Pope Francis has reopened the translation wars and the usual suspects are gleeful, especially the academics who are the most clerical of all clericalism. They look down the noses of those of us who like learning new vocabulary words.
This is an excerpt from praytell which establishes the superior credentials of the academic who writes this. Eamon Duffy, the distinguished Cambridge historian :
He describes the 2011 translation as
larded with latinate technical terms – “compunction”, “conciliation”, “participation”, “supplication”, “consubstantial”, “prevenient”, “sustenance”, “oblation”, “laud” – for all of which there are far more user-friendly English equivalents.He notes that it “bizarrely attempts to replicate the complex grammatical structures of Latin. The result is protracted sentences with multiple subordinate clauses, hard for priests to proclaim and for congregations to follow.” (Here I agree with the Cambridge historian as I think the current English translation can use some tweaking to make it better English in sentence and paragraph structure as well as punctuation. )
Duffy accurately spots that the 2011
embodies the theories on translation set out in Liturgiam Authenticam, a profoundly untraditional text. It not only represented a rupture with world-wide post-conciliar developments in the liturgy, but in the interests of a tendentious argument it oversimplified the untidy plurality of the liturgical past. Revealingly, its 86 footnotes contain only two references to anything written before 1947, one of those a citation from Aquinas which distorted his meaning by taking it out of context.To be sure, Duffy also speaks of the superiority of the translation that every English-speaking bishops’ conference in the world approved in 1998. It
retained what was best in the texts in use since the 1970s, while providing dignified and accurate versions of prayers which had earlier been paraphrased or shoddily rendered. But it also succeeded in producing texts that sounded natural in English, rather than slavishly replicating the verbal patterns peculiar to Latin. That cut no ice in Benedict XVI’s Rome: the bishops were browbeaten into accepting the suppression of their own admirable Missal.