I'm looking for a Koine Greek word that means "translation". When I say "translation", I'm referring to a translation of a text in a foreign language. So the context would be the translation of a Koine Greek text into English.

What Koine Greek word denotes such a translation?

2 Answers 2


ἑρμηνεία can have this meaning. The LSJ entry has some Koine-relevant attestations:

  1. translation, Aristeas 3, Ph.2.141; “ἑ. τῶν Π̔ωμαϊκῶν” POxy.1201.12 (iii A.D.); ἑ. ἔχειν to mean when translated, Ph.1.232, Porph.Plot.17.
  • Thank you, TKR! Good to see you on this forum. ἑρμηνεία evokes the English word hermeneutics, making both the Greek word and its definition easy to remember.
    – ktm5124
    Jul 8, 2019 at 1:08
  • So, would that be ἑρμηνεία, 'clarification,' when translating from Greek? but something else, say τα τοῦ μεταφραστοῦ, when translating into Greek?
    – Hugh
    Jul 8, 2019 at 3:09
  • @Hugh I don't know that there were separate terms for translating into and out of Greek -- what makes you think so?
    – TKR
    Jul 8, 2019 at 17:01
  • If someone translated something into Greek for me, I could see that as a change of phrasing μεταφράζειν ( the word used by Josephus and by Plutarch for translate); but the not as elucidation ' ἑρμηνεία'
    – Hugh
    Jul 9, 2019 at 1:10

Being Greek I may be also able to help. Ερμηνεία is a very formal way to denote 'translation'. I would say that in common (Κοινά) Greek, the word translation would be μετάφραση.

  • 2
    Thanks and welcome to the site! To clarify, the question is about ancient Greek (modern Greek questions are off-topic here).
    – TKR
    Jul 8, 2019 at 17:02

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