FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums
Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Printable Version

+- FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums (https://www.fisheaters.com/forums)
+-- Forum: Church (https://www.fisheaters.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=2)
+--- Forum: Catholicism (https://www.fisheaters.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=10)
+--- Thread: Translation of blessing at the end of Mass (/showthread.php?tid=41595)

Pages: 1 2


Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Resurrexi - 01-17-2011

The Latin text for the blessing toward the end of Mass (both for the TLM and the NO) is "Benedícat vos omnípotens Deus, Pater, et Fílius, + et Spíritus Sanctus." This is often translated (both in hand-missals for the TLM and in the official translation of the NO) as "May almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son, + and the Holy Spirit." Am I the only one who thinks this doesn't make any sense? In this translation I fail to see how "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" is connected to the rest of the sentence. In the original Latin, it is clear that "Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus" stands in apposition to "Deus." It would thus seem to make much more sense to translate it, "May almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, bless you."


Re: Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Historian - 01-17-2011

(01-17-2011, 07:22 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: The Latin text for the blessing toward the end of Mass (both for the TLM and the NO) is "Benedícat vos omnípotens Deus, Pater, et Fílius, + et Spíritus Sanctus." This is often translated (both in hand-missals for the TLM and in the official translation of the NO) as "May almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son, + and the Holy Spirit." Am I the only one who thinks this doesn't make any sense? In this translation I fail to see how "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" is connected to the rest of the sentence. In the original Latin, it is clear that "Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus" stands in apposition to "Deus." It would thus seem to make much more sense to translate it, "May almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, bless you."

Wouldn't it make more sense to translate it as "May bless you almighty God Father and Son and Holy Ghost"?

Most likely, the translation in the TLM is to align it with the Latin so the actions of the priest are clear. The subject goes first in the English so the sentence makes sense (as I demonstrated above). But yes, the English wording is not how it would be stated in English.


Re: Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Historian - 01-17-2011

The missal uses a correct, albeit archaic, style.  Our use of English has degraded over the years and we expect everything to be written at an 8th grade reading level.  Thus the style recommendation we avoid passive voice, etc.

The reason it appears that way in the Latin is nouns in apposition generally appear next to each other.  A parallel construction is fine in English, but it can be more ambiguous since it's not an inflected language, and we don't have endings to clue us in.  We go by structure and syntax to determine, for example, the object of a verb.

So, yeah, your suggested translation would be clearer, but the other one still makes sense.


Re: Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Resurrexi - 01-17-2011

(01-17-2011, 07:28 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: The missal uses a correct, albeit archaic, style.  Our use of English has degraded over the years and we expect everything to be written at an 8th grade reading level.  Thus the style recommendation we avoid passive voice, etc.

The reason it appears that way in the Latin is nouns in apposition generally appear next to each other.  A parallel construction is fine in English, but it can be more ambiguous since it's not an inflected language, and we don't have endings to clue us in.  We go by structure and syntax to determine, for example, the object of a verb.

So, yeah, your suggested translation would be clearer, but the other one still makes sense.

The thing is, I'm not aware of any uses of appositives in English where the noun and the word or phrase in apposition were not next to each other. I've never heard anyone say, "My country has a powerful military, the United States." One would always say, "My country, the United States, has a powerful military."


Re: Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Historian - 01-17-2011

(01-17-2011, 07:28 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote:  A parallel construction is fine in English, but it can be more ambiguous since it's not an inflected language, and we don't have endings to clue us in.  We go by structure and syntax to determine, for example, the object of a verb.

Modern English is inflected, just not highly.




Re: Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Historian - 01-17-2011

(01-17-2011, 07:37 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: The thing is, I'm not aware of any uses of appositives in English where the noun and the word or phrase in apposition were not next to each other.

You just gave one.


Re: Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Resurrexi - 01-17-2011

(01-17-2011, 07:41 PM)Rosarium Wrote:
(01-17-2011, 07:37 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: The thing is, I'm not aware of any uses of appositives in English where the noun and the word or phrase in apposition were not next to each other.

You just gave one.

Yes, but it's nonsensical.


Re: Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Historian - 01-17-2011

(01-17-2011, 07:46 PM)Resurrexi Wrote:
(01-17-2011, 07:41 PM)Rosarium Wrote:
(01-17-2011, 07:37 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: The thing is, I'm not aware of any uses of appositives in English where the noun and the word or phrase in apposition were not next to each other.

You just gave one.

Yes, but it's nonsensical.
English word order can be changed for poetic reasons quite arbitrarily. As Quis pointed out, the inflections of English restrict everyday use of this because it makes things more ambiguous. However, that does not mean it isn't possible.

I work with people often do not speak English natively and they will use word orders which are not usually heard, but it is as understandable as native English. Since, in this case, "God" and the "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" are identical, there is no confusion about the meaning.

"I am going to the best restaurant today, Subway."



Re: Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Historian - 01-17-2011

(01-17-2011, 07:46 PM)Resurrexi Wrote:
(01-17-2011, 07:41 PM)Rosarium Wrote:
(01-17-2011, 07:37 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: The thing is, I'm not aware of any uses of appositives in English where the noun and the word or phrase in apposition were not next to each other.

You just gave one.

Yes, but it's nonsensical.

Read some books from the 19th Century (or even early 20th) where writers - and readers - actually had command of their own language and read above an 8th grade level.

Quote:The bas-relief was a rough rectangle less than an inch thick and about five by six inches in area; obviously of modern origin. Its designs, however, were far from modern in atmosphere and suggestion; for, although the vagaries of cubism and futurism are many and wild, they do not often reproduce that cryptic regularity which lurks in prehistoric writing. And writing of some kind the bulk of these designs seemed certainly to be; though my memory, despite much the papers and collections of my uncle, failed in any way to identify this particular species, or even hint at its remotest affiliations.

Above these apparent hieroglyphics was a figure of evident pictorial intent, though its impressionistic execution forbade a very clear idea of its nature. It seemed to be a sort of monster, or symbol representing a monster, of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful. Behind the figure was a vague suggestions of a Cyclopean architectural background.

H.P. Lovecraft - the Call of Cthulhu 1926

This was printed in pulp rags; i.e., the equivalent of literary comic books.




Re: Translation of blessing at the end of Mass - Historian - 01-17-2011

(01-17-2011, 08:00 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote:
(01-17-2011, 07:46 PM)Resurrexi Wrote:
(01-17-2011, 07:41 PM)Rosarium Wrote:
(01-17-2011, 07:37 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: The thing is, I'm not aware of any uses of appositives in English where the noun and the word or phrase in apposition were not next to each other.

You just gave one.

Yes, but it's nonsensical.

Read some books from the 19th Century (or even early 20th) where writers - and readers - actually had command of their own language and read above an 8th grade level.

Quote:The bas-relief was a rough rectangle less than an inch thick and about five by six inches in area; obviously of modern origin. Its designs, however, were far from modern in atmosphere and suggestion; for, although the vagaries of cubism and futurism are many and wild, they do not often reproduce that cryptic regularity which lurks in prehistoric writing. And writing of some kind the bulk of these designs seemed certainly to be; though my memory, despite much the papers and collections of my uncle, failed in any way to identify this particular species, or even hint at its remotest affiliations.

Above these apparent hieroglyphics was a figure of evident pictorial intent, though its impressionistic execution forbade a very clear idea of its nature. It seemed to be a sort of monster, or symbol representing a monster, of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful. Behind the figure was a vague suggestions of a Cyclopean architectural background.

H.P. Lovecraft - the Call of Cthulhu 1926

This was printed in pulp rags; i.e., the equivalent of literary comic books.

I love Lovecraft. In my short stories, which I feel are a great means of writing fiction, I always use him as the model. However, his early attempts were not so great. His style and skill was learned. I have read his earlier works and they showed much clumsiness.

When I hear the pop music on the radio (people at work sometimes put it on), I weep inside for this is the sort of thing they consider "art". It is one of the reasons why I was drawn so much to metal (some of it). So many were well read and could actually write lyrics worth hearing.

The best paragraph I have ever read in fiction is:

Call of Cthulhu Wrote:The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.