13 June 2017

"This religion..." ~ a brand new translation

Boniface Converts the Germans by Johannes Gehrts (1855-1921)*


Ott 2017 English (provisional)
This religion, for which the priests need to have no other skills
than eloquence, hypocrisy and foul play

Ottema 1872 Dutch
Deze leer, waarbij de priesters geen andere wetenschap noodig hebben,
als bedriegelijk te redeneren, een vrome schijn en ongerechtigheden

Sandbach 1876 English
This doctrine, which requires the priests to possess no further knowledge
than to speak deceitfully, and to pretend to be pious while acting unjustly

Wirth 1933 German 
Diese Lehre, bei der die Priester keiner anderen Wissenschaft bedurfen,
als betrügerisch zu reden, frommen Scheines und Unrechtes zu pflegen

Overwijn 1951 Dutch 
Deze leer, waarbij de priesters geen andere wetenschap nodig hebben,
dan bedriegelijk redeneren, een vrome schijn ophouden en onrechtvaardige gebruiken 

Jensma 2006 Dutch 
Deze leer waarbij de priesters geen andere wetenschap behoeven,
dan gedrochtelijk raad te geven, vrome schijn en onrecht te plegen

De Heer 2008 Dutch 
De leer waarbij de priesters geen andere wetenschap behoeven,
dan bedrieglijk redeneren, vrome schijn en onrechte plichten

Raubenheimer 2011 English (as Sandbach)

Menkens 2013 German
Diese Lehre, bei der die Priester keine anderen Kenntnisse benötigen,
als betrügerisch zu reden, frommen Schein und Ungerechtigkeiten

Lien 2013 Norse
Denne læra, hvorved prestene ikke behøver noen annen viten
enn avgudelig rådgivning,
hellig ytre og urette skikker

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Redbad's intended baptism
(ca.1839) Johann Wilhelm Kaiser*
1. LÉRE: teaching/doctrine => religion
Leer/ Lehre/ læra (cognate: learn), meaning teaching or doctrine, may be closest to the original word, but I choose 'religion' as I think it fits better in the context.

2. WITSKIP: knowledge => skills
Wetenschap/ Wissenschaft/ viten (cognates: wit, wisdom), translated by Sandbach as 'knowledge', is problematic, since the three qualities or skills that follow can not really be described as knowledge. I think 'skills' fits better here.

3. DROCHTLIK RÉDA: to speak deceitfully => eloquence
Most translations had 'speaking deceitfully'. Jensma: 'monstrous counselling'; Lien: 'idolatrous counselling'. Although a modern cognate of DROCHTEN is 'gedrocht' (monster), elsewhere in the OLB (and still in the Middle Ages) this word means Lord, God or deity. Even Wralda is sometimes referred to as DROCHTEN. Thus DROCHTLIK rather means 'divinely', and the skill of 'speaking divinely' can be translated as 'eloquence', which fits perfectly in the context.

4. FRÁNA SKIN: pretence of piety => hypocrisy
Dutch/ German: 'vrome schijn/ frommen Schein' (pretence of piety) is most literal, but this can more simply be interpreted as 'hypocrisy', which fits well in the context.

5. VNRJUCHTA PLÉGA: acting unjustly => foul play
VNRJUCHTA is plural adjective 'unjust' and PLÉGA is plural noun 'practices'. Most translations have 'acting unjustly' or 'iniquities'. Since 'play' is a modern cognate of PLÉGA, I think 'foul play' fits well here.

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*PLEASE NOTE: I have used images of the Christianisation of northern Europe. The text in the OLB is not about Christianity, however (i.m.o.), but rather an earlier version of it.

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