May 24th, 2009

Modern-day mermaid

English translation or equivalent of Unetane Tokeff (title/phrase)

This is a bit of a strange question. It's for a story though, and it's not exactly google-able.

I am trying to translate - or find an English equivalent of - the name of the Hebrew Atonement Day chant, ונתנה תוקף. (On Wikipedia.) It's old and weird Hebrew, and I need a translation that will both preserve the original sense (rather than, say, using the chant's first line as a title) and keep the "high language" feel of it.

Being that my characters are standard US residents of 2003, a paralel phrase that would be native-tongue for them is acceptable also. (I'm an Israeli Jew, so ונתנה תוקף is the phrase I thought of.) The rough translation of the phrase is "Giving/acknowleding strength", "Giving/acknowleding value"/"validating", "Granting Grace". (i'm an idiot in my own tongue) "To tell of the Might/Value/Grace." (Capitalization intentional as this is a religious phrase.) The chant is about the Lord's power over human life and death - Atonement Day is, supposedly, when the Lord decides who will live and who will die in the coming year, and is the People's last chance to repent their sins before their fate for the year is sealed.

You can get a sense of it from Leonard Cohen's "Who by fire and who by water", which is a translation and adaptation of the chant.

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Many thanks!

ETA: it's coming up in the discussion that a literal translation, as successful as it may be, won't actually hold the meaning i'm looking for, which is more the context and meaning of the prayer. This was intuitive to me, as a Hebrew speaker, so I didn't realize it at first. So, religious catchphrases that would have similar overtones of penance and awe.

ETA 2: at this point I seem to have enough translation of the literal phrase - thans y'all - but i'm still collecting potential Christian parallels, with more emphasis on accountability and penance than forgiveness.

Compensation for families of falsely executed

Location: USA, probably Texas
Time: Modern day, perhaps up to 10 years ago
If someone was found guilty and executed, but later exonerated, what sort of compensation would their family be entitled to?

Wiki articles read: Capital Punishment in the United States, Capital Punishment, Miscarriage of Justice
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Location: Regency England
Time: June-December 1815

I have a character, a lady of about 25, who is a widow, (though this shouldn't matter, as she has been for some time), whose brother was killed at the Battle of Waterloo. At around the same time, she became engaged to a soldier, (he was wounded in the battle, and it as an OMG you nearly died and I realised that I love you! situation). I know she should be in mourning for six months, three months in crepe, two months in ordinary mourning, and one month in half-mourning, bringing it to a total of six months, but how soon after his death could she be married without being disrespectful? She would wait until she was out of mourning, but would she have to wait longer than that?
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I'm writing a character who is a musician (classical pianist) and is pursuing a job with a large regional orchestra. It would not involve playing music or being a musician in the orchestra, but it would require her to draw on her background as a pianist. What kinds of jobs would she be pursuing?