Original Research - Special Collection: Bible 200

Die invloed van die lojaliteite en onderliggende vertaalfilosofie van die vertaler op die vertaalkeuses, met verwysing na die Afr2020 Bybelvertaling

Roelie van der Spuy
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 55, No 3 | a2755 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v55i3.2755 | © 2021 Roelie van der Spuy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 March 2021 | Published: 15 December 2021

About the author(s)

Roelie van der Spuy, Department of Translation, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Institution of SIL International, Dallas, United States


The influence of the translator’s loyalties and underlying translation philosophy on the translation choices, with reference to the Afr2020 Bible translation. When the reader looks a little deeper than the initial superficial ‘Revised’ Old Translation impression that reading the Afrikaans 2020 translation gives you, then one realizes that a great deal of effort had to be put into leading such a large group of diverse translators to understand the essence of a direct translation and to be able to apply it consistently. But it is precisely here that problems can arise. Due to the nature of skopus and the style of the Afrikaans 2020 translation, this direct translation can be categorised on the side of the more literal translations and it thus has a very high percentage of agreement with the 1953 Old Afrikaans translation. If the direct translation is not just another name or a revision of the so-called word-for-word translation, then what is this direct translation? Van der Merwe referring to this translation also touches on this issue when he says: ‘a ‘direct’ translation of the Bible is not new jargon for a word-for-word translation of the Bible. It is an attempt to ‘interpretively resemble’ in good idiomatic Afrikaans all the communicative clues of the source text in the contexts construed for the source text audience’. This underlying fundamental premise brings a lot of tension to the fore. Van der Merwe also confirms this (2014:294) by stating: ‘attempts to translate ancient texts directly (is) an almost impossible ideal (to) pursue’.

Contribution: This study evaluated the Afrikaans 2020 translation according to its own criteria, the translation brief and to its self-proclaimed nature as ‘direct’ translation in order to try to make an objective evaluation and assessment of this great work. This process also pointed out where the loyalties of the translators lie, and what the underlying translation philosophy is, and how difficult it is to make a distinction between the direct translation method and using archaic words and terms.


Bible translation; loyalty of the translator; literal translation; direct translation; target readers; conservative audience; translation team; translation brief; socio-political contexts


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Crossref Citations

1. Translation hermeneutics of the 1933/1953, 1983 and 2020 Afrikaans Bibles
Morné Joubert
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 78  issue: 1  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v78i1.7602