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Posts Tagged ‘snakes’

The tree in question

 

A Bible translation consultant colleague was drafting an account of an incident which happened recently in Ivory Coast. He e-mailed it to colleagues for comment re accuracy. Below is a short extract.

First draft:

Apparently, we heard later, a green mamba had gone up the trouser leg of Didier’s younger brother, sitting near a tree. He had stood up, and shaken it off, and those near him had killed it!

There remained some ambiguity about whether or not the mamba had gone up the inside or outside of the trouser leg. Accuracy is so important in these things!

Second draft:

“Apparently, we heard  later, a green  mamba had slithered on to the trouser leg of Didier’s younger brother, sitting near a tree. Shocked, he had stood up and shaken it off, and those near him had killed it!”

A wannabe consultant sent the following suggestions…

Excellent! Just a few minor comments to assist the accuracy, clarity and naturalness of the translation.

Apparently [seems to imply some doubt whether or not any of this happened], we heard [was it a reliable source or mere hearsay?] later [how much later? Is the time lapse element crucial?], a green [do we need to clarify the shade of green?] mamba [pronunciation: ‘mam ba] had slithered [definition required] on to the trouser leg [which leg?] of Didier’s younger brother [same mother, same father?], sitting near [one metre or two?] a tree [which species of tree?]. Shocked [implies presence of electricity], he had stood up [calmly, in panic, leapt, with a scream?]and shaken it off [was this in the style of a traditional Kouya dance step?], and those [very vague: who were these people who killed one of God’s little creatures so gratuitously?] near him [see above] had killed [what implements of death dealing were used?] it [one may have forgotten by this stage what it refers to]!

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