Re: Alien Conlang
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, February 28, 2007, 19:39|
Mark J. Reed wrote:
> The Book of Mormon would be in the right category. I'm no Islamic
> scholar, but my understanding is that the Qu'ran is a replacement for
> the Bible rather than an add-on; a new edition, if you will, rather
> than a new Testament.
Certainly not an add-on in the sense that Christians see the
relationship of the New testament to the Jewish scriptures.
> On 2/27/07, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...> wrote:
>> On Tue, 27 Feb 2007 15:36:29 -0500, Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
>> >.... Perhaps extraterrestrial ministry calls
>> >for a third Testament,
>> Like the Koran? or the Book of Mormon? Or is even asking that question
>> verging on a "no cross no crown" violation?
Of course it is. The existence of the Book of Mormon is raison_d'etre
for the existence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and
the Koran/Qur'an is the holy book of Islam, a separate religion. Adding
a 'third testament' has nothing whatever to do with _translating_ the
Lars Finsen wrote:
> Den 28. feb. 2007 kl. 00.43 skrev Roger Mills:
>> Further, lacking the concept of Original Sin, they don't feel the
>> need for
>> redemption. I think missionaries would be quite frustrated among the
> They might learn a lesson or two from missionaries on Earth who have
> worked among peoples with no concept of original sin.
Quite so - this applies to the spread of *any* religion, whether
Christianity, Buddhism, Islam or whatever. Of course there are concepts
in the scriptures of these religions that were unknown among peoples to
whom the religions were taken. it did not stop the spread of those three
> The Klingon Bible Translation Project - my word, the ideas of some of
> these Earthlings. I'm not very familiar with the Star Wars universe,
> but don't the Klingon have a religion or ethical system of their own?
So what? Peoples among which Buddhism spread actually had religions and
ethical systems before Buddhism came their way; the same is true of
Islam and Christianity or any other religious system that has spread
outside of its original 'homeland'.
In any case *translating* the Bible has nothing to do per_se with
replacing one ethical or religion with another. No one suggests, do
they, that translating the Iliad and/or the Odyssey means that one is
attempting to spread the ancient Greek religion and ethical system. Yet
those two books had a position analogous to the position of the
scriptures in other religions.
Surely this thread is about *translating* texts, not propagating Earth
religions among aliens - at least IMHO it should be about that.
Joseph Fatula wrote:
> Tell me what you think of this:
> "Father of us, the sons of men,
> You are in the high heavenly kingdom,
> Blessed be Your name in each word.
> May Your mighty kingdom come.
> May Your will be done over all this world-
> just the same on earth as it is up there
> in the high heavenly kingdom.
> Give us support each day, good Chieftain,
> Your holy help, and pardon us, Protector of Heaven,
> our many crimes, just as we do to other human beings.
> Do not let loathsome wights lead us off
> to do their will, as we deserve,
> but help us against all evil deeds."
Interesting - but it ain't a translation - it's a paraphrase, and IMO
not a particularly accurate one. That leads us into "cross and crown"
territory - but that is the problem with _any_ paraphrase.
Mark J. Reed wrote:
> Then again, despite the pains early Christians went to in order to
> downplay the Jewish basis of their faith, they still translated the
> original Jewish scriptures faithfully, complete with the references to
> the Jews as the Chosen People.
Not exactly - they adopted as it stood the already existing _Jewish_
Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. But it is true that
when the Hebrew & Greek scriptures were eventually translated into
Latin, the attempt was to translate as literally and accurately as possible.
IMO the translation of the scriptures of _any_ religion (including the
Homeric works) are best made as literally as possible without of course
doing violence to the language in which they are being translated.
Paraphrase should be avoided as, inevitably, any paraphrase is going to
incorporate the prejudice of the paraphraser.
To my simple mind, Dave's original question "If you want to translate,
say bits of the Bible into a conlang which belongs to a non-human alien
specie, how is it best to translate terms such as 'earth', 'man', etc."
is just the same as if he had asked "If you want to translate, say bits
of Homer into a conlang which belongs to a non-human alien specie, how
is it best to translate terms such as 'earth', 'man', etc."
Then David asked:"I did one, not the one below, and I used a translation
of 'world' for 'earth' For 'people' I used 'sentient beings'. Is it
best to translate it as if it were their own, or as if a missionary
showed up on their world and gave them the Bible?"
I think 'world' for 'earth' etc is the right sort of thing. Place names
& geography will soon make it clear that it is a different world (this
applies as much to the Judaeo-Christian scriptures as it does to Homer,
the Qur'an, Buddhist scriptures or whatever other similar writing one is
translating). Indeed, the very first chapter of Genesis may well
establish that it is a different world, unless the planet just happens
to have one moon :)
It cannot IMHO be _translated_ as though it's their own - that would
require a metamorphosis. As for missionaries, at least they must be
going along with the 'sentient being' idea otherwise there'd be no point
in their being there. But if you are bringing in missionaries in, say,
some fictitious work, my advice is to decide which particular brand of
missionaries you have (Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Mormon etc. etc.
etc. and ask authoritative members of the groups concerned - but then
you are considering other things beside translation.