spin wrote:Think of a modern example: "he's simple in the head". A literal translation, word-for-word, into German "Er ist einfach im Kopf" means nothing. You can only give a non-literal translation, a functional equivalent in the target language that does basically the same thing.
Not the best example. You could use the literal translation "Er ist simpel im Kopf". Yes, German has the same word, with "less than intelligent" being one of the possible meanings.
This doesn't change anything about the gist of your answer though, even if the example doesn't fit.
Yes, it goes to the gist of the answer because it shows that literal translations can often be understood in the target language.
When they aren't understood, I still prefer the literal translation, accompanied with a footnote explaining the expression, instead of a paraphrase. This is my personal preference when I want to do a close analysis.
If I am just reading for fun and don't care about the exact meaning, I like paraphrases.
I liked to read the story of David's life in the Good News Bible for ease of reading over the KJV. The reading goes a lot quicker to get the narrative and tell the story. Reading technical translation can bog you down a bit.
Even there though, if I had to pick ONLY one Bible translation and exclude the others, I would still prefer the literal one over a paraphrased one.
If we do pick "KRU"
, and the enemies armed with swords, "teeth" and "horns" KRU the narrator, then the literal meaning is they "dig" and "gouge" him, and a paraphrase translation is they pierce him.
Same thing with the same verb Karah in Job 40. They "make a banquet of him" is a paraphrase translation, "dig" and "gouge" is the literal one. I prefer the latter.