I have noticed people — including some on Pray Tell — picking up the Fr. Z-speak practice of referring to the new translation as “the corrected translation.” This description seems to me a misapplication of the language of “correction.”
If we are to speak of a “correction,” we must ask, a correction of what? It is certainly not a correction of 1973, but rather a replacement. It was done according to entirely different translation principles, so in many cases it isn’t really correcting mistakes in 1973, but rather presenting a different sort of thing entirely. It is not a “mistake” to translate calix as “cup,” and it is not a “correction” to change this to “chalice.”
To use a sports analogy, referees have the task of “correcting” players during a game. They make sure that the rules of the game are followed. They do not have the role of saying, “We’ve decided football is a stupid sport; start playing polo.” But this is what has happened with our new translation. The officials have declare the dynamic equivalence game a stupid one, and declared that we will now start playing the formal equivalence game. We might or might not agree with them, but let’s admit that what is happening is a change of the game itself, not a “correction” of how the game is being played.
While I know some are sick of hearing about 1998, it was at least an example of making corrections rather than playing a new game. Some of the prayers were quite radically different than 1973, but the translators were setting out to achieve a correct application of the existing norms. Maybe some of us prefer that translation precisely because we wanted what we had (i.e. a dynamically equivalent translation that sought to sound like natural English) “corrected” so that it included the theological richness of the Latin.
How long will it be before we get a truly “corrected” translation? One without unclear antecedents or piles of dependent clauses that leave hearers baffled? One that recognizes and respects the natural rhythms and rich vocabulary of the English language? Is it a matter of convincing folks that we really should be playing football after all, or is it possible that we can learn to love polo if we just tweak the rules a little bit so as to “correct” it?