Homer (not Simpson) in Hebrew

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
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Surely Hebrew translations of these works already exist Jul 12, 2012

Surely Hebrew translations of Homer, Hugo, and Freud already exist. I know I've seen references to the fact that Freud did not accept royalties for the Hebrew translations of his works.

Could the previous translations have been so poor as to warrant this new enterprise? At any rate, I hope the translators involved are getting paid well.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:25
Hebrew to English
I am also surprised they don't already exist, unless...... Jul 12, 2012

The existing translations are all into Biblical/Ancient Hebrew....perhaps there just aren't any in Modern Hebrew.

Indeed, the publishers are advertising the new translation of The Iliad (published in January 2012) as "the first Hebrew prose translation of this great work."
http://www.magnespress.co.il/website_en/index.asp?id=3663#aaa

Alas, if these really are the first translations, then it's about time!


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
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Translations of Freud into Hebrew definitely exist Jul 12, 2012

This is the case for some, if not all, of his works.

I know this because of his famous refusal to accept royalties for those translations during his lifetime. I also remember reading (an English translation of) an introduction to the Hebrew translation of one of his works.

Once again, though, I really would be surprised if Hebrew translations of Homer's epics and Hugo's novels don't exist. After all, I remember seeing translations of Shakespeare's works into Hebrew more than thirty years ago!


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Debbie Nevo  Identity Verified
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The Hebrew language has changed tremendously over the past century Jul 12, 2012

Translations of classic works dating from the early part of the twentieth century are difficult to read now as the languague has changed so much. Also, many works were translated from translations into other (European) languages, and not always from the original.

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
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Good point Jul 12, 2012

Debbie Nevo wrote:

Translations of classic works dating from the early part of the twentieth century are difficult to read now as the languague has changed so much. Also, many works were translated from translations into other (European) languages, and not always from the original.


This would indeed be a justification for new translations. In the case of Freud, I'm sure the translations were directly from the original German but, as you point out, the Hebrew language has changed a great deal during the past 80-100 years.

Yet another factor to consider is that translations into Hebrew from the late 19th and early 20th centuries may not have been of the best quality due to the high likelihood that they were not done by native Hebrew speakers (a considerable cohort of adults aged 30 and over native in Hebrew not existing before the 1930s).


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:25
Hebrew to English
As I suspected...... Jul 12, 2012

Debbie Nevo wrote:

Translations of classic works dating from the early part of the twentieth century are difficult to read now as the languague has changed so much. Also, many works were translated from translations into other (European) languages, and not always from the original.


Thanks Debbie! I also thought this might be the reason, didn't consider whether they were translated directly or translations of translations though. Still, that makes it a bit naughty to tout them as "the first translations"....marketing eh! I suppose it sounds better.


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