From my diary

I’m still chopping away at Ibn Abi Usaibia, and I’m on p.463 now.  <sfx:groan>  I’m almost sure this was less hard work ten years ago.  Of course the OCR software wasn’t as good back then.  Maybe it’s just my imagination.  I shall have some time over the next couple of weeks to make real progress with this, tho — a training course that I had booked for the week after next is not going to run.  This leaves me at a loose end, suddenly and unexpectedly. 

The first two pages of the translation of Methodius, De lepra have come through and I think that they are basically sound.  The translator actually translated the entirety of the page and laid it out in Word, notes and apparatus and all, which was rather impressive.  At the moment we’re discussing what to do with all of Bonwetsch’s notes: first a set of biblical and other references, and then an apparatus.  It looks as if we’ll just translate a few of the major notes where these would affect the meaning.

But I haven’t managed to pay for any of it yet.  Indeed I’m still learning how’s website works.  But the system requires a large deposit, which I have paid.  Thankfully this can be done from Paypal, so your purchases of CDROM’s etc can be used to fund the new work directly.   I have no strong feelings either way, so far, about whether is a good place to get work done.  I suppose that means that it is basically going well.

One interesting problem is that, while the translator knows his German, he isn’t familiar with the bible, or the ecclesiastical-speak that we find in so many patristic works.  One sentence confused him rather seriously, because he didn’t recognise the reference to the parable of the mustard seed.

Nor could this be expected, necessarily — a general translator probably specialises in contemporary documents where everyone is thinking in the same culture-pattern, whatever language they are writing those common thoughts in.  We, on the other hand, are accustomed to work which is honeycombed with biblical language and ideas. 

But it’s a warning to us all, in a way.  Material that we think is clear and obvious does in fact involve a jargon, and some unusual ways of assembling sentences and referring out to the biblical text.

I wish Bonwetsch had written in French.  I could probably have done the whole text myself in a day or two.  But German always hurts, when I have to translate it.  I suppose it just means that I need to read much more stuff in German, and get used to it, in the way I did for French.  But when would I get the time?

UPDATE: 9pm, I’ve just completed p.500, and it’s now time to back up my PC for the weekend!


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