It’s not a problem. I enjoy helping out wherever I can.
Okay, Psalm 42:7 in the 新改訳 [Shinkaiyaku
] Japanese translation of the Bible reads as follows:
、あなたの波、あなたの大波は、みな私の上を越えて行きました。 [emphasis mine]
The relevant portion is highlighted in red. The breakdown of that phrase is the following:
‘deep pool’; ‘deep water’; ‘abyss’
‘deep pool’; ‘deep water’; ‘abyss’
‘to wake [someone] (by calling [to him])’; ‘to awaken’; ‘to arouse’; ‘to call (to mind)’
Please, note that the verb form used at the end is such that it requires the sentence to continue (which is appropriate in this context since the verse does go on to say other things). Therefore, if I were going to isolate this phrase from the rest of the original context and use it by itself, I would make the following small change to the verb ending:
[fuchi ga fuchi o yobiokosu
] [emphasis mine]
Notice that the only difference is the very last phonetic character (highlighted in red). This just puts the verb in its plain form and also allows the sentence to stand alone.
So, as far as the meaning, this is very close to “the abyss calleth to the abyss,” which is pretty much dead on the Latin “abyssus abyssum invocat
.” There is a subtle nuance in the compound verb 呼び起こす [yobiokosu
] in that it’s composed of two simpler verbs, the first meaning ‘to call out’ and the second meaning ‘to wake’. Hence the translations ‘to wake [someone] (by calling [to him])’, ‘to awaken’, and ‘to arouse’. So, I guess you could say that there’s a little more specific meaning to this than just a general invocation as it inherently implies the “waking up” aspect.
That said, Word Reference does list 呼び起こす [yobiokosu
] as a translation of the English verb ‘to invoke’. The other option it offers is 呼び出す [yobidasu
], which would be valid, as well. Here’s the link in case you’re interested: http://www.wordreference.com/enja/invoke
Additionally, I’ve read halfway through this Japanese Bible, and I’ll also say that another verb I’ve come across fairly frequently in the text is 呼び寄せる [yobiyoseru
], which can be translated as ‘to call’, ‘to summon’, ‘to send for’, or ‘to call together’.
Now, if you wanted to go for something simpler and avoid the possibility of any added specificity above and beyond just the general concept of the English verb ‘to invoke’, you could very legitimately just use that first part of any of those three compound verbs (which they all have in common) all by itself. This would give you the simple verb 呼ぶ [yobu
], which means ‘to call out (to)’, ‘to call’, ‘to invoke, or ‘to summon’ all by itself, and it’s very readily understood.
If you did that, you could use this as your phrase:
淵が淵を呼ぶ [fuchi ga fuchi o yobu]
These can all be translated as ‘to invoke’, but If I had to provide something concise to try to distinguish between these different variations, I would probably write it something like this:
‘to wake by calling to’; ‘to arouse’
‘to call out’; ‘to summon’
‘to call forth’; ‘to call forward’; ‘to summon’
‘to call out to’; ‘to invoke’; ‘to summon’
If it were mine, I would probably go with 淵が淵を呼ぶ [fuchi ga fuchi o yobu
]. I honestly think, for your purposes, that would be your best bet, especially since you seem to want to keep it as literal and simple as possible. This one is very literally and very simply “the abyss invoketh the abyss.”
I’ll also mention that I defer to Gary’s native Japanese translator. If you want to be absolutely positive you’re getting it dead on, I would go ahead and pay for the translation service. It’s very reasonably priced and well worth the expense.
I hope that helps.