Are the translations of the Pope’s tweets following Comme le Prevoit?

NPR recently interviewed Monsignor Daniel Gallagher who translates the Pope’s tweets into Latin. The interview was picked up by Thomas Reese at NCR, whose commentary is amusing.

This is what Monsignor Gallagher had to say about the translation of the Pope’s tweets:

“Are the Latin tweets a straight translation of the English tweets, meaning is the Latin Twitter feed identical to the other Twitter feeds?” asked NPR’s Audie Cornish.

“No,” responded the Vatican Latinist, “it’s always the same thought, but we do have a latitude of freedom as Latinists because we want to put it in language that is properly Latin, so not simply just a slavish translation from English or Italian or whatever language the tweet happens to originally be in.”

I wonder if he has read Liturgiam authenticam


  1. Try reversing what he said and you have it all.

    ‘.. It’s always the same thought, but we do have a latitude of freedom as English speakers because we want to put it in a language that is properly English, so not simply just a slavish translation from Latin …’

    Alan Griffiths

    1. @Alan Griffiths – comment #2:
      Yes. You make a strong point (critiquing Liturgiam Authenticam) by tweaking the Vatican Latinist! I wonder how long it will take for the English-speaking Catholic world to finally insist on thoroughly revising Liturgiam Authenticam and the consequent English translation of MR3.

      1. @Richard Novak – comment #3:
        Liturgiam Authenticam has been a dead letter ever since the promulgation of the new official translation, which flouts it on virtually every page.

  2. If it’s such a dead letter, why are the powers that be busy as beavers re-translating all the other rites of the Church into English? (I have hope for the other language groups, but English seems to be rushing over the cliff.)

    There’s a consultation on the RCIA at the FDLC meeting in October precisely because of the planned re-translation.

    If they’re not following LA, what the heck are they doing?

  3. I think we can all agree that the translation protocols for a Papal tweet, or any magisterial document for that matter, ought to be and are different that liturgical texts. LA governs the norms for the translation of liturgical texts in particular and not general translations coming out of the Vatican. Some ‘latitude of freedom’ is called for in the translation of modern day composed “tweets” into any language including Latin. Anyway, why can’t the poor chaps working in the Latin office (who by the way only translate INTO Latin) have a chance to have some fun. They spend the rest of their day trying to figure out how to translate things like “sourpusses” into Latin. That office has nothing to do with liturgical texts (Cf. Congregation for Divine Worship).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *