God Didn't Say That

Bible Translations and Mistranslations

Pizza With Fungus

A pizzeria in Eilat, Israel, offers plain pizza and “pizza with fungus,” according to the large English menu at the restaurant.

Of course they meant not “fungus” but “mushrooms.” Unfortunately, the modern Hebrew for both English words are the same.

What went wrong here is mostly a matter of connotation. While mushrooms are indeed a kind of fungus, the word “mushrooms” has connotations of edibility, while we English speakers know that “fungus” does not.

I fear that we frequently see this sort of mistake in English translations of the Bible. Just to pick one example (which I’ve already mentioned), “inward parts” doesn’t seem right for the Hebrew tuchot.

September 7, 2009 - Posted by | translation theory | , ,

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