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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

KCB - Mark 2:28

The KCB translates: «ដូច្នេះ កូនមនុស្សគឺជាម្ចាស់លើថ្ងៃសប្ប័ទ»

I think through this translation, some of the meaning of the Greek is lost.
Here is a Greek Interlinear to help:

ωστε 5620[SO THEN, ដូច្នេះ] κυριος 2962[LORD, ម្ចាស់] εστιν 2076(5748)[IS, គឺជា] ο 3588 υιος 5207 του 3588[THE SON, កូនប្រុស] ανθρωπου 444[OF MAN, មនុស្ស] και 2532[ALSO, ហើយ] του 3588 σαββατου 4521[THE SABBATH, ថ្ងៃសប្ប័ទ]

Some general info about Greek to help in regards to why I feel that some of the meaning has been lost in the KCB translation of this verse:
1) Due to the linear nature of the Greek language, in general, words at the beginning of a sentence/clause
have more prominence than words at the end.
2) Emphasis in Greek is oftentimes shown by words occurring out of their customary order in relation to
other words in the sentence.

As you can see in the Greek, "κυριος" shows as the second word in the verse – and if you took off "και του σαββατου" (also the Sabbath) the sentence would still be complete and make sense.

But in the KCB translation – you cannot separate, «ថ្ងៃសប្ប័ទ» from the sentence because it would not make sense. I feel like in this verse Jesus is not only stating that He is Lord of the Sabbath but is stating, “I am Lord. And Lord of the Sabbath as well.” (and this translation or separation of being “Lord” and not only the “Lord of the Sabbath” is supported by all the major English translations [the NASB translates it, "So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." using the word, “even” to state He is Lord, and also Lord over the Sabbath).

In this Khmer translation (and the other Khmer Bibles as well) all we can get from this verse is that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath – we don't know if He is Lord over anything else. But in fact, here in this verse, looking at the Greek, Jesus makes a blanket statement and adds on to that blanket statement that the Sabbath is included in that blanket statement – mainly, that He is Lord and also Lord of the Sabbath.

In Khmer I cannot think of any way other than this (adding quite a few extra words), to translate the verse and still keep the same meaning as is in the Greek – but I think if someone else who is more experienced were to take time, they could come up with something better:

«ដូច្នេះ កូនមនុស្សគឺជាម្ចាស់ ហើយជាម្ចាស់លើថ្ងៃសប្ប័ទផងដែរ»

Friday, April 21, 2006

KCB - Mark 2:15

Mark 2:15

The only thing I would change in this verse is the addition of, "របស់​ទ្រង់" in the phrase, "ព្រះ​យេស៊ូ និង​ពួក​សិស្ស​ដែរ" (it is in the Greek like this, “ιησου 2424[JESUS, ព្រះ​យេស៊ូ] και 2532 τοις 3588[AND, និង] μαθηταις 3101 αυτου 846[HIS DISCIPLES, ពួក​សិស្ស​របស់​ទ្រង់])

But beyond that, I wanted to take this opportunity to speak about the definition given for the word, "មនុស្ស​បាប"

I realize, all the Khmer Bible versions translate the word, “αμαρτωλοι [sinners]” here as "មនុស្ស​បាប"

Some other places in the Old Khmer version it is rendered as "ពួក​មាន​បាប" (James 4:8)

In the Khmer Standard Version, as "អ្នក​មាន​បាប" (Galatians 2:15)

But I think in translating the word differently in each place, some of the meaning is lost – which is shown in what has been said in the definition given by the KCB «មនុស្ស​បាប» មិន​មែន​ជា​អស់​អ្នក​ដែល​បាន​ធ្វើ​បាប​សំខាន​ៗ​ទេ ប៉ុន្តែ ជា​ពពួកមនុស្ស​ដូច​ជា ពួក​អ្នក​ទារពន្ធ​ដែល​ពួក​មេដឹកនាំ​សាសនា​បាន​ស្អប់​ដោយ​ព្រោះ​ការ​មិន​គោរព​តាម​ច្បាប់​សាសនា​របស់​ពួក​គេ ជា​ពិសេស​វិន័យ​ដែល​ហាម​ឃាត់​មិន​អោយ បរិភោគ​អាហារ​ជា​មួយ​ពួក​សាសន៏​ដទៃ។

Which translated into English goes something like: “Sinners” does not mean everyone who has committed some big sin but rather it refers to people such as tax-collectors who the religious leaders hated because the tax-collectors did not follow their religious laws, especially the law that commanded them not to eat with gentiles.

The problem with this definition is that it limits the word to the extent that the reader might start thinking like a Pharisee. This definition is what Pharisees called a “sinner” but not what God defined sinners as. I believe the definition should be changed to say something like, “when the Pharisees and Scribes used the term, “sinners”, it did not mean everyone who had committed some big sin, but rather...”

That way it would not harm the readers understanding of God's perspective – that we all all sinners (a form of the same word in Greek is found in Romans 5:8 which says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”).

I also think that if one word is used for almost all of the instances of ἁμαρτωλός that it would be a major improvement in the Khmer Bible translations.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

KCB - Mark 2:8-9

Mark 2:8-9

«ព្រះអង្គ​ឈ្វេង​យល់​ក្នុង​វិញ្ញាណ​ភ្លាម​ពី​គំនិត​គេ ព្រះ​អង្គ​ក៏មាន​បន្ទូល​ទៅ​កាន់​គេ​ថា​ ៖ «ហេតុ​អ្វី​បាន​ជា​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​គិត​ក្នុង​ចិត្ត​ដូច្នេះ?​ ៩ តើ​ការ​ដែល​និយាយ​ទៅ​កាន់​អ្នក​ស្លាប់​ដៃជើង​ថា​ ៖ «អំពើបាប​របស់​អ្នក​បាន​ទទួល​ការ​លើក​លែង​ទោស​ហើយ» និង​ការ​ដែល​និយាយ​ថា ៖ «ចូរ​ក្រោក​ឡើង យក​កន្ទេល​អ្នក​ដើរ​ទៅ» មួយ​ណា​ស្រួល​ជាង

My only concerns in verse 8 are the words, "ព្រះអង្គ" and the location of, "ភ្លាម"
In the Greek “ιησους” is used (meaning Jesus) but it has been translated as, "ព្រះអង្គ".
I don't feel like there is any reason to do that – I would change it to "ព្រះយេស៊ូ"

Second, the location of "ភ្លាម"
In the Greek verse 8 starts with, “ και 2532 [AND,​ ហើយ] ευθυς 2117 [IMMEDIATELY, ភ្លាម​នោះ]”

In other places where this phrase is at the beginning of a verse the KCB has translated the phrase as “ភ្លាម​នោះ" or as “ហើយភ្លាម​នោះ" (1:12, 18, 20, 23​​...)​ so I am not sure why the translators chose to change their translation in this case (it does not seem any different that any of the other cases, warranting a different translation). Also the in the Greek "ព្រះ​អង្គ​" is not present in the phrase as the translators have translated it, “ព្រះ​អង្គ​ក៏មាន​បន្ទូល....”, so I would remove that because I don't feel it takes away from the Khmer, and it allows the translation to better follow the Greek.

I believe putting “ភ្លាម​នោះ" at the beginning would not interfere with the Khmer, and also allow the text to be closer to the Greek (also, the way it is right now, it could almost mean that the thought traveled really fast into Jesus' spirit, but if put at the beginning of the sentence it would correctly guide the reader to understand that right after the scribes had those thoughts Jesus knew).

Here is my re-translation of verse 8:

ហើយ​ភ្លាម​នោះ​ ព្រះយេស៊ូ​បាន​ឈ្វេង​យល់​ក្នុង​វិញ្ញាណ​របស់​ទ្រង់​​ពី​គំនិត​គេ ​ក៏មាន​បន្ទូល​ទៅ​កាន់​គេ​ថា​ ៖ «ហេតុ​អ្វី​បាន​ជា​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​គិត​ក្នុង​ចិត្ត​ដូច្នេះ?

In verse 9, my concerns are again about sentence order. The way the translation is currently seems top heavy and hard to read. Also, the phrase, "យក​កន្ទេល​អ្នក​ដើរ​ទៅ" to me does not sound complete, so I changed the wording, doing my best to follow the Greek as well as get the Khmer correct. To me, it seems as if the question is split in two, so I feel like it should be put at the end to help it be clear in Khmer.

To start, here's a Greek/English Interlinear with Khmer added:

τι 5101[WHICH, តើ​មួយ​ណា] εστιν 2076(5748)[IS, គឺជា] ευκοπωτερον 2123[EASIER, ស្រួល​ជាង] ειπειν 2036(5629)[TO SAY,​ និយាយ] τω 3588[TO THE, ទៅ​កាន់] παραλυτικω 3885[PARALYTIC, អ្នក​ស្លាប់​ដៃជើង] αφεωνται 863(5769)[HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, បាន​ទទួល​ការ​លើក​លែង​ទោស​ហើយ] σοι 4671 αι 3588[THEE "THY", អ្នក] αμαρτιαι 266[SINS, អំពើបាប] η 2228[OR, ] ειπειν 2036(5629)[TO SAY, និយាយ] εγειραι 1453(5669)[ARISE, ក្រោក​ឡើង] και 2532[AND, ហើយ] αρον 142(5657)[TAKE UP, ស្រវា] σου 4675 τον 3588[THY, របស់​អ្នក] κραββατον 2895[COUCH, កន្ទេល] και 2532[AND, ហើយ] περιπατει 4043(5720)[WALK?, ដើរ?]

Here is my re-translation (putting the question at the end, in order to keep things clear in Khmer):

ការ​​និយាយ​ទៅ​កាន់​អ្នក​ស្លាប់​ដៃជើង​​ថា ៖ «អំពើបាប​របស់​អ្នក​បាន​ទទួល​ការ​លើក​លែង​ទោស​ហើយ» ឬ​និយាយថា ៖ «ចូរ​ក្រោក​ឡើង​ យក​កន្ទេល​របស់​អ្នក ហើយ​ដើរទៅ» តើ​មួយ​ណា​ងាយ​ស្រួល​និយាយ​ជាង?

KCB - Mark 2:4

Mark 2:4

The KCB translates Mark 2:4 as follows, «ប៉ុន្តែ​ដោយ​សារ​មាន​មនុស្ស​ច្រើន​កកកុញ​ពេក​ គេ​មិន​អាច​នាំ​មនុស្ស​ស្លាប់​ដៃ​ជើង​នោះ​ទៅ​ខាង​ក្នុង​បាន​ទេ គេ​ក៏​រើ​ដំបូល​ចំ​កន្លែង​ដែល​ព្រះ​អង្គ​នៅ លុះ​បាន​រើ​ហើយ​ ក៏​សំរូត​មនុស្ស​ស្លាប់​ដៃ​ជើង​ដែល​កំពុង​ដេក​លើ​កន្ទេល​នោះ​ចុះ»​​​

In this verse there are words that are left out and added words (I put them in italics) that could be changed to be more faithful to the Greek.

Here is a Greek/English Interlinear with Khmer added to help:

και 2532[AND, ហើយ​] μη 3361[NOT, មិន] δυναμενοι 1410(5740)[BEING ABLE, អាច] προσεγγισαι 4331(5658)[TO COME NEAR, ទៅ​ដល់] αυτω 846[TO HIM, ព្រះ​អង្គ] δια 1223[ON ACCOUNT OF, ដោយ​សារ] τον 3588 οχλον 3793[THE CROWD, ហ្វូង​មនុស្ស​នោះ] απεστεγασαν 648(5656)[THEY UNCOVERED,​ គេ​បាន​បើក] την 3588στεγην 4721[THE ROOF, ដំបូល] οπου 3699[WHERE, នៅកន្លែង] ην 2258(5713)[HE WAS, ព្រះអង្គ​គង់] και 2532[AND, ហើយ] εξορυξαντες 1846(5660)[HAVING BROKEN UP "IT", ​បាន​បែក​ហើយ] χαλωσιν 5465(5719)[THEY LET DOWN, សំរូត] τον 3588 κραββατον 2895[THE COUCH, កន្ទេល] εφ 1909[ON, នៅ​លើ] ω 3739[WHICH, ដែល] ο 3588 παραλυτικος 3885[THE PARALYTIC, មនុស្ស​ស្លាប់​ដៃជើង] κατεκειτο 2621(5711)[WAS LYING, ដេក]

As you can see, in the Greek there is no, "ទៅ​ខាង​ក្នុង​បាន​ទេ" but rather something like, "ទៅ​ដល់​ព្រះ​អង្គ​បាន​ទេ"

If we were to translate in a strict way, it might come out something like this (added words in italics):

«ហើយ​គេ​មិន​អាច​ទៅ​ដល់​ព្រះ​អង្គ​ដោយ​សារ​​ហ្វូង​មនុស្ស​នោះ ដូច្នេះ​គេ​បាន​​បើក​ដំបូល​នៅ​កន្លែង​ដែល​ព្រះ​អង្គ​គង់ លុះ​បាន​បែក​ហើយ គេ​សំរូត​កន្ទេល​ដែល​មនុស្ស​ស្លាប់​ដៃជើង​ដេក​នៅ​លើចុះ»

Though my translation of this verse is quite rough – it is just to say that I believe this passage can be more faithful to the Greek than it currently is.

Any comments or thoughts?​​​

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

KSV (Khmer Standard Version)

The newest Khmer Bible translation - it is the Protestant edition of Today's Khmer Version Bible. This new edition has been renamed the Khmer Standard Version.