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Translating Christ


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There is a tendency to accept academic training as a criterion of expertness in translating, since people think of translators as language professionals and professionalism is usually judged in terms of years of study. On the other hand, one of the most creative translators I have ever known was Herman Aschmann, a person of limited academic training, but one who became entranced by the cultural content and literary potential of Totonac, an Indian language of Mexico. Instead of submitting one possible rendering of a biblical expression, he usually had a half dozen different ways of representing the meaning of the Greek text. Not only did he produce three exceptional New Testaments in Totonac, but he inspired local people to imitate his skill in discovering more and more meaningful ways of communicating a message into an entirely different language-culture. Dr. Eugene Nidapremier linguist, Bible Translation theoretician, and Herman's former linguistics teacher

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