Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: Multilingual Parishes

Another "New Translation Tuesday" has arrived.

I had an experience last night that has some bearing on the discussion of the new translation. I stopped by the Velika Gospa neighborhood festival sponsored by Saint Jerome Croatian Catholic Church here in Chicago; this was the 105th annual Festival celebrating the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is sponsored by Saint Jerome's. It is the oldest continuous neighborhood festival in Chicago. 

Some photos of the festival, as well as the exterior and interior of the parish church:

What strikes me, on this "New Translation Tuesday," is that this parish, like so many, celebrates Mass in more than one language. I am sure there are people here who attend the Croatian Mass regularly, but, on a less regular basis, attend Mass in English. With the English changing so dramatically on November 27, one wonders if, for some people, they will not even experience the new translation until some time later in the winter. So, it looks like in parishes in which the Mass is celebrated in different languages, it may take just a bit longer for everyone to get on board with the new translation, most especially in places where people are fluent in two or more languages that are prayed at the various Masses.

Just something else to sift through with all of this!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Anonymous said...

The really interesting question for those fluent in two (or more) languages will be - Is the new, corrected English translation closer to what you understand from your other language ... or not?

I recall reading that Blessed Pope John Paul II - fluent in a number of languages - was troubled by how inferior a translation the 1973 English was compared to other languages in which he celebrated Mass. Anyone know if that tale is accurate?

Anonymous said...

Jerry, thanks for positing the photos of St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church and of the festival. It looks like it was a great event.

My thought is that some multilingual parishes will have an easier time adapting to the revised English translation than others, depending upon their languages. I spoke with a native Spanish speaker who explained how he liked the new translation because of the way that it is more similar to the Spanish translation. My guess is that people used to attending mass in any Latin based language will have an easy time adapting to the new English translation (perhaps they will find it easier to adapt to the revised translation than people who only speak and pray in English).

On the other hand, it may be more difficult for parishes who speak multiple languages that are not based upon Latin to adapt to the new English translation. This will depend upon the translations of the various languages spoken at these parishes. From attending talks and discussions on the revised translation, I feel like I have been told inconsistent information about what the translation is like in some of the other languages. I have been told that the new translation is supposed to be more along the line of other language translations, but from discussing this, it appears that there are other languages whose current translation does not feel more similar to the new translation. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about these languages to fully understand this.

Alan Hommerding said...

In doing my Theology on Tap presentations for the Archdiocese of Chicago's young adults, I read them the current and upcoming Opening Prayers for the First Sunday of Advent. I had bilingual folks in two sessions (Vietnamese and Spanish) say that the upcoming translation was much closer to the way they were accustomed to hearing the prayers at the non-English Masses they attended