Logic Gaps

by Paulapollos 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • JWFreak

    Hi PP

    Another anomoly which is quite strange.

    Suppose a member of the writing desk in Germany for instance writes a WT article, he will probably start the original outline and theme in his mother tongue, say German.

    He then writes the article in English, and sends to Brooklyn for approval, Everything comes back well, and the translators in the German branch then start to translate the article into German.

    Because of the secrecy of the writers id, he cannot intervene if the translators in his own branch don't carry his original theme or outline. They often use other words that don't carry the same weight. Often the article is very far removed from the original.


  • Titus

    Paula, PMed you.

  • Paulapollos


    The BTD works like this.

    When a translation team is considered sufficently experienced enough to translate the Bible, and the field is considered to have either enough potential growth, or has a sizable number to it, then the Society decides that the team can translate the NWT into their language.Sometimes even smaller language groups with small potential are allowed to do this.

    The BTD is a database of all the questions sent to the Writing Comittee by Translation and Writing Teams all over the earth, regarding translation of Bible verses, thier meaning in the primary context, linguistic issues and so forth.There are literally thousands of these, referencing the WT, commentaries, and many other related works. They are extremely important.

    It is illuminating - in order to get onto the team, you have to be trained by a "special representative" from Brooklyn, and you must be a "mature" brother or sister. The reason for this - and I quote - is: "Sometimes, weaker brothers and sisters could see the questions and answers from Brooklyn about the meaning of specific Bible verses, and get stumbled, or misunderstand, and perhaps even begin to doubt the truth."

    All NWT translations are translated from the English NWT - which means not only that you keep and reproduce the original mistakes, controversies and so forth, but you actually commit new ones, because the Translation Guidelines are so bad.


    PS _ Titus, I will respond to you, please give me some time.

  • besty

    PP - what format does the BTD exist in? How did you access it? That would be cool to get that on the Internet...

  • besty

    Bumpup for PP

  • bohm

    Interesting thread

  • BluesBrother

    Fascinating information here and a real insight. Thanks to Paulapollos for starting it. I hesitate to add to such a learned company, but

    “logic gaps”. In other words, statements that are made in the publications make no sense when compared with the Scriptures that are supposed to support them.

    That is not confined to translators, the rank and file have noticed that for years, and mostly ignore it or pretend that they understand..They conclude that "The Society must know best"...and just carry on.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Just sticking with English, let alone taking the translated English into other languages, I was amazed at how treacherous the WTS was in translation of the Bible and interchanging terms in their literature to lead readers away from the intended message of the Bible.

    Examples: In the "Live Forever" book, they use scriptures that say "one faith" and then interchange their discussion with the terms, "religion" and "organization."

    I also hate how they use the "faithful and discreet slave" scriptures when they have nothing else to offer in their literature to back up their point.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I spoke with a "brother" who was hugely involved in translating the NWT into American Sign Language. (That's right, an entire NWT in video.) I was still a dub elder when he started working with them. He talked about debates they had to best represent the scriptures yet make it understandable to the viewers- the deaf.

    Looking back, I remember how WTS bragged that they just translated the texts into English and did not try to make them understandable, just let the Bible speak for itself and translate. What a load of hogwash.

  • Paulapollos


    Sorry for this late reply. To answer your question directly, the BTD is one of 2 primary databases - the WT Translators Question Database, and the BTD. Both are accessed on the Society's system and are directly managed by Brooklyn. The local Translation Computer Department provides the databases to translators - the BTD is available only to team overseers and teams translating the Bible. "Normal" translation teams do not have direct access to the BTD. I am hoping to provide a lot more info on a freeminds article sometime soon. I'm not a computer guy, so can you get BTD? I have no idea. Maybe someone with computer experience can weigh in here. However, for any future legal reference, of course I am not advocating any illegal practice.

    Blues Brother/OTWO -

    The redefinition of terms is a vital plank in the WT translation approach. Simply put, the translators have to be as vague as possible in certain key areas. The principle in Bible Translation is - "say what the Bible says", which is ridiculously unhelpful. In actual practice, it is "say what you think it means." And in "primary context". The issue for many WT translators is that the magazines and publications are strechng Bible verses......and translators have to deal with that. There are two ways - blinkers, or liberalism in translation. Both attitudes exist, and both are at each other's throats. The Writing Department itself is torn between this. The facts are, when you have to translate something form one language to another, ridiculous flaws in logic are apparent - and the Writing Department know it.

    As for debates - it was a lot worse than that. OTWO, punches have been thrown, people have been spat at, translators have walked out of filming and translation sessions, and mental illness has been prevalent in Translation, leading the Society to ask BC's to treat Translation Teams with respect and care, since the job is "stressful". No, what is stressful is the Society's approach.

    The ironic thing is - if the Writing Committee decided to be straightforward, and change the undercurrent of the "WD articles are virtually sacrosant" and instead went more completely down the meaning based translation route (which they do in word, but not action) they would get many more converts. The Society has some very skilled translators - if the Society eased off it's centralising tendency and was just slightly more liberal, they would be far more successful in duping people into the organisation.


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