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Lost in Translation (from Latin)? [Pope Tweets in Latin]
Catholic World Report ^ | 1/20/14 | Christopher S. Morrissey

Posted on 01/21/2013 9:47:30 AM PST by marshmallow

Pope Benedict XVI sent out his first tweet in Latin today. Lessons in Latin now follow.

The Pope finally sent out his first tweet in Latin from his Twitter account @Pontifex_ln on Sunday, January 20, 2013: “Unitati christifidelium integre studentes quid iubet Dominus? Orare semper, iustitiam factitare, amare probitatem, humiles Secum ambulare.”

The Pope immediately followed it up with translations into the languages of his other Twitter accounts. He translated the Latin via his English language account @Pontifex this way: “What does the Lord ask of us as we work for Christian unity? To pray constantly, do justice, love goodness, and walk humbly with Him.”

But the news service Reuters performed a valuable service by quoting the University of Cambridge scholar Tamer Nawar, who teased out a more nuanced translation of the Latin: “What does the Lord command to those wholly eager for the unity of those following Christ? To always pray, to continually do justice, to love uprightness, to walk humbly with Him.”

True, Nawar’s translation sounds more clunky in English than the Pope’s English tweet. But it certainly exhibits an appreciation of all the subtlety packed into the Latin tweet. For me, it demonstrates why knowledge of Latin is indispensable. Namely, that it can help one become attuned to subtleties and nuances of thought that would otherwise be missed.

Perhaps my favorite part of the Pope’s inaugural Latin tweet is his use of the verb “factitare” in relation to “justice”, since “factitare” has the connotation of “to make or do frequently; to be wont to make or do; to practice.”

Indeed, I’m very happy with the Pope’s first Latin tweet, but I was in a bit of a sour mood because of the press coverage leading up to it. That coverage had me wishing for the impossible, that the Pope’s first Latin....

(Excerpt) Read more at catholicworldreport.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
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1 posted on 01/21/2013 9:47:35 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

So in an age where he is charged with saving as many souls as possible, the world is going to spend it’s time picking his Latin grammar apart. Sheeesh!


2 posted on 01/21/2013 9:55:16 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: marshmallow

Ah, Reuters. Tamer Nawar? Egyptian, I would assume. Well, perhaps she’s a Copt. In any case, she’s probably not a native speaker of English, and why Reuters asked her for a translation, I can’t imagine.

However, leaving aside the quality of the translations, I think this is great.


3 posted on 01/21/2013 10:05:23 AM PST by livius
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To: Buckeye McFrog

It’s translated immediately. Are you one of the Nuns on the Bus, perchance?


4 posted on 01/21/2013 10:06:42 AM PST by livius
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To: marshmallow

Here’s another tweet in Latin from the Pope:

@Pontifex_ln Islam delenda est.


5 posted on 01/21/2013 10:10:21 AM PST by AlmaKing
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To: marshmallow

“Romanes eunt domus?” No, no, no, “Romani ite domum!”


6 posted on 01/21/2013 10:12:02 AM PST by TrueKnightGalahad
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To: livius

I’m one of those insane people who thinks the Good News needs to be preached to the people in a language they actually speak and understand.

Totally crazy, I know. I suppose that’s why Jesus spoke to his Apostles in Navajo.


7 posted on 01/21/2013 10:18:53 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: livius
Tamer Nawar is male, to judge from his photo, and is a Ph.D. student in ancient philosophy at Cambridge.

Maybe Reuters should have gone to Oxford for a Latinist who would not come up with split infinitives in the English version.

There are two Tamars in the Bible, both women--the daughter-in-law of Judah and a daughter of King David, a full sister of Absalom, who is raped by her half-brother Amnon. In the Septuagint the first consonant is a theta so sometimes the name is rendered as Thamar in English. In the Septuagint the second Tamar's first vowel is an eta so "Themar" would be a closer transliteration.

8 posted on 01/21/2013 10:57:24 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Buckeye McFrog
I’m one of those insane people who thinks the Good News needs to be preached to the people in a language they actually speak and understand.

Among Catholics that would then be most likely Spanish.

(I tried to find a language distribution among Catholics but the closest I came up with was percentage of Catholics in various countries and a lot of the big ones were in Latin America).

9 posted on 01/21/2013 11:25:18 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Choose one: the yellow and black flag of the Tea Party or the white flag of the Republican Party.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

No one is *preaching* to us in Latin. Latin is just the fixed texts of the liturgy and prayer. The Gospels are (re)read in English, the preaching/homily is English, and most people read the Scriptures in English.

Anyway, you pick Latin up after a while. I pray in it all the time, and I know exactly what I’m saying.


10 posted on 01/21/2013 11:39:00 AM PST by Claud
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To: Buckeye McFrog

No-one’s arguing anything else, Buckeye. But that doesn’t mean that a more nuanced translation, or being able to understand it in the language spoken, doesn’t add to the experience.

Keep in mind that the official language of the Roman Empire was Latin, and Jesus spoke Hebrew, but the authors of the New Testament chose the language of the Septuagint, Greek, to write in.


11 posted on 01/21/2013 12:09:47 PM PST by dangus
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To: Verginius Rufus

OK, thanks for that great explanation. That makes sense. I thought it was a transliteration of what is normally spelled as Tamar (in US English), which is usually a woman’s name.

But you’re right...why didn’t Reuters come up with a Latinist who was a native speaker of English and understood the implications (aka, “nuances”) and resulting grammatical requirements of the translation?


12 posted on 01/21/2013 2:19:53 PM PST by livius
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To: Claud
The Gospels are (re)read in English, the preaching/homily is English

Word.

That's why the 'preach in their own language' argument is always bogus. The "preach" part already is in their (our) own language.

13 posted on 01/21/2013 2:24:07 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: KarlInOhio
Among Catholics that would then be most likely Spanish.

The two languages closest to late Latin are Romanian ... and Spanish.

There have been some changes because Peninsular Spanish is French-influenced, and Latin American Spanish is heavily influenced by English.

No obstante (nevertheless), Spanish is much closer to Latin than is Italian. Spain was a colony of Rome and sometimes the colonies are more conservative than the mother country.

14 posted on 01/21/2013 2:28:25 PM PST by livius
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Note that this is on twitter — you can instantly translate it if you want. Also, a language they understand — most of the world does not understand English either.


15 posted on 01/22/2013 5:15:47 AM PST by Cronos (Middle English prest, priest, Old English pruost, Late Latin presbyter, Latin presbuteros)
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