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Skip to comments., I mean, Truth is what is lost in translation.
Priestly Pugilist ^ | 4/9/2010 | The Priestly Pugilist

Posted on 04/10/2010 12:51:00 PM PDT by Balt

Thank God for the Associated Press! Without them, how would the Pope ever do his job?

It is interesting, is it not, that an organization that regards the Catholic Church as irrelevant force for evil is spending so much time on how the Church could improve itself? Now, with Pope Benedict XVI in good health and pushing ahead with his reforms of the Church’s liturgical Life, the AP is on the cutting edge, instructing the Church how to choose the next Pope:

The sex abuse crisis engulfing the Catholic Church will mean more vigorous background checks when it comes to appointing cardinals and future popes. Among the requirements: no taint of scandal and the ability to speak comfortably to the world and the media.

Gee, thanks. Here we thought it had something to do with holiness.

Meanwhile, the sordid story about the sordid story that started it all continues to thicken, as the source of the New York Times’ information has been revealed: on April 6th, Italian journalist Paolo Rodari, writing in Il Foglio, says that the Times’ Laurie Goodstein—who knows no Italian—reconstructed the events “reported” in her March 25th article by using a rendition of an Italian language document which had been rendered into English by running it through a Yahoo Translator.

The document in question was the one in which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of which Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect before becoming Pope, described in detail the steps it took in the case of Father Lawrence Murphy. Those steps are very well outlined in our previous post of 12:08 PM 3/30/2010. To be brutally fair, it hasn’t been suggested that Ms. Goodstein punched up the translation on her own; apparently the Yahoo translation was “pointed and clicked” by the Vicar General of the Diocese of Superior to assist his bishop in understanding the Italian, but which was clearly marked as not a reliable translation. In the end, the Yahoo translated document not only omitted whole sentences, but took certain sentences and gave them exactly the opposite meaning.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to use the Yahoo Translator. Basically, it attempts to take a web page in a language you can’t read and translate it into some language which you presumably can understand. Let’s demonstrate:

Mika Sakamoto is a Japanese singer and celebrity (and fellow diabetic) whom your PP met once and with whom he corresponds. She is currently involved in a project of traveling around the world as a paid promotion for a Japanese travel agency, recounting her adventures on her personal blog which—no surprise—is written in Japanese. At the moment, she’s in Brazil. Here is the Yahoo Translator’s rendition of Mika’s latest entry:

Filled with colorful tiles and stairs and walls are filled with the. One by one in which a different pattern from around the world, none have. And ask the Father in demo painting with landings. If you present yourself to the drawings, so they sent me and to thank people around the world. So it was a private place (laughs) here. And kindly presented to me the picture. It seems FOR PARA and means. What is your favorite animal? Monkey. I was asked, Monkey and the answer, I'll kindly—and I also draw monkey. When getting back to drawing monkey, monkey appeared a real surprise from really cute. Innovation glide smoothly climbed trees nearby had been hopping movement. We usually hear rumors of a high rate of temper your father. I have made myself I'm drawing I was lucky to be? Moreover, the first drawn towards the Japanese (!) And was also saying. Many people in the world, I have a lot of places.

I think you get the idea.

Just for the record, what Mika’s talking about is a street artist she ran into in Rio who, for a small fee, will draw a characterture of you as your favorite animal. So, maybe you could have figured that out eventually by rereading it a couple of dozen times; but, had there been something subtle and important in there that could decide the accuracy of a story you were writing for the New York Times, would you have trusted it? The fact that Laurie Goodstein did should be of concern to everyone who pays for a subscription to the Times. And before you give a pass to Goodstein for being misled by a faulty translation...well, let's just say that, once upon a time, journalists got their stories wearing out their shoe leather, not sitting at their computers.

The AP’s story telling us how to choose the next Pope can be found on the web site of the The Salt Lake Tribune; and Mr. Rodari’s article can be found on his blog, Palazzo Apostolico (an English summary of Rodari’s article can be found at the Catholic News Agency).

Your PP’s Greek teacher used to say, “Poetry is what is lost in translation.” Unfortunately, when done by journalists, truth is a casualty as well.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: abuse; benedict; catholic; pope

1 posted on 04/10/2010 12:51:00 PM PDT by Balt
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To: Balt
I think you get the idea.

Not really...The English translation of the Latin was completely coherent...It wasn't ripped to shreds like the example you give...

2 posted on 04/10/2010 3:54:47 PM PDT by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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