The Evolution of Language and Ancient History of Translation

date04 يناير 2018 authorمن طرف translationboy

Before words came into existence people used signs and symbols to communicate. Eventually sounds started to represent places, people and objects. Eventually these sounds turned into words and words into sentences, soon people were able to speak to one another and carry on conversations. Language is an invaluable part of the evolution of humans. Once language was formed, written language soon followed. Language first presented itself somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000 years ago. As population expanded and people divided, different languages formed, creating a need for translation.

Some of the earliest forms of translation are on clay tablets, translating vocabularies in Sumerian and Eblaite or Eblan, which is an extinct language from the ancient city Ebla in Syria. The translations consisted of financial data, rituals and literary texts. The Rosetta Stone is probably the most well know example of ancient translation. The stone displays a decree essentially saying the exact same thing in Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic (Egyptian) script and Ancient Greek. The Rosetta Stone was an incredible discovery because it has been used as our guide to understanding and translating ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and culture.

The majority of early translations were religious in nature. During the 4th century, Saint Jerome, who is known as the saint of translators, took the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and translated it from Hebrew into Latin which is now called the Vulgate. This was the chosen Bible for the Roman Catholic Church for years to come. Soon the Protestant Reformation noticed that when this Bible was translated into local European languages, there were distinct differences in the words and passages. This ultimately led to the split of Christianity into Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Translation has played a massive role in the forming of people, their culture and beliefs throughout our history.

Many outstanding arabic translators and scholars were drawn to the school of translators in Toledo, Spain during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries due to the fact that there were collections of manuscripts that were being held in libraries to be translated from Latin into Arabic. Philosophical works by Aristotle were some of the first manuscripts to be translated during this time. Manuscripts regarding subjects such as astronomy, astrology, physics, mathematics and medicine were all translated. These scientific and technological translations were used to design and create some of the earliest curriculum used in the first universities in Europe and later led to the European Renaissance.

Translation and translators have contributed significantly to the development of world culture, spreading ideas and concepts, science and movements across the world. Translation is such an important factor in our history and development as a people that a translator by the name of William Tyndale actually lost his life over his translations. In Holland in 1536 William Tyndale was arrested and then executed for translating the Bible into the common vernacular of English. If translation didn’t exist all those years ago, modern life would not be as developed as it is now all due to a language barrier. Translators have helped to spread information and concepts to a broad amount of people, this enabled cultures to be built and unite people all over the world

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