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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.24 n.3 Pretoria  2011

 

A new Biblical Hebrew teaching grammar for African Bible translators: A typological approach1

 

 

Jacobus A. Naudé; Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé

University of the Free State

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

The basic premise of a teaching grammar (as opposed to a descriptive grammar or a prescriptive grammar) is that it must describe the grammar to be learned in terms of the grammar of the language known by the student. In this regard, Biblical Hebrew teaching grammars are woefully inadequate for non-Western students, since they teach the grammatical concepts of Biblical Hebrew from the standpoint of Indo-European languages. This is especially problematic in cases where the language of the student is closer to Biblical Hebrew than is the Indo-European language that is used as the reference point in the grammar. An example would be a language with an aspectual verbal system, which is closer to the Hebrew system than the tensed verbal system of English. In this paper we describe a research project in progress at the University of the Free State to produce a new teaching grammar of Biblical Hebrew based upon language typology, which allows students to learn Biblical Hebrew in terms of the ways in which various features of their language are the same or different from Biblical Hebrew from a typological viewpoint.


 

 

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Correspondence:
Jacobus A. Naudé
Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, University of the Free State
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Email: naudej@ufs.ac.za

Cynthia L. Miller- Naudé
Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, University of the Free State
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Email: millercl@ufs.ac.za

 

 

1 We are grateful to the participants at the Amos Workshop of the Nigerian Bible Translation Trust in Jos, Nigeria (June 2011), to the participants of the Oral Translation Workshop of the Namibian Bible Society (August 2011), and to participants in South Africa (representing Sesotho, isiZulu, isiXhosa, and Setswana) for their assistance with this project. This research was funded by an Internationalisation of the Curriculum grant in 2011 from the University of the Free State.