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THE IMPORTANCE OF THE KRALICE BIBLE

A. Wlochova, K. Slamova
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

In this paper, the authors would like to focus on the importance of the translation of the Kralice Bible (named after the village of Kralice nad Oslavou in Moravia where it was printed), whose third and most famous edition was published in 1613, for the development of the Czech language and culture at the time of the Renaissance.
The first part of the paper outlines the situation in Europe in the 16th century, during the Humanism and Renaissance period, when the emphasis was put on the importance of translating the Bible from the original languages (Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) rather than relying on the Latin Vulgate (dated from the turn of the 5th and 6th centuries AD). In this respect, special attention is devoted to the territory of present-day Germany.
The next part will explain the conditions under which the new translation of the Bible into Czech was created, the importance of this translation for the cultural development of the area, as well as the development of the Czech language, and the follow-up tradition of translating the Bible in the Czech lands.
The paper will also point out some aspects of the demanding work of the translator dealing with these ancient texts, like using good judgement in order to select words in the target language that best represent the ideas of the text in the original language, rather than translating strictly word for word (as suggested by some scholars who argue that this word-for-word approach would be a way to prevent shifting the original meaning); in fact, no modern language provides exact equivalent of the vocabulary and grammar of Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, so word-for-word translation would not be clear for readers and could even lead to wrong interpretations. On the other hand, paraphrasing the text too freely would also lead to misinterpretation.
The authors of the Kralice Bible took into account the need to maintain the original meaning of the Scriptures while trying to create a translation comprehensible for the contemporary reader. Thus, it was possible to create a work that became a model for the standard Czech language.

Keywords: Humanism, Renaissance period in Europe, the Kralice Bible, development of the Czech language


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