From Jobel to juubel – on the Occasion of the 325th Anniversary of Anton Thor Helle Cover Image

From Jobel to juubel – on the Occasion of the 325th Anniversary of Anton Thor Helle

Author(s): Kristiina Ross
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: SA Kultuurileht
Keywords: Anton Thor Helle; Old Estonian; history of literary Estonian; Estonian Bible translation

Summary/Abstract: The article is to celebrate the 325th anniversary of the most important Estonian Bible translator Anton Thor Helle. The introduction explains Thor Helle’s decisive role in enriching Estonian with the Hebraic-German loanword juubel ’jubilee’, as it was his hand that replaced the equivalent Römo Aasta ’year of joy’ originally used in the Estonian translation of the 3rd Book of Moses, with Jobeli-aasta, the first component of which is of Hebraic origin. The main part of the article explains the role of the three books associated with Thor Helle’s name in the history of literary Estonian and their present state of research. The draft manuscript of the first Estonian Bible translation (1739), still pending closer analysis and identification of the translators’ handwritings, has been supplemented with a list of translator’s corrections, which was recently found in an archive. A doctoral dissertation on the relations between the theoretical standpoints of the Estonian Grammar (1732) and the practical usage of the Bible translation is in progress. An unregistered reprint of some later editions of the four-part collection of spiritual texts for church and home use has recently emerged at a book auction in London. The final part of the article argues why, instead of the present tradition of Thor being considered a particle, the whole sequence Thor Helle should be regarded as a proper name.

  • Issue Year: LI/2008
  • Issue No: 10
  • Page Range: 753-759
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Estonian