the friend online
01 August 2008


Lost in translation in a Quaker context - preview

Jaana Erkkilä, one of the translators working on the ‘Quakers in Europe’ online project, discusses some of the difficulties being encountered

Did you know that in George Fox's times abroad meant in general widely, broadly, but could also mean away from home, out of doors? And when someone says to you 'I will not forth', do you understand that he or she will not go out?

Since last autumn a 'Quakers in Europe' online project has been going on and Friends representing fourteen languages were struggling together at Woodbrooke for a week in July 2008 translating study material into different European languages for an online course
  • It has not only been a question of translating from one language into another, but actually first understanding how the early Friends used different words and expressions and then finding out that there is not such an expression in your own language and you just have to invent one
  • Quaker terminology is very special and it has been created in English
  • It is not an easy job to move Quaker language into, let's say, Finnish, Polish or Georgian

  • Jaana Erkkilä

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