His mother called him Yahshua.

I’m an educated humanist. Even I know that Jesus’ real name is/was/would have been Yahshua. What the crap is this? —> http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/33/what-was-jesus-real-name

Yahshua (often rendered “Yeshua”) is the Hebrew equivalent of “Joshua.” “Joshua” is an Anglicized version of the Hebrew name. “Jesus” is what you get if you start with “Yeshua”, translate it into Koine Greek (the trade language of the Eastern Mediterranean at that time and the language the Gospels were originally written in) and then translate it into English (or Spanish).

ETA: More succinctly, “Joshua” is a transliteration of “Yeshua”.

It is the same name. J represents yod, and thus would be pronounced as an English Y.

To confuse matters, though, Jesus’s name is usually transliterated as Yeshua. It has to do with the ambiguity of vowels in Hebrew (specifically, they are marks added to the text, and are often not written.)

If you think a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, try calling a woman another woman’s name.
Seriously though, I’ve been visiting the straight dope for years to get the skinny on things and was surprised to not find this information in the formal answer to the "What was Jesus’ “real” name question. (I lurk snopes as well)

You have given a much better answer to this question IMHO. I would have called him Bob myself.

Actually, I don’t see any reason not to transliterate a woman’s name into another language when you’re speaking that language. I’d try it out and get back to you, but my girlfriend’s parents deliberately gave her names that transliterate exactly between French and English to avoid this problem.

“Transliterate” means to change alphabets. You can’t transliterate between French and English.

To be a bit more thorough, [ˈdƷizəs] is an English pronunciation of a Latin transliteration (“Jesus”) of a Greek version (Ἰησοῦς) of an Aramaic version (יֵשׁוּעַ) of a Hebrew name (יְהוֹשֻׁעַ). Considering how Greek “presbyteros” (“elder”) and “episkopus” (“overseer”) ended up in English as “priest” and “bishop”, that’s not so bad.

Whether you change a name going from language to language is a matter of fashion and prudence. As recently as the 50s, the opera singer Anne McKnight called herself “Anna de Cavalieri” when she worked in Italy.

So John, your distinguishing between a letter by letter substition and a word by word substitution. You say that “transliterate” only means the first?

What’s the word for the second?

By the way, French has some funny [del]symbols[/del] letters that English does not have, like ç (small c with a tail underneath). So can you transliterate those letters?

facade = façade

Translation, ordinarily. I am curious, though, as I’ve often seen words and names apparently ‘transliterated’ between languages that share an alphabet. For instance, the popular French name Margeurite can be translated to English as ‘Daisy’, but is much more popularly represented in English as ‘Margaret’ (when referring to a person rather than a flower, and the person isn’t a shapely Southern belle in very short cut-off jeans). I don’t know what to call that besides a transliteration …

Nice! How do you insert Hebrew and Greek text?

Transliteration is a letter by letter translation between different alphabets. If you somehow rewrite it to better suit your sound system it’s a transcription. Thus Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин is transliterated Vladimir Vladimirovič Putin, but transcribed Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin into English and Vladimir Vladimirovitch Poutine into French.

**SCSimmons ** said:

No, translation is not just word for word substitution, but converting the phrasing to convey the same meaning.

Just like the example in the Frere Jacques thread, “Dormez vous?” would be transwhatevered to be “Sleep you?”, but only an idiot would state that is the translation - the proper English translation is “Are you sleeping?”


Translation is about converting meaning, not just words. Transliteration is apparently converting letters, not words. So what is word for word substitution? Other than “bad translation”.

That seems a specific case of the process I mean.

Floater said:

Transcribing has a more generic meaning, just means making a written copy, or perhaps making a phonetic copy. I suppose converting a name you hear into the set of characters you use in your language counts as transcription, and that fits what SCSimmons mentions.

But to me, an example of transcribing would be taking the French “hors d’oeurves” and writing it out as “orderves”. That is representing the French sound with English letters so I can say it properly, as opposed to reading the French and trying to call it “horse dervies”. (I know, hors d’oeurves is a bad example because it has been coopted into English and retains the god awful French spelling. It does nicely demonstrate my point, though.)

That’s not the same a knowing that the Spanish “escuela” is in English a “school” (and in French an “ecole”).

I’m not bilingual enough to come up with more elaborate examples, but one that comes to mind is a standard safety sign around here (Texas).

We get cones that say “wet floor” and “piso mojado”. That is a direct translation. However, if I swap the words directly, “piso mojado” would be “floor wet”. The difference is the difference in the languages - Spanish puts the noun first and the adjective after, English tends to put the adjective before the noun.

If I were to post a sign “mojado piso” because I’m smart enough to look up word substitutions but not informed enough to actually know Spanish, then all the Spanish speakers would either laugh at me or think me a bigot for not trying hard enough.

“Mojado piso” is not a transcription, it does not represent what I said in characters that Spanish speakers will read to make the correct sounds. It is not a transliteration because it does not swap letter for letter. It is a poor translation because it does not grasp grammatical differences. Is there a trans word for that process?

To me, it seems like transcription would be swapping letter for letter, and swapping word for word would be transliteration. Apparently John W. Kennedy doesn’t agree. And neither do dictionaries. :slight_smile:

An even better translation might be “Are you asleep?” – and that’s even further from the literal French.

Over-literal translation?

Not in Swedish Librarianese. Here it has the meaning I described.

That column was from 1978. In the early columns, Cecil tended to be a little more flippant and sparse on the details.

He did say that Joshua was only “roughly” the name Jesus went by, so it’s not an incorrect answer, just not as detailed as it could have been.

Given how short the column is, I suspect it was also an add on to flesh out a short column. He used to do that a lot.

“Daisy”? The actual root meaning of the name, from Μαργαριτησ, is “Pearl” (a fact that literate English speakers seem to have been aware of at least as late as the 14th century, seeing that the author of Perle is able to use “margyrye” as a synonym for the jewel).

In any case, that is not what the word “transliterate” means. The only meaning I know of, aside from switching alphabets, is translation between Sign and non-Sign. (I suppose because it involves conversion between a language that is usually thought of as incapable of being written and one that can be written, but that’s only a guess.) The usual words for what you are talking about are “adapt”, “adopt”, or “import”, if it is original; or “render” or “translate” if it is an existing use.

It’s still kind of funny to imagine when he was a kid and made a mess, and his mother coming home and shouting, “Jesus Christ, look at this place!”

And He replies, in a broad Irish accent, “Mother of God, you are so unreasonable!”

I have an Apple. [All together now!] “It just works.”

OK, it’s a little more complicated than that, but, basically, on both Wndws and decent operating systems, you can lie, and say, “I have a Greek keyboard,” etc., and then just type away. On Mac OS X, you go to System Preferences, then to Languages, then to Input Sources, and check whatever you want, including “Keyboard & Character Viewer” and “Show input menu in menu bar”. Then you have a little flag icon up top that you can click on to switch keyboards. I am not up-to-date on other systems, but they all have something of the sort.

This can also give you access to an “International” keyboard, which gives you:
[li]proper quotation marks: “” ‘’[/li][li]non-English letters: Þþ Ðð Ææ Łł [/li][li]accented letters: à á ã â ǎ ā ă å ç ḽ ö ő ș[/li][li]and miscellaneous symbols: ©®†‡§±≤≥£¢€[/li][/ul]

That may have been what his childhood friend Biff called him.