Translation of hymns
This entry is in two parts: the first by Marcus Wells, the second by JRW
Principles of Hymn Translation
Hymns have been written for centuries and, through translation, many of them have become known beyond the borders of their country of origin. This has been an increasing trend recently, motivated by ecumenism. It is indeed a great thrill at international gatherings to hear the participants praising God in song, all in their own language: a foretaste of Revelation 7: 9-10.
Hymn translations vary greatly in quality; some were produced for their singability, others to introduce the hymnody of a foreign culture, others again for a particular occasion. Any translation should ideally read as...
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