Page of

Michael Friedländer’s Pioneering English Translation of the Guide

Michael Friedländer’s Pioneering English Translation of the Guide

Chapter:
(p.209) 6 Michael Friedländer’s Pioneering English Translation of the Guide
Source:
Maimonides' "Guide of the Perplexed" in Translation
Author(s):
Warren Zev Harvey
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226627878.003.0007

This chapter discusses Michael Friedländer’s (1833-1910) 1885 translation of the Guide of the Perplexed, the first English translation of the book. Friedländer was born in Jutrosin, Prussia; studied Rabbinics under Rabbis Jacob Joseph Oettinger and Elhanan Rosenstein; studied Classics, Oriental Languages, and Mathematics at the Universities of Berlin and Halle; and served as Principal of Jews’ College in London. His translation from the original Judeo-Arabic has often been criticized for being more of a paraphrase than a translation, but it would be more accurate to say that Friedländer had little patience for the niceties of metaphysics and preferred a clear and felicitous translation over a strictly literal and awkward one. As a result, his translation has the great virtue of accessibility to a wide and varied audience. The paper discusses a number of examples of his translation, compares them with other modern translations in English and Hebrew, and in a number of cases defends the superiority of Friedländer’s translation over rival translations.

Keywords:   Michael Friedländer, English translation, accessibility, Judeo-Arabic, Solomon Munk, accuracy

Sign In

Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy and Legal Notice