Monday, February 11, 2008

Dear Diary Moment

In the spirit of trying to be a better blogger (and avoid avoidance-of-blog guilt), I'm sharing a very special moment.

A year and a half ago I decided to study biblical Hebrew with one of my favourite profs. As it turns out, it's good that I started when I did: now that I'm halfway through my first year of my Master's, I'm at the stage in learning the language where I can begin my own translations of Judges 4, the chapter which is the focus of my thesis. The class had been using Lambdin's "Introduction to Biblical Hebrew" as its text; we're almost through the whole thing, but I was soooo over it. I wanted to get to the Bible, learn the nuances of the text itself, do the cool translating of this fantastic literature. I felt a little like Luke Skywalker telling Yoda he'd had enough training as a Jedi and was ready to kick some Dark Side ass when, after the Christmas break we resumed our class. I staged a coup, and won: we're now translating selected chapters directly from the Tanakh.

So, two weeks ago we were a third of the way through Genesis 38. I didn't expect us to finish the chapter that day, and had only completed 20 of 30 verses. As it turns out, we finished - and I was unprepared. I hate that. But, I took two of the remaining nine verses, read them, and with some help, translated them on the spot without a dictionary. It forced me to slow down, focus, not worry about making a mistake in front of my classmates/colleagues (and said favourite prof) and just concentrate on the text. I have a long way to go, but wow it felt very satisfying and empowering to know - truly know - that I can do this.

No comments: