“Your speech should always be pleasant and interesting, and you should know how to give the right answer to everyone.”
One of my Facebook friends thought that the translation of “interesting” could be improved. He translates the original Greek idiom here as “in good taste.” That really is quite good.
More formally equivalent English versions translate the Greek idiom literally:
as though seasoned with salt (NASB)
seasoned with salt (KJV, NIV, NRSV, NET, HCSB, ESV)
These accurately translate the lexical form of the Greek, but they do not accurately communicate to the English reader what the Greek form meant.
When food is seasoned with salt, it tastes better. Speech that “tastes” better is more pleasant to listen to than speech which does not. English lacks the Greek idiom for seasoning speech with salt, so there are several translations which try to convey the figurative meaning of the Greek idiom to English which is not an idiom:
never insipid (REB)
interesting (GNT, NCV)
hold their interest (CEV)
well thought out (GW)
Each of these wordings accurately conveys the meaning of the Greek idiom but they leave us a little “flat” (!) in terms of literary taste. My friend’s translation that our speech is to be “in good taste” is not flat. It uses an English idiom. Furthermore, the English idiom is literally about taste just as was the original Greek idiom. I find that a tasty morsel!