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deut3221
08-06-2006, 01:55 PM
Hello,

I am attempting to learn to read German. A friend recommended that I purchase the "Gute Nachricht Bibel," which I did.

My question: if I want a German translation that will help me to learn to read German, is this the best choice? Put differently, it would seem that I want a translation that follows the English to help me build my vocabulary without looking up lots of words.

I am not sure that the "Gute Nachricht Bibel" is the best choice for me. It seems to use a different theory of translation than the English texts I am most familiar with (e.g., ESV or NIV).

If anyone has suggestions for a 'preferred' translation, I'd be most appreciative.

Thanks for your help!!!!
-s.

Adelphos
08-07-2006, 12:06 AM
I am attempting to learn to read German. A friend recommended that I purchase the "Gute Nachricht Bibel," which I did.

My question: if I want a German translation that will help me to learn to read German, is this the best choice? Put differently, it would seem that I want a translation that follows the English to help me build my vocabulary without looking up lots of words.

It's been a long time since I read Gute Nachricht, but if I remember correctly it was more loosely translated than some of the other German bibles and thus would not be the best choice for your objectives. Of course, this is dependant on whether or not my recollection of Gute Nachricht is correct, but I think it is.

In any case, if you want some sort of literal word equivalence then you'll need a more literal translation. In that event the Luther bible would be pretty good, albeit you'll encounter older German forms in the 1545 edition as opposed to the 1912 edition, which employs more modern forms. (The 1984 version is too loose in my opinion). I also would recommend the Elberfelber bible, as it also renders a more literal equivalent.

All of these, plus a few others, can be found in BibleWorks.

ingosorke
08-07-2006, 09:16 PM
Commonly used among German Protestants: Luther '84
Catholics (not exclusively, since an ecumenical translation): Einheitsheitsübersetzung - quite fluid German, less literal than Elberfelder
Elberfelder ('93 update): comparable to NASB '95 update
Gute Nachricht - somewhere between paraphrase and dynamic-equivalent
Schlachter u. Zürcher are good to compare as well.

Whichever you pick: I compare translations all day long but have a couple of core ones. Switching translations all the time is similar to church-hopping: interesting, but offers little chance to develop roots.

Choose one and make it your main learning translation.

Gottes Segen,

Ingo

Adelphos
08-07-2006, 09:59 PM
Choose one and make it your main learning translation.

Couldn't agree more. I also forgot to mention one that Ingo mentioned, i.e., the Schlachter Version, and in fact, after comparing a few test verses, this is the version I recommend as your core version for comparing English/German, German/English.

It follows a more literal dynamic as opposed to paraphrase and dynamic equivalence, and you'll find that in a number of verses it agrees with the English against all the other more literal versions. For example, in John 1:1c, the Luther editions render it as --

"...and God was the Word."

The Schlachter follows the English and renders it --

"...and the Word was God."

Of course, native Greeks who are fluent in Englilsh will tell you that the article means absolutely zilch here and that Luther was right, i.e., that it should be translated --

"...and God was the Word."

I happen to agree, although my native Greek friends will also allow that the other rendention is accurate too, but they will (almost always) maintain that word order is more forceful than the article (here as elsewhere).

In any event, the Schlachter version, as you can see, compares faithfully to the English whereas the other more literal translations invert the word order, which could cause you some confusion in more complicated syntax.

So my two cents says go with the Schlacter if you can find it in print. I suspect the later Luther editions will be easier to find though.

ingosorke
08-08-2006, 12:23 AM
Schlachter @ amazon Germany: http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/028-1901503-8315760?%5Fencoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=blended&field-keywords=Schlachter%20Bibel

The NT of the 2000 update (released 2003) relies on the Textus Receptus.

I'm not familiar with this update (yet), so just FYI.

Ingo

wie
08-08-2006, 02:32 AM
A VERY literal German translation is the MNT version in BW. If you know Greek, you can follow it word by word.

deut3221
08-08-2006, 01:09 PM
Thanks for your help everyone. I've got some good suggestions now to chase down. It's off to Amazon …

These suggestions will be a big help in my quest to learn German. Thanks 100x!!!

Blessings,
-steve.