Liturgiam Authenticam 51

If a variety of words is used in the original, that variety should be communicated in the translation:

51. On the other hand, a variety of vocabulary in the original text should give rise, insofar as possible, to a corresponding variety in the translations. The translation may be weakened and made trite, for example, by the use of a single vernacular term for rendering differing Latin terms such as satiari, sumere, vegetari, and pasci, on the one hand, or the nouns caritas and dilectio on the other, or the words anima, animus, cor, mens, and spiritus, to give some examples. Similarly, a deficiency in translating the varying forms of addressing God, such as Domine, Deus, Omnipotens aeterne Deus, Pater, and so forth, as well as the various words expressing supplication, may render the translation monotonous and obscure the rich and beautiful way in which the relationship between the faithful and God is expressed in the Latin text.

This approach is what we learned in first-year Latin: that words sometimes do not have direct corollaries between languages. This is particularly true of advanced vocabulary. The Latin gens covers a great deal of territory and context is needed to determine if it means nation or race or clan. Particularly dangerous are words that are rooted in Latin where the meaning has shifted, but not totally changed over the centuries.

Needless to say, for English LA 51 is not usually a serious issue, given our extensive word set borrowed from other languages.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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