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Some inspiration for all those involved in the work of translating Coptic or Arabic:
"Translation is an art that involves a certain ascetic discipline. It requires one to enter so fully into the language to be rendered into another tongue that the original language and its meaning becomes one's own.
A good translation does not simply render a text word for word, nor does it consist of a paraphrase that reproduces only an approximation of the original meaning. This is especially true with translations of sacred texts. To produce a "good" translation of the Holy Scriptures - one that conveys beauty as well as sense - the translator needs to approach the text globally, holistically, in order to penetrate to the depths of its intended message. That message, however, is only partially expressed by words, sentences, and all the components that make up a literary unit. While remaining faithful to the generally accepted meaning of words, the translator will find meaning beyond the words themselves through a process of "communion." One takes the text into oneself, as it were, in order to grasp its ultimate meaning at the level of the heart as well as of the mind. Truly to understand the text, and thus to be able to render it into another language, the translator needs to hear and even "feel" its meaning. In the case of Scripture, this implies that one move beyond a rational understanding of the message conveyed by a given passage, to embrace and be embraced by the Subject of that message.
In recent years a great deal of attention has been given to what is termed "reader-response criticism." This approach, with rhetorical criticism in general, grew out of the perception that a text is dynamic. Its meaning is not fixed, but varies according to the perspective of the reader. This is the phenomenon that leads to widely divergent interpretations of passages of the Bible. Post-Enlightenment forms of exegesis have focused mainly on the "literal sense" of a text: the meaning the biblical author sought to convey by his writings. Since the earliest centuries of Christian biblical interpretation, exegetes have nevertheless recognized that a text conveys more than a literal meaning.
Consequently, they have often employed allegory and typology as interpretive tools, to enable them to discern behind and beyond the "intention of the author" a deeper, fuller, or more complete meaning, a sensus plenior, that could be applied to the reader's moral and spiritual life (in medieval Latin exegesis, the "tropological" and "anagogical" senses of Scripture). Reader-response criticism builds on these intuitions by acknowledging that there exists a dynamic relationship between the text and the reader (termed respectively the "artistic" and the "aesthetic" poles), such that the reader can constantly derive new understanding or a fresh message from a frequently read and well-known passage. To secular literary critics, this occurs as a function of the changing circumstances in the reader's life that lead the reader to approach the text with ever differing perspectives. The "dynamic" occurs between the written word and the reader's immediate and contingent perception of its meaning, which can, of course, lead to pure relativism: a text "means" whatever my mental or psychological state may bring to it at any given time. To the Christian interpreter, and translator, this "dynamic" - the capacity of the text to convey new meaning in different situations and changing circumstances - is a function of the inspirational activity of the Holy Spirit."
by Very Rev. Father John Breck, From the Preface of Dr Donald Sheehan's translation of the Psalms: "The Psalms of David: Translated from the Septuagint Greek" (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013)