CDWDS Decree on Magnum Principium 22: Faithfulness To The Target Language

22. Faithfulness then to the language into which the translation is made, since each language has its own characteristics. The accuracy of the translation consists in combining respect for the character of each language while rendering “the meaning of the original Latin text … fully and faithfully”. [GIRM 392]

One example I remember from grad school was the three-fold repetition carried over from Hebrew into liturgical texts, like the Sanctus. In one Asian target language, such a repetition was an expression of sarcasm, humor, and something not really taken seriously. So the CDWDS had a problem, which in the 80s was difficult to swallow for Rome, though missionaries were insisting it must be resolved in favor of something other than repeated Sanctus. “Catechesis” was not going to help with non-believers, visitors, seekers.

If the original Latin wants to communicate exaltation, divinity, and the like, it really must adapt to the non-literal aspects of target languages. Especially in the case of modern constructions like sign languages for the deaf.

The link of the English translation is here

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in CDWDS Decree on Magnum Principium, Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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