What makes translation so hard, especially Bible translation? Pt. 1: Understanding the Original Text

Machine translation has come a long way in the past decade, but computers are still pretty bad at anything other than the most basic straightforward translations from one modern language text to another. The Bible (and other ancient texts) come with a whole set of specific problems that we are still working on doing manually, let alone programming a computer to do it for us.   There are two main

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Why don’t we just use Google Translate for the Bible?

I recently got into a discussion with a programmer about machine translation and the Bible. He seemed convinced that with some online crowd-sourcing and a few edits, a machine translation of the Bible could work. And then once we had a translation to work from, updating based on dialect/language change would be super simple. But in reality, no translation is simple, and especially not the translation of a holy text.

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