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18:00 - 19:30 13 March 2014

Translation in History Lecture Series: Language and Translation in Rabbinic Thought


Archaeology G6 LT | UCL Institute of Archaeology (link Map)
31–34 Gordon Square | London | WC1 | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Dr Willem F. Smelik, Senior Lecturer Dept of Hebrew & Jewish Studies, UCL, Dr Smelik did his MA and PhD (1991, 1995, both with highest honours) at the Theologische Universiteit Kampen, the Netherlands. His first monograph focused on the Targum of Judges. He was the chief editor of the Bilingual Concordance to the Targum of the Prophets (Leiden: Brill) between 1995 and 1999 and co-director of the AHRC funded project entitled "Late Aramaic: The Literary and Linguistic Context of the Zohar" (2004-2009). He is currently chief editor of the journal Aramaic Studies and senior lecturer in Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic at the department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London.

This lecture will focus on the rabbinic views of translation against the background of their views on language. More specifically, their views on the use of languages will be related to a development in rabbinic thought on the domain and scope of translations, in particular, scriptural translations. Topics include the Adamic language, the distinction between written translations and oral-performative translations, the function of translations as lexical repositories for the interpretation of texts, and the devaluation of understanding alongside an increased emphasis on a ritual performance of texts.


Geraldine Brodie
+44 (0)20 3108 1317 | g.brodie@ucl.ac.uk


Translation in History Lecture Series