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Dec 15

The Holy Father’s “Our Father” Comments in Context

I just wrote on the “Our Father” controversy over on Catholic Stand.

On the evening of December 6th, TV2000, the Italian equivalent of EWTN, aired an interview of Pope Francis where he criticized the Italian translation of the Our Father. He pointed out how some other languages have better translations. His argument is the Italian isn’t an accurate description of what the Gospel says, not to change the Gospel.

So, please don’t freak out about this. Give me 3 minutes to explain.

How Translation Works

Let’s do a little background to understand how translation works, the original text of the Our Father, and then examine the problem in Italian Francis refers to. Before I learned other languages, I thought the translation was just changing a word for a word. I assumed words meant the same in different languages. Later, I learned this is not the case. However, it is easy to think this before learning foreign languages.

A comical example a friend who teaches foreign languages posted was Google translate gives “mermelada de papel” for “paper jam.”  Anyone who knows Spanish is laughing. “Mermelada” means jam in the sense of fruit jam in your fridge so this means you’ve made paper into food.

Read the rest on Catholic Stand.