Why is adaptation necessary?
21. A translation of the liturgy therefore often requires cautious adaptation. But cases differ:
22. a. Sometimes a text can be translated word for word and keep the same meaning as the original, for example, pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.
23. b. Sometimes the metaphors must be changed to keep the true sense, as in locum refrigerii in northern regions.
24. c. Sometimes the meaning of a text can no longer be understood, either because it is contrary to modern Christian ideas (as in terrena despicere or ut inimicos sanctae Ecclesiae humiliare digneris) or because it has less relevance today (as in some phrases intended to combat Arianism) or because it no longer expresses the true original meaning “as in certain obsolete forms of lenten penance.” In these cases, so long as the teaching of the Gospel remains intact, not only must inappropriate expressions be avoided, but others found which express a corresponding meaning in modern words. The greatest care must be taken that all translations are not only beautiful and suited to the contemporary mind, but express true doctrine and authentic Christian spirituality.
This seems to be a good checklist:
– suitable to the contemporary mind (would the detractors say “relevant?”)
– doctrinally truthful
– spiritual, in a Christian sense