Background

Photo credit: Emily Croll

In 2000 Pope John Paul II gave the church the third edition called the Roman Missal, with minor changes the in 2001 the Vatican issued a new set of translation guidelines.  This time instead of dynamic equivalence they were after formal equivalence and wanted modern language to stick to Latin language as close as possible without the language being weird or forced, unspeakable or un-pray-able, said the Rev. Gregory Mullaney, a priest at the University of Connecticut’s on campus church St. Aquinas.

Part of the reason for that was with the earlier translation a lot of important things got lost and with the English translations certain things began overly simplified and certain meanings were lost.  Both John Paul II and the current Pope, Benedict XVI wanted the English speaking Catholics of the world to have a liturgical book, the Roman Missal, that reflected more closely the meaning and the theological context of the original, said Mullaney.

Photo credit: Emily Croll

But some countries in the world have few catholics like Japan so they don’t have any translators who can translate from Latin right into Japanese, said Mullaney.  So countries like Japan and smaller languages in Africa are not translating from Latin to these languages they’re going from English into their own language, it’s benefitting everyone not just English speaking catholics the Pope wanted other smaller groups to have a better translation from Latin then what we’ve been using for the past 39 years since 1969-1970, said Mullaney.

So with this new translation which started at the beginning of this year’s Advent, on November 27, 2011 the basic structure of the mass hasn’t changed but the prayers sound different because they’ve translated a new from Latin said Mullaney.


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