Asaf Bartov (ijon) wrote,
Asaf Bartov

  • Music:

Retranslate Plutarch!

I'm studying for my Greek History exam, but I have a hard time concentrating; I am plagued by my own dissatisfaction with the Hebrew translation of Plutarch's Lives, with which I'm working.

The Lives were translated chiefly by E. E. Hallevy, but a few were translated by M. H. Ben-Shamai and Y. Liebes; the language is unnecessarily ladened with archaisms (though the translations are not that old!), overly keen on finding equivalents for Greek terms and establishments in Jewish tradition (thus often obscuring the original and causing misleading conflations), and rather badly transliterated (difficult names and terms are not diacriticized, and so Hebrew readers who don't know the originals can't tell the proper pronunciation).

It is generally faithful, and the annotations are decent (if a bit terse). But it is high time to modernize the translation, or (better yet) to re-translate. Very well, but why can't I leave it alone for now? Why am I constantly checking the original when words rings false, and mentally re-translating whole sentences? It's a waste of time, damn it!

Consider this entry a bit of hopeful exorcism.

  • Shah of Shahs / Ryszard Kapuściński

    Exactly 38 years ago, Khomeini returned to Iran from his exile in France, and set in motion the Islamic Revolution of Iran. A little over a year…

  • On Immigrants

    Speaking of immigrants, Sir Ian McKellen would like to offer this passage, from the Elizabethan play Sir Thomas More: GEORGE. Marry, the removing…

  • Goodreads is fun; Dickens; Mortimer

    I've been pretty indifferent to most of the recent social-network sites, but I'm really enjoying I'm a pretty busy reader, with a…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.