US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Rushed translation?

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

In this case, I'm referring to the common claim that the original English translations of the liturgy were done so quickly that their quality was diminished. St. John's School of Theology/Liturgical Press' PrayTell blog has an excellent three-part analysis of the translaton of the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I), comparing the original 1967 study translation (very close to the translation we ended up with) and the 2010. Alongside these are the notes from a 1967 ICEL study booklet explaining why the translators made the choices they did.

The table is a testament to the careful, thoughtful, skilled, and faithful work of those original translators--and puts the lie to this claim that this was a rush job, which I think is an injustice to those anonymous original reformers of the liturgy. The table also clearly shows just how difficult it is to come up with a literal, word-for-word translation. Reading the two together, I think it obvious that the original effort is far superior in its result that what we will begin praying in December.