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Comparative analysis of Croatian New Testament translations from the beginning of 20th century


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Babić, Nada. (2017). Comparative analysis of Croatian New Testament translations from the beginning of 20th century. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Croatian Language and Literature.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij hrvatske kulture) [mentor Jelaska, Zrinka].

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As a part of human culture, Bible translations are often viewed as the beginning of language standardisation for the community it is translated for. Croatian Bible translations were uncomparably important for different aspects of Croatian culture for more than thousand years. This disertation analysed data of 39 Gospel lines collected from published Croatian translations starting from the beginning of 20th century and their various editions. The same lines were collected from all four Gospels which are connected by the topic Jesus heals (Mt 9,1-8; Mk 3, 1-6; Lk 14,1-6; Iv 5,1-9). More than hundred versions were checked, published as gospels (Stadler 1895-1902, Ladan 1980- 1990, Duda 1962), parts of the New Testament (Zagoda 1925, Jakšić, Meršić 1952, Rupčić 1961, Duda, Fućak 1973, Lovrec, Lovrec, Gruić 1982, Raspudić 1987, Kašić 1999, Knežević 2001, Jovanović 2003, Čakovec New Testament 2014), or the whole Bible (Šarić 1942, Zagreb Bible by Prosvjeta 1968, Jerusalem Bible 1994, Martinjak 1998, Dretar 1998, Kašić 1999, Djaković 2000, Novi svijet 2006, Varaždin Bible 2012, Vrtarić 2012, Geošić 2014). From these complete Bible translations six include (versions of) the New Testament published earlier: Rupčić (1967) is included in the Zagreb Bible, Duda, Fućak (1985) in the Jerusalem Bible, Varaždin New Testament (2006) in the Varaždin Bible, Martinjak New Testament (1995) in Martinjak's Bible, Djaković's (1989) New Testament in Djaković Bible, Vrtarić's (1998, 2005) in Vrtarić Bible. Hence, 21 translations and their cca 80 later editions were consulted. Some translations were excluded as they are not written in Literary Croatian, but in chakavian or kaikavian dialect, Burgerland Croatian (Jakšić i Meršić 1952, 1979; Geošić 2014), interlanguage (Martinjak 1998, 2005..., Dretar 1998); as they were the first publication of the translation from 17th century (Kašić 1999), or as they do not consist of full gospel translations but chronologically listed joint gospels (Duda 1962). As some have no or just minor changes, the final data consist of 70 different versions of the same lines: 15 translations and their 55 changed editions. Those versions are listed chronologically according to the year of the first publication. The aim was to compare and classify different translation solutions, not only between different translators, but between different editions, as some changes were made by persons other than original translators. The different means of conctructing meaning were also described. The texts differ in style, conative and connotative meaning, which sometimes present a different relationship between characters or even different events. Different semantics, morphology, syntax, discourse, ortography contribute to produced differences. Some translations or editions systematically change Croatian Biblical style to more neuter, some change previous additions for better, some for no reason, some are at least lingustically, if not culturally, worse than previous edition(s), due to normative, semantic or cultural reasons. The first part of the dissertation consists of the information on the aim, data and methodology, a brief overview of Croatian Bible translations before and later 20th century. Some eaerlier translations are used to check if newer translations are using lexemes from them. It is found that some online versions are changed, more than it should be expected. Some translations and new editions were made or changed in order to make it better or more fit to the changed cultural circumstances (e.g. Stadler, Zagoda). The second group of new editions were to some extent forced to change their language due to political circumstances, e.g. Čebušnik's changes of Stadler's New testament (1912). Šarić's (1942) translation was an answer to Sović's manuscript, whose language mixture was not accetable as well as the need to mark 1300 aniversary of Croatian Catolich Church. When the political climate changed, Rupčić's (1961) translation and Duda's Gospel harmony (1962) were published when Croatian Spring enabled it, while the translation of Zagreb Bible (1968) was allowed as it was needed by its publisher, Stvarnost which was under the threat of corruption. The translation of Duda and Fućak (1973) was published after their stressful yet succsesful experience on Zagreb translation, and the need to have the translation in standard Croatian language. The third group of translations was published as their translatior or publishers needed them for some new groups of readers or for some other reasons. All of those translations are analysed to the criteria of Croatian Biblical translation tradition, Croatian language norms, and Croatian culture. While some translations have only one (Croatian) edition (Knežević 2001, New world Bible 2006, Čakovec NZ 2011), or a few new editions (Djaković 1989, 1993, 2000, Jovanović 2003, 2006, 2012), some have up to ten (Rupčić 1961, 1967, 1972, 1983, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2013), twenty or more (Zagreb Bible, Duda, Fućak New Testament). However, Rupčić used to change his translations often, while Duda and Fućak (1973) have just one edition with some minor changes (1985), as well as the translation of Zagreb Bible had more than twenty editions. Online versions which are not published on publisher's official pages are often very different, e.g. 1982 Living Bible by Lovreca et all (1982) and online version. Raspudić's translation (1987) shares many solutions with Rupčić's (1961) version, esp. the ones from Šarić and Zagoda, but also from Duda and Fućak (1973) or Ladan (1980, 1985), whilst Duda, Fućak and Ladan share their translation solutions with Djaković (1989, 1993, 2000) or Jovanović (2003, 2006, 2012). Of the data of more than 70 diverse versions 45 had some changes, from minor to major ones. The third part of the dissertation offers analysis of different translation choices and their effect on the overall meaning. Some are similar to each other, some are different, yet plausible, still others are not only different but implausible. The major changes are caused by semantic features of different lexemes, but syntactic, morphological and discourse features play a role as well. Some editions are so different from each other that one could think they are different translations had they not have the same translator (e.g. Vrtatić 1998, 2005, 2102). Interestingly enough, many different editions had many more changes in the first book of gospel than the last. Future research should include more texts to confirm if observed characteristics of the data are consistent with the ones found in this dissertation.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Croatian language, meaning, Bible translations, New Testament, Gospels
Subjects: Slavic languages and literatures > Croatian language and literature
Departments: Department of Croatian Language and Literature
Supervisor: Jelaska, Zrinka
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij hrvatske kulture
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2017 09:12
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2017 09:12

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