Research Article

The Semiotics of Christian Theological Translation and Interpreting


  • Ezuoke, Chukwudinma O. Yamat Departmental Coordinator Basic French and Institute for Continuing Education, Department of Foreign Language and Translation Studies, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria
  • IJIOMA, Patricia Ngozi Associate Professor of Translation Studies, Ag. Dean, School of Arts,National Institute for Nigerian Languages, Aba, Abia State Nigeria


The Christian theological text, whether written or oral is a derivative of a sacred text called The Bible, thus, making the theological text a second order text. This makes it possible for the Christian theological text to adopt first of all, the semiotic forms of The Bible: signs, symbols, vestments and colours as well as those of the modern church. Semiotic translation which implies a decoding of signs and symbols, interprets textual signs and symbols in a source text (ST) to the target audience (TA). Hence, translation is an interpretative activity. The translation of Christian theological semiotics could be done in-text, in footnotes or in notes and references as a form of elucidation to the target audience.  Theology is a discipline and as such, most of its signs and symbols are technical. To deal with its semiotics is part of the deverbalisation process which its translator must engage in, in order to understand the source text (ST) and to reverbalise the same. The paper aims at furnishing Christian theological translators with the meanings of selected Christian theological signs and symbols. This is a plunge into the dynamic equivalence of the signs and symbols, since formal equivalence, calque and loaning do not deliver the relevant comprehension needed by the translator for adequate reverbalisation of the source text. The paper highlights the importance of semiotic research in the translation of Christian theological texts.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

4 (4)





How to Cite

Yamat, E. C. O. ., & Ngozi , I. P. . (2021). The Semiotics of Christian Theological Translation and Interpreting. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 4(4), 27–33.



Semiotics, Christian theology, translation, semiosis and interpretanting