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LOYALTY AND DEVIATION IN THE JEWISH NEO-ARAMAIC TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE / על טיבם של התרגומים למקרא (ספר בראשית) בניבים של ארמית חדשה יהודית

יונה צבר and Y. Sabar
Lĕšonénu: A Journal for the Study of the Hebrew Language and Cognate Subjects / לשוננו: כתב-עת לחקר הלשון העברית והתחומים הסמוכים לה
Vol. מו‎, No. ב‎ (טבת ה'תשמ"ב), pp. 124-140
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24357501
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
LOYALTY AND DEVIATION IN THE JEWISH NEO-ARAMAIC TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE / על טיבם של התרגומים למקרא (ספר בראשית) בניבים של ארמית חדשה יהודית
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Abstract

Traditional oral translations of the Bible in Jewish Neo-Aramaic, as in other Jewish languages, are, as a rule, quite literal, so much so, that even Hebrew grammatical words with no parallel in the spoken language are artificially translated by inventing a cognate otherwise unknown in the everyday use of the language. As a result, the language of the translation is, as a whole, quite artificial and at times even meaningless, especially if one does not know the original Hebrew words underlying it. However, many instances show deviation from this principle for various reasons, such as: 1) Simple misunderstanding of the original Hebrew text (its meaning or grammatical structure, e.g., reading the passive voice as a form of the active voice, confusing a word with another of similar sound but different meaning); 2) Translation based on traditional homiletic commentary (Midras), especially when the Hebrew text is obscure; 3) Deviation due to euphemism, e.g., avoiding anthropomorphism or plurality in relation to God; 4) Translation reflecting local and contemporary realia, especially regarding local and ethnic names, e.g., "Armenian" for "Aramean", "Baghdad" for "Babylon", "Kurdistan" for "Araraṭ".

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