16 April 2014

Evangelii gaudium

As far as I have been able to discover, the above two words are still the only ones available in Latin.

Given the Holy Father's demotic style, and his ability to say or write quite a lot, I rather wondered how those responsible for the Latin, official, version, would get on. I don't envy them.

But I can't imagine this Pontiff allowing a shortage of those adept in Latin Prose Composition to hold him up.

Will he take to issuing his texts in another language? Mit brennende Sorge springs to mind as a precedent ... but that was not addressed to the Universal Church.

When the Latin version emerges, official and definitive, its expression of nuances and ambiguities in the text will be very probably the doing of fairly low-level assistants put right up against the considerable problem of translating modern Spanish slang into formal Latin. One doubts if the Pontiff will have the time or the inclination to go through the Latin with a fine tooth-comb ... I don't get the impression that such linguistic games are among his favourite hobbies. So the 'official' words will not really be his. Is this not rather unsatisfactory too?


Joshua said...

Surely as an act of selfless generosity, Fr H., you could offer your services to the Supreme Pontiff in this respect? It could be fun.

John Vasc said...

A propos, I seem to recall an unseemly tussle over the English translation of Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical, 'Deus Caritas Est'. This was unsurprisingly composed in German, and the German version is rhapsodic and eloquent: almost poetic. Less so the English version, which reads as if Fr Machina di Googlo had been let loose on it. Apparently the Holy Father had - quite sensibly - wanted the crucial English text to be directly translated from his German, under his personal supervision, but some stickler-in-the-works decided otherwise, and insisted on having it translated first into Latin and then into English (without recourse to the German) so the English version reads very strangely in places.

Unknown said...

I doubt we will ever see a Latin text. Some Apostolic Exhortations of Benedict XVI and Blessed John Paul II are not available in Latin either, such as "Ecclesia in Medio Oriente", "Africae Munus"; "Ecclesia in Europa", "Ecclesia in Oceania", "Ecclesia in Asia", "Ecclesia in America", etc.

Surprisingly, Blessed John Paul II's 1995 "Ecclesia in Africa" is available in Latin!

David said...

As one pedant to another I cannot allow "fine tooth-comb" to pass!My teeth have never needed combing.

Keep blogging, father. Some of what you write I do not understand; some I do not agree with, but all of it I enjoy.

Froben said...

Possibly published in the Acta?

GOR said...

“…translating modern Spanish slang into formal Latin.”

I suspect Pope Francis would be aghast at the prospect, responding with a Churchillian “This is something up with which we will not put!”

Doodler said...

@David (supra) I suggest that a better way would be to say fine-tooth comb> This would avoid having to comb your teeth!