Monday, March 2, 2015

Grammar 7: Translate by Word Group

How to translate a verse.

Identify the word groups.
- Circle these structural signposts:
   - Preposition (starts a prepositional phrase)
   - No-article participle with a direct object (such a participle signals a participial phrase)

- Look at each red verb; does it have one of these before it? If so, circle each signpost:
   - Subordinating word: for, that, so that, as (starts a subordinate clause)
   - Relative pronoun: who, whom, which, that (starts a relative clause)
   - Infinitive (signals an infinitive clause)

- For each signpost, underline the words that go with it.

- From the leftovers, look for:
   - Subject, main verbHe speaks
   - Direct object (upon what an action is done)the Word
   - Indirect object (to or for whom an action is done)to the holy ones.

Translate each word group. Then translate the leftovers, too.
- Take into account the verse, its context, and other passages.

- Consider what describes what.
- Check if moving some words or word groups would better convey what describes what.
- Improve readability, while staying true to the text.

Some word-group notes
clause: includes a verb
   independent: can stand by itself
   dependent: cannot stand by itself
   relative: starts with a relative pronoun (who, whom, which, that)
   subordinate: starts with a subordinating word (conj or adverb) for example: for, that, so that, as
   purpose: that [purpose] … ἵνα, one of the top 3
   reason: for [reason] ὅτι, one of the top 3
   result: so that [result] … ὥστε, occurs often
   adverbial: as … ὡς, one of the top 3
   infinitive: starts with an infinitive; may have an accusative subject (plus an object too)

phrase: does not have a verb
   prepositional: starts with a preposition; object completes it; maybe descriptive words too
   participial: participle, plus its direct object (before or after)

   describes: a noun or pronoun, or something functioning as a noun
   answers: which one, what kind, how many?
   hint: relative clauses are usually adjectival

   describes: a verb, adv, adj, or something functioning as an adv or adj
   answers: when, where, how, why?
   hint: subordinate clauses are usually adverbial

other word-group function?
   subject, direct object, indirect object, object of a preposition


Why translate?

Why would one individually translate a verse from the Scriptures? Here are some of the reasons:
- As an act of worship
- As a way to slow down and consider what each verse in a passage says
- As a way to gain glimpses of truth, added understanding, by considering the Scriptures in a biblical language
- As a way to prepare to teach following this discipline: read the verse, say what the verse says, and then proceed to the next verse in the passage (hardly ever mentioning Greek in the process).


How to translate: an example

To try this "how to translate" process out using an example sentence, click here. Start at the top of that page, then when you're ready for more, scroll down the page to see the example worked out in detail.


How to translate: some verses

1 Thes 1:2
Εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν   τῷ   θε¦ῷ   πάν¦το¦τε   πε¦ρὶ   πάν¦των   ¦μῶν   μνεί¦αν   ποι¦ού¦με¦νοι   ¦πὶ   τῶν   προ¦σευ¦χῶν  ¦μῶν...

1. Identify the parts.
- Εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν  τῷ  θε¦ῷ  πάν¦το¦τε
- πε¦ρὶ πάν¦των ¦μῶν
- μνεί¦αν ποι¦ού¦με¦νοι
¦πὶ τῶν προ¦σευ¦χῶν ¦μῶν

2. Translate the parts.
- we give thanks to God always
- for all of you
- making mention
- in our prayers

3. Put the parts together and adjust.
We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers.

Figure 1


1 Thes 1:5
¦τι  τὸ  εὐ¦αγ¦γέ¦λι¦ον  ¦μῶν  οὐκ  ¦γε¦νή¦θη  εἰς  ¦μᾶς  ἐν  λό¦γῳ  μό¦νον  ἀλ¦λὰ  καὶ  ἐν  δυ¦νά¦μει  καὶ  ἐν  πνεύ¦μα¦τι  ¦γί¦  καὶ  πλη¦ρο¦φο¦ρί¦ᾳ  πολ¦λῇ,  κα¦θὼς οἴ¦δα¦τε  οἷ¦οι  ¦γε¦νή¦θη¦μεν  ¦μῖν  δι’  ¦μᾶς·

1. Identify the parts.
- ὅτι τὸ  εὐ¦αγ¦γέ¦λι¦ον  ¦μῶν  οὐκ  ¦γε¦νή¦θη
- εἰς  ¦μᾶς
- ἐν  λό¦γῳ  μό¦νον
- ἀλ
¦λὰ  καὶ  ἐν  δυ¦νά¦μει
- καὶ  ἐν  πνεύ
¦μα¦τι  ¦γί¦
- καὶ  πλη
¦ρο¦φο¦ρί¦ᾳ  πολ¦λῇ,
- κα
¦θὼς  οἴ¦δα¦τε
- οἷ
¦οι  ¦γε¦νή¦θη¦μεν  ¦μῖν
- δι  

2. Translate the parts.
- for our gospel came not
- to you
- in word only
- but also in power
- and in holy spirit
- and in full conviction
- just as you know
- what manner we became
- among you
- on account of you

3. Put the parts together and adjust.
For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in holy spirit, and in full conviction, just as you know what manner of men we became among you, for your sake.

Figure 2


1 Thes 1:8
¦μῶν  γὰρ  ἐξ¦ή¦χη¦ται  ὁ  λό¦γος  τοῦ  κυ¦ρί¦ου  οὐ  μό¦νον  ἐν  τῇ  Μα¦κε¦δο¦νί¦ᾳ  καὶ  ¦χα¦ΐ¦ ἀλλ’  ἐν  παν¦τὶ  τό¦πῳ  ἡ  πί¦στις  ¦μῶν  ἡ  πρὸς  τὸν  θε¦ὸν  ἐξ¦ε¦λή¦λυ¦θεν,  ¦στε μὴ  χρεί¦αν  ¦χειν  ¦μᾶς  λα¦λεῖν  τι·

1. Identify the parts.
γὰρ  ἐξ¦ή¦χη¦ται    λό¦γος  τοῦ  κυ¦ρί¦ου  οὐ  μό¦νον
ἐν  τῇ  Μα¦κε¦δο¦νί¦
καὶ  ἐν  τῇ 
ἀλλ'  ἐν  
¦τὶ  τό¦πῳ
  πί¦στις  ¦μῶν 
  πρὸς  τὸν  θε

2. Translate the parts.
- from you
- for the Word of the Lord sounded out not only
- in Macedonia and Achaia
- but in every place

- your believing
- toward God

- has gone forth

3. Put the pa
rts together and adjust.
For the Word of the Lord sounded out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your believing toward God has gone forth.

Figure 3


1 Thes 2:13
Καὶ δι
¦  τοῦ¦το  καὶ  ¦μεῖς  εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν  τῷ  θε¦ῷ  ¦δι¦α¦λείπ¦τως,  ¦τι  πα¦ρα¦λα¦βόν¦τες  λό¦γον  ¦κο¦ῆς  παρ  ¦μῶν  τοῦ  θε¦οῦ  ¦δέξ¦ασ¦θε  οὐ  λό¦γον  ἀν¦θρώ¦πων  ἀλ¦λὰ  κα¦θὼς  ¦λη¦θῶς  ¦στὶν  λό¦γον  θε¦οῦ ὃς  καὶ  ¦νερ¦γεῖ¦ται  ἐν  ¦μῖν  τοῖς  πι¦στεύ¦ου¦σιν.

1. Identify the parts.
Καὶ  δι
¦  τοῦ¦το
¦μεῖς  εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν  τῷ  θε¦ῷ  ¦δι¦α¦λείπ¦τως,
¦τι  πα¦ρα¦λα¦βόν¦τες  λό¦γον  ¦κο¦ῆς
τοῦ  θε
¦οῦ  ¦δέξ¦ασ¦θε  οὐ  λό¦γον  ἀν¦θρώ¦πων
¦λὰ κα¦θὼς ¦λη¦θῶς ¦στὶν λό.γον θε.οῦ,
ὃς καὶ
¦μῖν τοῖς πι¦στεύ¦ου¦σιν.

2. Translate the parts.
- and on account of this,
- we give thanks to God constantly,
- that after receiving the Word of hearing from us,
- of God, you received it not the word of men,
- but as truly it is the Word of God,
- which also works
- in you the believing ones.

3. Put the parts together and adjust.

For this reason also, we constantly give thanks to God, that when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which also works in you who believe.


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