Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Library

It was easier to renew my library cards than to get them the frist time. Ottawa Public Library has a smart card that makes borrowing at U of O and Carleton a breeze - so I have a whole new collection of BS-1430 (Psalms) to browse in - unfortunately much in French. One translation into French also of some letters on Judaism by Samson Raphael Hirsch and these contain some Psalms too - the French is more cumbersome than the English. And of course they are not Hirsch's translations.

Avant que les montagnes ne fussent créées;

Ah - the subjunctive - what a fussy sound! What do the French do with God's turning?

שׁוּבָה Turn
Tourne-toi de nouveau vers nous,
יְהוָה עַד מָתָי LORD, how long
ô Eternel! Jusques à quand tarderas-tu encore?
וְהִנָּחֵם and sigh
Aie pitié
עַל עֲבָדֶיךָ over your servants
de tes serviteurs!

9 words in English, 7 in Hebrew, 19 in French

Aie pitié is a curious turn of phrase. What is that nxm root? It may result in pity or mercy, but I think it is better related to God's repenting. It is the root of Nehemiah, the rebuilder of the temple. I almost wonder if it is the work of the Spirit in us as advertised in the NT. Speaking of the Spirit, the groaner (my alter blogo) has a few words to say about cessationism.

3 comments:

Tim said...

Nice example, and it is true that French usually uses more words than English, and either European language uses more than Hebrew, but the TOB translates the verse in just 10-12 words.

Reviens, SEIGNEUR ! Jusqu'à quand?
ravise-toi en faveur de tes serviteurs.

Iyov said...

I'm so sorry that my suggestion caused you linguistic pain! Hirsch has been pretty comprehensively translated into English, and maybe those books are available by interlibrary loan?

Bob MacDonald said...

Pain means growth even if I shy away from it :) No problem - thanks for the suggestion - I will get there eventually.