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Extra resources for Translation : theory and practice : a historical reader
Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon Reader King Alfred was the translator of this book and turned it from Latin into English, as has now been done. Sometimes he set it down word for word, sometimes sense for sense, just as he could relate it most clearly and most meaningfully in light of the various and 38 from cicero to caxton manifold worldly cares which occupied him both in mind and in body. Those cares are very diYcult for us to count which occurred in his days in the kingdom which he had received, and yet, when he had understood this book and turned the substance from Latin into English, then he worked it over again into verse, as has now been done; and now he asks and in God’s name beseeches each of those who desires to read this book to pray for him and not to blame him if they can understand it more rightly than he could, because every man must say what he says and do what he does in accordance with the measure of his understanding and in accordance to the time available to him.
They used, not diVerent words, but the same words and sentence structures, as if each was under the guidance of the same invisible Spirit. But is there anybody unaware that every language, and particularly Greek, is rich in words, and that the same thought can be rendered in many ways by ringing the changes on words, using synonyms and, in each case, seeking out the mot juste? According to tradition, this did not happen in the translation of our Law, for each Chaldean word was exactly translated by a precise Greek equivalent, which was perfectly adapted to the thing signiWed.
After the dream Jerome became a hermit for a while, learning Hebrew; later he was ordained and continued his theological studies in Antioch where he translated or adapted, revised and supplemented the Chronicle of the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, which he discusses in the letter to Pammachius as well as in his Preface to the Chronicles (see below). The theoretical basis for Jerome’s translation theory is elaborated in his preface to the translation of Eusebius and does not signiWcantly change over the years.