Idioms and Metaphors

Well, it's a bit like...

One of the problems faced by translators, is the degree to which they allow their new translation to conform to the model text from which they are working. Close translations can often seem clumsy to mother-tongue speakers. An idiom or metaphor in a model text will rarely translate directly into a new language. Typically an equivalent phrase or concept must be found.

The locations in the bible where such issues arise are fairly well-known. Where a Translation Consultant speaks the language of a new translation he can easily review these passages for both clarity and fluency. Generally, TCs do not speak the languages they support. In these cases they need another way to review such passages.

Paratext Interlinear

The Paratext Inter-Linear display, developed by BFBS, automatically aligns the words in a new translation against the equivalent words in the model text. It also indicates how much confidence can be placed on each pair of aligned words. Strong alignments in areas where idiom or metaphor might be expected may indicate that an attempt has been made to render a passage literally which might have been more successfully handled by use of a local idiom or metaphor.