Mass Translations Get Clergy Hot Under The Collar

Language Faux Pas10 April 20143.7k

When it comes to the word of God, it seems not everyone can agree exactly on what they want those words to be. 

We all know that religion can be something of a taboo subject, but I never thought I'd see in-fighting over where to put a full stop!

Research carried out by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University has found the vast majority of US Catholic parishes are less than impressed with the most recent English translation of the mass. 

Leaders at 539 parishes across the country were asked for their opinions about the latest Roman Missal, which was introduced in November 2011. The main problem is they think many of the phrases use awkward and stilted English when translating from Latin.

When asked if they thought the translation was awkward and distracting, 75 per cent said they agreed or strongly agreed with the sentiment, while 50 per cent want to see the current version revised urgently.

Some 41 per cent of clergy admitted they were apprehensive about the new text before they had read it, and their dislike has only grown since it was released. 

Speaking about the findings, Fr Anthony Cutcher, president of the National Federation of Priests' Councils, said: "Our response turns from condemnation to constructive criticism … Armed with the latest data, we can take this opportunity to help craft a revision that stays true to the text and at the same time is accessible to all."

This goes to show just how difficult top class translation can be, as no one wants to see the message lost. Obviously, the main problem is the fact that ancient texts are written in Latin, a language no longer commonly spoken. 

Now we love any language that is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European tongue, but even EQHO might struggle with this one!

Posted by Mass Translations Get Clergy Hot Under The Collar


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