Saturday, June 12, 2010

OET Readers' Version

Today I am revealing the initial design plans for the second version of the Open English Translation (OET), the Readers' Version. This is pretty-much totally different from the Literal Version. Here are some of the main features of the OET-RV:
  • It will attempt to give an easily-readable, natural English text with normal contemporary English punctuation
  • It will attempt to replace Christian jargon with language that is more likely to be found in modern newspapers, magazines, and books
  • Additions to the text which are necessary to translate the meaning will not be marked in any special way
  • The divine name will be rendered as Yahweh
  • Traditional English spellings will be used for people and place names
  • The word God will be capitalised where appropriate, but other references, e.g., the father, the son, will not be capitalised
  • Paragraph breaks will be added to the text, along with indentations for poetry and quotations
  • Section headings will be added but typeset/displayed in such a way so as not to interrupt the flow of the actual Scripture text
  • Traditional chapter and verse numbers will be downplayed, as in all OET versions
  • Only modern measurements will be used (the original measurements will not be included)
  • There will be a minimum of footnotes
  • The OET-RV is aimed at readers (including second-language English readers) who want to easily read the text and understand the overall message
  • It is hoped that the web-based publication will also provide live links to the OET-LV.
The final specifications and a small sample text should eventually be available here.

So hopefully you can already guess where I'm going with the OET. So far I've announced the Literal Version and the Readers' version -- quite different versions which are complementary parts of the OET translation. It is intended that they be viewable together, especially on media where they can scroll and be linked together. One is easy to read; the other choppy and unnatural but helping the Bible student to understand where the smooth English of the Readers' Version has come from.

There's a big debate these days about the most useful kind of English Bible translation. Different publishers try to position their translations at different spots in the market. The OET tries to solve the dilemma with a different approach: multiple linked versions all under the banner of the Open English Translation.

And best of it, it's planned that all of this be made available under a very generous free licence (details not decided yet) to enable and encourage others to use and build upon this work.

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