Translating the Untranslatable: Proper Names in the Septuagint and in Jerome's Vulgate

Christophe Rico, Dean, Polis – The Jerusalem Institute of Languages and Humanities

With translation of proper names, we reach the limits of what is translatable. What is the meaning of a proper name? Does it have a meaning? Taking some concrete examples (Adam, Havah, Babel, Moriah, Beer Shevah, Shear Yashuv, Baal Hamon), we will compare St Jerome technique to the Septuagint technique in order to show the extraordinary skills that the author of the Vulgate was able to display in his translation.