Different Bible Translations

Here is a link to a great website that compiles a bunch of different Bible translations. What’s fascinating is to compare the same verse from the different translations and interpretations to see varied the texts can be. How important is language when it comes to communicating ideas particularly with something as important as religion?

Here is a link to a famous passage from the Bible, John 3:16


Depending on which translation you chose to read, you would come away with very different ideas about what God expects of people.

Here’s a link to the main site.


All of this raises interesting questions about what the job of translators and interpreters is. Are they supposed to translate literal words? Are they supposed to communicate meaning even if some words have to change? How are you supposed to know the choices they made are accurate or true?

Words that don’t exist in English

Here are a few sites that document words that exist in other languages but not in English.

What does it mean that these words don’t exist in English? Do these words tell us something about the cultures they come from? About us? Is it generally random chance that cultures invent words for some concepts but not for others? If a word can’t directly be translated, does it mean that the concept cannot truly be known to nonnative speakers of those languages?




Radiolab Podcast: Translation

“How close can words get you to the truth and feel and force of life? That’s the question poking at our ribs this hour, as we wonder how it is that the right words can have the wrong meanings, and why sometimes the best translations lead us to an understanding that’s way deeper than language. This episode, 8 stories that play out in the middle space between one reality and another — where poetry, insult comedy, 911 calls, and even our own bodies work to close the gap.”