Liturgiam Authenticam 52-53

How does one communicate the deeper meanings of Latin and bring that into a vernacular translation?

52. The translator should strive to maintain the denotation, or primary sense of the words and expressions found in the original text, as well as their connotation, that is, the finer shades of meaning or emotion evoked by them, and thus to ensure that the text be open to other orders of meaning that may have been intended in the original text.

If God speaks to people through the texts of the liturgy, especially those inspired by Scripture, what’s the problem with allowing that dialogue to be rendered in new ways by new languages and their vocabularies? I would say that the openness to other “orders of meaning” is important, even meanings beyond the Latin original.

53. Whenever a particular Latin term has a rich meaning that is difficult to render into a modern language (such as the words munus, famulus, consubstantialis, propitius, etc.) various solutions may be employed in the translations, whether the term be translated by a single vernacular word or by several, or by the coining of a new word, or perhaps by the adaptation or transcription of the same term into a language or alphabet that is different from the original text (cf. above, n. 21), or the use of an already existing word which may bear various meanings.[Varietates legitimae 53]

Invent a new word? I can’t imagine that would be necessary in the West. Otherwise, I don’t have much to say about this section. What about you?

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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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