Anyone reading my blog will see that I use Neh 8:8 frequently. It is one Old Testament Scripture that gives rise I believe to the duty of the preacher, to expound the word of God and do expository preaching.
But anyone who looks at Neh 8:7-8 will immediately ask what is the context of the verse - you all do that won't you?
The historical context is that it is post-exilic, that's just a technical way of saying it is after the Jews, God's people returned from exile. Bowman points out about this passage that "the original Hebrew text was doubtless translated aloud as Aramaic, the common speech of the postexilic Palestine."
So we have that they read out the Hebrew and part of making it distinct was to translate it into Aramaic, then they continued to make clear the meaning.
Since this is most probably the case of what was going on, it gives us insight into what was going on. Still it doesn't detract that part of their responsibility was to make clear the sense of the text, and this is something I believe we as preachers, in a far removed culture still need to do, and do well.