied to the data base individually. The translation units were determined first, after which the translation technique found within the translation unit was described. The methodology implemented discriminates between significant and insignificant trends in translation technique. It became clear that the results of the different criteria indicate different translation units and different translation techniques for each of the criteria. Except for some criteria using the person of the verb, very little indication was found that the traditional translation units are supported by the data used in this study. In fact, it seems as if translation units should be determined before the translation technique is described. The translation technique should then be described according to the indicated units. Not all the Tov criteria could be utilized, but their results are in agreement to some extent. The CATSS criteria proved to be more difficult to implement than expected, but some of the criteria rendered excellent results. The person of the verb was discussed in detail using 12 different criteria. The results of the criteria utilizing the person of the verb are disappointing, and provide some scope for future research. The results rendered by this new approach are firm and easy to interpret. In addition, it is possible to utilize these results when dealing with specific text-critical problems.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die antieke Hebreeuse Bybel word deur twee godsdienstige groepe, Judaisme en die Christendom, as Heilige Skrif gebruik. Hierdie boeke is in die laaste drie eeue voor die begin van die huidige era vertaal. Die oudste vertaling is die Griekse vertaling, genoemd die Septuagint. Die Hebreeuse en die Griekse tekste wat by hierdie vertaalproses betrokke was, is verlore. Daarbenewens is bale min van die lering en vertalingstegniek van die vertalers van die Septuagint bekend. Indien die vertalingstegniek, wat deur hierdie vertalers gevolg is, bestudeer word deur die huidige Hebreeuse en Griekse tekste met mekaar te vergelyk, kan daar lig op hierdie probleme gewerp word. 'n Nuwe metode waarvolgens die vertalingstegniek van die Septuagint bepaal en omskryf kan word, is in hierdie verhandeling voorgestel en getoets. Die metodologie is gebaseer op die gebruik van die Computer Assisted Tools for Septuagint Studies (CATSS) databasis en statistiese metodes. Die vertalingstegniek van die boek Deuteronomium is omskryf deur gebruik te maak van verskillende kriteria, wat almal die frekwensie van nie-letterlike vertalingselemente meet. Drie verskillende groepe kriteria is gebruik, nl. die Tov-kriteria, soos voorgestel deur E. Toy, die CATSS-kriteria, gebaseer op merkers in die CATSS databasis en grammatikale kriteria, in die vorm van die persoon van die werkwoord. Elke kriterium is individueel op die databasis toegepas. Die vertalingseenhede is eers vasgestel, waarna die vertalingstegniek beskryf is. Die metodologie wat gebruik is, onderskei tussen betekenisvolle en nie-betekenisvolle neigings in vertalingstegniek. Dit is duidelik dat die resultate van die verskillende kriteria verskillende vertalingseenhede en verskillende vertalingstegnieke vir elk van die kriteria aandui. Uitgesonder sommige kriteria, wat gebruik maak van die persoon van die werkwoord, is daar baie min ondersteuning gevind vir die handhawing van tradisionele vertalingseenhede. Dit wil eerder voorkom asof vertalingseenhede bepaal moet word voordat daar met die beskrywing van vertalingstegniek voortgegaan kan word. Die vertalingstegniek moet dan beskryf word met inagneming van die verskillende vertalingseenhede. Nie al die Tov-kriteria kon gebruik word nie, maar die resultate van die wat gebruik kon word, stem tot 'n mate ooreen. Dit het geblyk dat die CATSS-kriteria baie moeiliker was om te implementeer as wat verwag is. Sommige van hierdie kriteria het egter uitstekende resultate gelewer. Die persoon van die werkwoord is in nouere besonderhede ondersoek, deur gebruik te maak van 12 verskillende kriteria. Die resultate van die kriteria wat van die persoon van die werkwoord gebruik gemaak het, is teleurstellend, en bied moontlikhede vir addisionele navorsing. Die resultate wat deur die nuwe metode van ondersoek gelewer word, is vas en maklik om te interpreteer. Dit is ook moontlik om hierdie resultate te gebruik wanneer spesifieke tekskritiese probleme ondersoek moet word.

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