We begin section 5 with general principles of translation. We go to the root of the use of words, in the case of liturgy, a means of spoken communication:
5. A liturgical text, inasmuch as it is a ritual sign, is a medium of spoken communication. It is, first of all, a sign perceived by the senses and used by (people) to communicate with each other. But to believers who celebrate the sacred rites a word is itself a “mystery” By spoken words Christ himself speaks to his people and the people, through the Spirit in the Church, answer their Lord.
What is the goal of providing liturgical translations?
6. The purpose of liturgical translations is to proclaim the message of salvation to believers and to express the prayer of the Church to the Lord: “Liturgical translations have become … the voice of the Church” (address of Paul VI to participants in the congress on translations of liturgical texts, 10 November 1965). To achieve this end, it is not sufficient that a liturgical translation merely reproduce the expressions and ideas of the original text. Rather it must faithfully communicate to a given people, and in their own language, that which the Church by means of this given text originally intended to communicate to another people in another time. A faithful translation, therefore, cannot be judged on the basis of individual words: the total context of this specific act of communication must be kept in mind, as well as the literary form proper to the respective language.
Meaning is given priority over the “expression and ideas” of the original text. Not just any meaning, either, but the meaning the Church intends. Included in that meaning would be context as well as literary form. More recently, the Church has determined that the actual words themselves convey more of the Church’s meaning. As Liam suggested in the comment box of the previous Comme Le Prevoit post, these are not theological or dogmatic realities per se, but prudential matters of interpretation and style.
7. Thus, in the case of liturgical communication, it is necessary to take into account not only the message to be conveyed, but also the speaker, the audience, and the style. Translations, therefore, must be faithful to the art of communication in all its various aspects, but especially in regard to the message itself, in regard to the audience for which it is intended, and in regard to the manner of expression.
Communication always involves the speaker, the listener, and the message itself. If one is convinced that the speaker (or source) is faithful, and that the listeners are receptive, then obviously, the accuracy of the message is paramount. However, one might suggest that if the source lacks a certain credibility, or the listeners lack cognition (perhaps in the example of children) or the willingness to receive the message (stubborn folks who distrust their leadership, perhaps), then something more is needed in addition to an accurate message.
8. Even if in spoken communication the message cannot be separated from the manner of speaking, the translator should give first consideration to the meaning of the communication.
So the first principle is outlined in these sections: meaning takes precedence over the particulars of the message.
A cynic might suggest this is indicative of a certain condescension on the part of Rome toward the laity. One with an optimistic view of the formation of the laity since the 60’s might also suggest that cognitively, it is time for a more literal translation–that the overriding importance of meaning has faded somewhat over the past decades. I leave it to the readers to put it to a discussion.