Translators have to read the Bible

I have recently read the book “Public speaking and Influencing Men in Business” by Dale Carnegie. Because I had it at hand in Romanian, I chose to read it in this language, but I concluded that if I wanted to read a book in the future and I knew the original language, you must read it in the original. Dale Carnegie’s book translation seemed good until I reached the passages where the author quotes the Bible. Since then, I became very suspicious on the quality of the translation of the entire book and here is why. Dale Carnegie refers to the following text of the prophet Isaiah:

Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)(NASB)

Here’s how this text appears in the Romanian translation of the book …

“Though your sins should be red like fire, they will become white as snow.”

The meaning has been distorted. Here is another example. The translation of the book says:

When the apostles asked Jesus why He taught people speaking to them in parables, He replied: “Because they can see without seeing and hear without hearing, and so they also can not understand.”

Here is the English translation of this biblical text:

Therefore I speak to them in parables; because whileseeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (Matthew 13:13)(NASB)

Every Christian should read the Bible in a systematic way, but even if you are not a Christian, every educated person should read this book which has influenced the culture and art of all mankind.

I hope the above examples have convinced everyone who is involved in translation how important it is to read and know the Bible.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru