February 28th, 2016


Translation topics can appear anywhere!

While we were busy writing long detailed reports about our trip to Japan and then reviewing manga, we came across a thing on Facebook that I thought could make for some interesting discussion of translation, but since I was super busy, I didn't take time to do it. Until today! Tadah!

So there's this guy who wrote this thing called something like "Letters to a CES Director", where CES stands for...Church Educational System? Or something like that, but the point is it's directed at somebody who's supposed to know all the intellectual, academic type stuff that Latter-day Saints (and non-Latter-day Saints, if they're interested) get taught in the myriad church education programs that are offered by the church. The premise basically boils down to the fact that he has come across various facts that seem to contradict things that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claim to be true. In the interest of learning the whole truth for ourselves, we started to read his essay. But we only read two of his questions, because his essay was super long and, as I may have mentioned in the past several weeks, we've been very busy. We got to question two and we thought, "Okay, this guy clearly isn't looking for answers and I'm not sure he even really knows what he's talking about," so we stopped reading his essay and got back to work.

But anyway, both of the questions we read were about the Book of Mormon, which, according to LDS Church history, was translated by the power of God from golden plates that were hidden for centuries until they were revealed to Joseph Smith. Some people believe that the whole thing is a fabrication, concocted by Joseph Smith to lead the masses astray (and get rich, according to some theories, but if that was the plan it was a horrendously bad one). The guy who wrote the essay I'm talking about has found some evidence that he believes proves the fiction theory, but as translators, we think he's full of baloney. At any rate, I thought the questions could make for some interesting(?) discussion about translation in general, so I wanted to talk about it here!

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Today I'm thankful for the intellectual stimulation of these questions, getting to watch the rest of the second season of Galavant, realizing that we definitely won't be working on this rush project on Friday, having cookies to look forward to, and it being time for dinner.