clbent04

Who Translated the BOM to Languages other than English?

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I’m curious if the Church ever commissioned 3rd parties unaffiliated with the Church to ever translate the BOM to a certain language.

I’m sure only high ranking GA’s translated the BOM to the world’s most popular languages, but even then, I have no idea.

I don’t think there’s a rule that says you have to be a high-ranking GA to translate the BOM, but idk. The BOM has been translated to so many languages, many of which aren’t widely known.  

Does anyone have insight on this topic?

Edited by clbent04

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9 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

I’m curious if the Church ever commissioned 3rd parties unaffiliated with the Church to ever translate the BOM to a certain language.

I’m sure only high ranking GA’s translated the BOM to the world’s most popular languages, but even then, I have no idea.

I don’t think there’s a rule that says you have to be a high-ranking GA to translate the BOM, but idk. The BOM has been translated to so many languages, many of which aren’t widely known.  

Does anyone have insight on this topic?

I imagine the translation process is similar to thr processes used to to translate normal books. Such translation process probably dont need similar circumstances as the original translation.

I do recall a story about people working to translate the Book of Mormon into some Asian language. In the specific language, when you used the word “brother”, it always accompanied a suffix/prefix that dictated whether the brother was older or younger. The translator then had to reach out to the Q12 and asked if the brother of Jared was older or younger than Jared. I imagine in such situations they do reach out the the GA for direction.

Edited by Fether

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Translating is as much about ideas as it is words. So it would seem that on some level someone who understood the doctrine, in the other language, would have to be involved to ensure the accuracy of the translation. The only stories I've heard about translation have involved members.

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16 hours ago, Fether said:

I imagine the translation process is similar to thr processes used to to translate normal books. Such translation process probably dont need similar circumstances as the original translation.

I do recall a story about people working to translate the Book of Mormon into some Asian language. In the specific language, when you used the word “brother”, it always accompanied a suffix/prefix that dictated whether the brother was older or younger. The translator then had to reach out to the Q12 and asked if the brother of Jared was older or younger than Jared. I imagine in such situations they do reach out the the GA for direction.

It is my understanding that there is more care in translating scriptures than other works in the church (including conference talks).  I have been led to believe that translation of scriptures is done by committee called and approved by the Apostles and that translation question are submitted to a committee of Apostles.  For example in German there are two traditions for the meaning and act of repentance.  One (from Catholic tradition) means to make amends the other (from Lutheran tradition) means to turn around.  The German translation of the Book of Mormon uses both translations at different places.  I think (my speculation) this is because both concepts can apply (as per @laronius thought).

As a side note; Tyndale was burned at the stake for heresy concerning his translation (the first into English) of the Bible; in part because there were words in the ancient texts that had no translation in English - so he invented words.  Two of his word inventions were "Passover" and "Atonement".  So the next time you use ether of these terms - realize that someone suffered and died trying to give you some English language understanding of those concepts.  It has always been interesting to me that individuals argue passionately over the exact meaning of scripture based on words (that are translated and evolved from the initial English).  I received in my youth, a manifestation that the Book of Mormon is true and given through the divine power of G-d and yet I have spent a lifetime trying to understand the text of the Book of Mormon and how I ought to apply it in my life - and in almost 70 years of study - I am impressed that with all my understanding and the many of additional books I have read - that neither myself or anyone else currently in mortality has comprehended hardly more that a scratch in the surface of this divine gift.   So when I discuss scripture, my effort is to try to expand meaning rather confine or pigeon hole concepts and understanding.

 

The Traveler

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I can give you a little insight.  I served a mission in Japan from 89-91.  When I got to Japan, we were using the Morumon Kei... the name of the Book of Mormon in Japanese.  When I left, we were using the Morumon Sho... the recently re-translated version of the Book of Mormon into Japanese.  The new translation was much easier to read and understand.

And chance was that I was in the ward of the primary translator for the Morumon-Sho.  He was not a general authority, nor do I recall him being in the stake presidency or anything like that.  But he was very well versed in the gospel and gave me insights to the gospel that I didn't have.  One of those was the meaning of the word atonement.  His explanation of the word, made more sense to me when he explained it in Japanese.

At any rate, in this case, the translation was done by a member who both understood English and Japanese very well and the gospel, too.

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The wife of one of my former missionary companions worked as a translator for the church for several years. When I started my mission, most church materials, including the Book of Mormon, were in English, so the missionaries had to teach and preach in English, even though it was the second or third language for most people. There were many people who desired to know more about the church but whom we were not allowed to teach because their English skills were not good enough. My missionary companion's wife worked as one member of a larger group, based in the Philippines, but I'm not sure of the size or structure or leadership of the group. She was involved in the translation of a wide range of church materials, including the temple ordinances, and not just the Book of Mormon. 

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Dan McClellan is a scripture translation supervisor, who is quite active on TikTok:

https://www.tiktok.com/@maklelan?

He tends to tick off the faithful, because his approach and his videos are all 100% scholarly, with absolute zero faith mixed in.  (And I personally think he gets a kick out of poking the faithful with stuff that tweaks common beliefs.)   I think he's got a few TikToks on the translation process for the BoM.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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On 10/31/2021 at 5:31 PM, clbent04 said:

I’m curious if the Church ever commissioned 3rd parties unaffiliated with the Church to ever translate the BOM to a certain language.

I’m sure only high ranking GA’s translated the BOM to the world’s most popular languages, but even then, I have no idea.

I don’t think there’s a rule that says you have to be a high-ranking GA to translate the BOM, but idk. The BOM has been translated to so many languages, many of which aren’t widely known.  

Does anyone have insight on this topic?

The Spanish version of the Book of Mormon that I used on my mission was translated by a prominent member of the Church who was Mexican.

As one who speaks fluently a foreign language, I can say that  it is not an easy job.  Language can be very nuanced.  It was interesting to me that the translation used in that BoM used the Spanish word desert for wilderness.  I don't think of wilderness as desert, necessarily, but wilderness certainly encompasses desert.

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