Saturday, September 18, 2021

Languages Do Funny Things

I had to smile when I saw this in the porta-potty at today's race.


Certainly the prize for the most economical language goes to English. A very enlightening article on this subject says that French and Spanish generally use more words to express meaning than English. In fact, French and Spanish texts are about 20 percent longer than their English counterparts. And German? Here we're possibly talking about a 35 percent expansion

For fun, tonight I read John 1:1-5 in Greek, English, Spanish, German, and French. The Greek text of John 1:1-5 has 60 words. All the other languages have more. Here are the stats:            

SBL: 60

LB: 63

ESV: 66

LS: 68   

RV: 70     

[Key: SBL (Society of Biblical Literature Greek New Testament); LB (Luther Bibel), ESV (English Standard Version), RV (Reina Valera), LS (Louis Segond).]

Just for fun, I checked the Hebrew (Habrit Hakhadasha). It had only 40 words! 

So much to talk about in Advanced Greek Grammar this week as we discuss loss in translation!  

Are you sure?