Since there are about 50.000 tablets found so far, from which only approx. 10.000 clay tablets are translated. For sure, we will hear more discoveries from the tablets in the future. When I worked as an interpreter/ translator, I learned that each translator translates the same texts differently. It depends upon what the scholar/translator knows and!! believes about the subject.
Zecharia Sitchin had to translate much of it all over again, as he believed in a different story and context!
When a scholar transliterated a sign carved in a tablet, the result really depended on what he believed could!! be the most likely meaning in a specific context
In chapter 2, we read about Gudea, a famous king in the city state Lagash.
He had a personal god called Ningirsu. Gudea is also famous for 2 cylinder seals which can be seen in the Louvre museum in Paris. They are the largest found so far, each 60 cm high. Most cylinders are 1-2 cm high. A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to roll an impression onto a two-dimensional surface, generally wet clay tablets.
A German expert of Sumerian discussed the first lines from one of the cylinder seals of Gudea. This was in 1920. He is not sure if the various scholars/translators understood the context!! correctly when they were translating: “Are the first lines in the cylinder a monologue by Ningirsu, the personal god of Gudea? Or! is it a dialog between Ningirsu and the Annunaki EN.LIL?” he asked.
Can you imagine how even more different a translation is, if a scholar is working with the understanding that these tablets are just presenting mythical pagan stories and that the Sumerians made all these gods up? Or a scholar (like Zecharia Sitchin) translated the tablets with the understanding that these stories really happened, the gods were real beings who came from another planet, with highly advanced technology and heightened powers and abilities.
Then we have Grammar.
One famous German scholar (J. Krecher) said to a Sumerian beginner class in 1988:
And I quote: “If you find “ tree-bird-sitting” it does not mean that the tree is sitting on a bird, and the Sumerian words “head at hat” does not mean that the head sticks to a hat, but we never know with these Sumerians” End of quote. So as translators, we would have to go through the fog of a very different grammar and feel out what did they really mean?
Here an example of the challenge of the multiple meanings of a sign plus the importance of context:
AN means god but also high and sky/heaven. If someone reads this in the context that he believes AN/ANU was the highest God of those who came from the Sky. This context then leads to the common Sumerian word anunna (Gods) and then to Anunnaki: anunna (Gods) and ki (earth, on firm ground). God/from heaven on firm ground.
The first tablets they found and translated were written in Akkadian (in 1837)
Actually, most tablets that were found are written in Akkadian, an Assyrian-Babylonian based language. As outlined in the Chapter 2 of the book, the archeologists found hints that there must have been another language. One hint was the loanwords they found. If you would visit Germany today, sooner or later you will notice that our culture is influenced by the English-speaking culture. We are using many English loanwords like copy, check this, flyer… That was the same with the Akkadian tablets, they found loanwords of Sumerian and also names of kings which sounded very different from the Akkadian. Rulers before the Akkadians with their King Sargon had strange names like Urzsababa or Lugalzgesi. It was actually in 1877, 50 years after the first Akkadian tablet was introduced in Great Britain, the archaeologist excavated Sumerian tablets. That happened in Girsu, the city of the King Gudea (approx. 2050 to 2000 BCE) we read about in chapter 2.