Monday, December 08, 2008

"The Living Torah" is Awesome

Recently, someone somewhere (probably on the Internet) claimed that R' Aryeh Kaplan's The Living Torah translation is the most natural-sounding English translation of the Torah, surpassing the KJV, JPS, Fox, and all the rest of them.

Here is an example I just noticed:
from Bereishit 38:16

“Hello there,” he said. “Let me come to you.”

I never thought I would read a Biblical figure saying "hello there"... just imagine the different expressions and intonations that could go with that greeting, especially in this context — the story of Yehuda and Tamar!

10 Comments:

Anonymous brother reuven said...

Actually I think that line would be better translated as: "Nice shoes. Wanna f#@k?"

12/09/2008 8:38 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

groan «eyerollage»

this is a colloquial translation, not an explicit one. and this isn't Ravshaqeh we're talking about here!

12/09/2008 8:43 AM  
Anonymous brother reuven said...

heheh actually, as much fun as it is to curse on your blog, I do have a serious point as well - Yehuda is asking very explicitly for what he wants. As far as I 've seen, "lavo al-someone" usually means "have sex with them".

12/09/2008 8:47 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Hello there works a lot better than, "What's up."

12/09/2008 11:24 AM  
Anonymous brother reuven said...

...or "Ai Chica!"

12/09/2008 12:28 PM  
Blogger Kylopod said...

Considering the amount of slang that has drifted into the standard language, I wouldn't be surprised if fifty or so years from now there will be Bible translations with characters that say "Hi there," or even "What's up?"

But "Cool!" would be a bit of a stretch. (That's not to mention "bling bling.")

12/09/2008 12:57 PM  
Blogger Daniel Saunders said...

I really like The Living Torah (I've actually blogged about it a couple of times recently), but it took me a while to get used to the colloquial language. I understand the reason for using it, but it seemed so unusual and out of place.

12/09/2008 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Diqduq Geek said...

As far as I 've seen, "lavo al-someone" usually means "have sex with them".

Fine. Perhaps a better translation would be:

"Hello there", he said. "Let me come on you."

12/09/2008 3:03 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Hey there, honey pie, what's your sign?

Or, to paraphrase the sex-troll who has been haunting a certain diqdouqliste, "Hey miss, I just made a webpage and I put some pics of myself showing off in front of my webcam on it...."

For some reason, Tamar and Yehuda are one of my favourite episodes in Bereishis.

12/09/2008 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Mar Gavriel said...

As far as I 've seen, "lavo al-someone" usually means "have sex with them".

See Exodus 35:22. וַיָּבֹאוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים, עַל-הַנָּשִׁים; כֹּל נְדִיב לֵב, הֵבִיאוּ חָח וָנֶזֶם וְטַבַּעַת וְכוּמָז כָּל-כְּלִי זָהָב, וְכָל-אִישׁ, אֲשֶׁר הֵנִיף תְּנוּפַת זָהָב לַיי

That puts an interesting spin on the story of the donations to the Mishkān, no?

12/10/2008 12:01 PM  

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