Liturgiam Authenticam 21

In this section, we expound a bit on Varietates Legitimae, and the situation of translating for mission lands:

21. Especially in the translations intended for peoples recently brought to the Christian Faith, fidelity and exactness with respect to the original texts may themselves sometimes require that words already in current usage be employed in new ways, that new words or expressions be coined, that terms in the original text be transliterated or adapted to the pronunciation of the vernacular language,[Varietates legitimae 53] or that figures of speech be used which convey in an integral manner the content of the Latin expression even while being verbally or syntactically different from it. Such measures, especially those of greater moment, are to be submitted to the discussion of all the Bishops involved before being inserted into the definitive draft. In particular, caution should be exercised in introducing words drawn from non-Christian religions.[Varietates legitimae 39]

This spells out a little more the wish that the Catholic faith will have something to contribute to the actual languages of the world. In practice, however, there is a lot of misunderstanding among language non-experts in applying this. My grad school prof who introduced me to the problems with MR 1 (and an appreciation and anticipation for MR2) noted that in one Asian language, a triple repetition of a word communicated irony or mockery. Yet the CDWDS insisted on the retention of the Ordo Missae preface acclamation as given. What is the sense of that?

Adjustments have already been made with the first round of translations. They have been in place since the early drafts of thirty years ago. Stubbornness is no remedy.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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