Sep. 29th, 2012

rhu: (Default)
I encountered an interesting language quirk during Yom Kippur. [This is a post about the English language, not about Yom Kippur.]

I was reading a brand new translation into English of a German commentary on the piyyutim, the paraliturgical poems added to the services on Yom Kippur. And the phrase "wake-up call" leapt off the page at me.

There was nothing wrong, technically; it was an appropriate metaphorical translation. But it was jarring because Rabbi Breuer wrote the original German commentary in 1928. Looking at the Google n-gram chart shows almost no usage before 1970, then exponential growth.

It raises an interesting question about translation, I think. I certainly wouldn't expect a translation of the Bible to only use English words from 3,500 years ago (ha, ha). But somehow the use of a 1970s coinage in a translation of a 1928 text struck me as incongruous.

[I hope to post a full review of the Feldheim machzor later, and also of the Koren/Sacks machzor. Yes, this year I had TWO new machzorim for Yom Kippur!]
rhu: (Default)
I encountered an interesting language quirk during Yom Kippur. [This is a post about the English language, not about Yom Kippur.]

I was reading a brand new translation into English of a German commentary on the piyyutim, the paraliturgical poems added to the services on Yom Kippur. And the phrase "wake-up call" leapt off the page at me.

There was nothing wrong, technically; it was an appropriate metaphorical translation. But it was jarring because Rabbi Breuer wrote the original German commentary in 1928. Looking at the Google n-gram chart shows almost no usage before 1970, then exponential growth.

It raises an interesting question about translation, I think. I certainly wouldn't expect a translation of the Bible to only use English words from 3,500 years ago (ha, ha). But somehow the use of a 1970s coinage in a translation of a 1928 text struck me as incongruous.

[I hope to post a full review of the Feldheim machzor later, and also of the Koren/Sacks machzor. Yes, this year I had TWO new machzorim for Yom Kippur!]

Profile

rhu: (Default)
Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags