July 2nd, 2008

Yes, I’ve been kinda quiet the last week or so. Call it an end of semester slump.

Anyway, apart from horrible, thick, murky, humid weather sapping my energy, Roubaozi’s in town, and so we’ve spent a fair bit of time hanging out and catching up… and sorting things out for when he moves here more permanently in August- he needed out of where he was and we need teachers with his skills and experience.

Anyway, one thing he brought with him was a bilingual Chinese-English bible. The English is the New Revised Standard Version, which I’m not so familiar with, but seems ok.  I don’t know anything about Chinese bible translations, but this one is an official Three Self edition.

Both lzh and I are curious about this bible, but for different reasons. I’m curious to see how it was translated into Chinese. To that end, I looked at John 1:1. In the English it says:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Fair enough, that’s a pretty standard translation. In Chinese:

太初有道,道与 神同在,道就是 神。

道, huh? Interesting. Although thinking about it, it does seem to fit, perhaps even better than ‘the Word’. I have a French bible somewhere…. must’ve left it up in Yanqing. Can’t remember which version or translation it is, but I do remember that in John 1:1 it uses “la Parole” for the English “the Word”, which, from what I remember, is a better rendition of the original Greek “logos” (corrections are most welcome).  ‘Parole’ refers specifically to the spoken word. It only refers to written words when they’re the lyrics of songs or poems written down.

Anyway, it’s far too early in the morning for such musings- and even if it were an appropriate time, I had sufficient Longjing in me, and I was breakfasted, I just don’t know enough about the various issues involved to make any intelligent comments.

3 Responses to “quiet….”

  1. Ji Village News Says:

    Frankly, I have a problem with the Chinese translation of the book title, 圣经. Translate that back to English, one gets holy bible, but both holy bible and bible get the 圣经 Chinese name. Implicitly, it elevates the book to a sacred status, above 佛经 or 可兰经 or other religious text books, because that’s how you would call it in Chinese.

    An alternative title such as 波尔波经 would have been a better option, in my opinion.

  2. wangbo Says:

    Yes, I’ve often wondered about the translation. I guess the missionaries were quite happy with their book being elevated above all the others.

  3. The Ji Village News » 波耳波经?—— 之一 Says:

    […] 王博的这篇博客使我想起了Bible的中译名。世界的各个宗教大都有自己的经文,像伊斯兰教的经书被译成《可兰经》,佛教的称之为《佛经》等。但基督教的经书名却被译成《圣经》。从有神论者和无神论者平等的角度来看,称一支宗教的经文为圣,是不妥当的。如按佛经的兼音兼义的译法,或可译之为《大波经》?但这好像有些猥亵的味道,和宗教的仁义道德、正人君子的倡导相悖。所以个人以为这个基督教书名的翻译,和伊斯兰教经书的翻译一样,音译比较合适。称其为《波耳波经》好像更自然一些,这样不会像《圣经》听起来那么高人一等,高于其他经书。两本书,同样的内容,一本叫《圣经》,一本叫《波耳波经》,感觉就是不一样。 […]