Better Khmer Bibles Blog

A place to discuss Khmer Bible translation problems and suggest improvements. View this tutorial on how to install Khmer Unicode on your computer so that you can view the Khmer fonts on this blog.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

KOV - John 3:16

In the Khmer Old Version (and I believe the new translation also has this same problem, though it is translated slightly different than the following. If I recall it uses, "ច្រើន​ណាស់" instead of "ដល់​ម៉្លេះ"), "ដ្បិតព្រះទ្រង់ស្រឡាញ់មនុស្សលោក ដល់ម៉្លេះបានជាទ្រង់ប្រទានព្រះរាជបុត្រាទ្រង់តែ ១ ដើម្បីឲ្យអ្នកណាដែលជឿដល់ព្រះរាជបុត្រានោះ មិនត្រូវវិនាសឡើយ គឺឲ្យមានជីវិតអស់កាល្បជានិច្ចវិញ"

Actually I believe this translation came from a misunderstanding of the English word, "so". In many English versions John 3:16 reads something like, "For God so loved the world..." The Greek word here, "ουτως", was translated as "so" with a meaning that is now rarely used, but is a correct usage of "so" which means: in the way indicated; "hold the brush so"

Most people think of "so" as, "For God loved the word so much that He..."

But actually the word "so" or the Greek word, "ουτως" in this case does not mean "To a great extent; to such an evident degree" nor does it have the same meaning as the old Khmer Bible has it "ដល់ម្ល៉េះ" but actually means, "in this way, in like manner"

So the Holman Christian Standard Bible translates it (I believe correctly): "For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."

We can see a similarity with other passages in the Bible such as Romans 5:8 - "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

The same translation problem exists in 1 John 4:11 which also uses ម៉្លេះ

I suggest a translation something like this (This is a personal translation, please forgive my ខ្មែរ​ - if you have a better suggestion please post it): "ដ្បិតព្រះបានស្រឡាញ់មនុស្សលោកយ៉ាងនេះ ថាទ្រង់ប្រទានព្រះរាជបុត្រាតែ​​ ១ របស់ទ្រង់ ដើម្បីឲ្យអស់អ្នកណាដែលជឿក្នុងទ្រង់មិនវិនាសឡើយ​ ប៉ុន្តែមានជីវិតអស់កាល្បជានិច្ច"



  • At 12:08 PM, Blogger SahkdayPuht said…

    I don't have much to add but agree the difference is significent. Even in English, how "so" is translated paints a different shade on God.

  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger ABBA RATH said…

    ដ្បិតព្រះទ្រង់ស្រឡាញ់មនុស្សលោក ហេតុដូច្នេះហើយ បានជាទ្រង់ប្រទានព្រះរាជបុត្រា
    ទ្រង់តែ​​១ បើអ្នកណាទទួជឿដល់ព្រះរាជបុត្រានោះ
    មិនវិនាសឡើយ​ គឺបានជីវិតអស់កាល្បជានិច្ច"

    From what I understand from the English and the Greek version. This is how I would translated into Khmer.


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