Publication details [#10210]

Kaufmann, Francine. 2005. Contribution à l’histoire de l’interprétation consécutive: le metourguemane dans les synagogues de l’Antiquité [Contribution to the history of consecutive interpreting: the meturgeman in the synagogues of the Antiquity]. Meta 50 (3) : 972–986.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Title as subject


A corpus of ancient rabbinic literature (the two Talmuds and the Midrach) gives account of the existence of a well-defined professional, the meturgeman, the ad hoc or appointed interpreter of a Rabbi, a master, a preacher, a tribunal or a synagogue. Regardless of the heterogeneity of this corpus and the presence of some mythical elements, the translation historian can have a rather detailed idea of the way the function and practice of translation evolved in a period of more than a thousand years. This study brings to memory the predecessors of the meturgeman: the melits (the one who speaks well, and “in favor of”) and the balchane (a language master and a polyglot). The central point of the study is to analyze, according to some contemporary norms, the rules and anecdotes related to the modalities of consecutive interpretation in public readings of the Hebraic Bible in the synagogue ritual.
Source : Based on abstract in journal