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Found in Translation: Blessing our WHAT-ness?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 17, 2005

You all know how Google Roulette works. You go to Google's translation engine here, and type any English sentence into the text box (lets use, "Beam me up, Scotty"). Then you select, say, English-to-French from the options menu and hit TRANSLATE. This gives you rayonnez-moi vers le haut de scotty. You copy this and paste rayonnez moi vers le haut de scotty back into the text box, and select French-to-English this time. You get back "Radiate me to the top of Scotty." I think that's how ICEL got started.

In an attempt to make sense of otherwise impenetrable prose, I turned to Google to decipher the weird pagan hymn to the winds with which the Archdiocese of San Francisco -- still a Roman Catholic entity as of its 2003 tax filing -- has gifted us. I think you'll agree little of spiritual value is lost in translation:

Hymn: May the deep peace of community arise from within us, drawing us ever nearer, speaking to us of unity, true community where distinctions of persons is also oneness in being.

From the German: For May develop draw the deep peace of the community out within us and at all close us and speak with us the unit, applicable community, in which distinctions of the persons also unity its is with its.

From the Chinese:In May society the area deep peace appears from in our heart, approached us ever, the conversation and the person distinguished and is the unity in is inside we unites, real society area.

From the Korean: The May community deep peace happened from inside us and B, us nearly it is stimulated until now, in the place the distinction of the person and inside being it talked to us of the community where vivid, the unity which is a oneness, is.

Note to President Clinton: I think we now know what the meaning of is, is.

Hymn: Quicken us, draw us by the urgings of your warm breath to break through the soil of our own barrenness and fear. Teach us to hold sacred the memory of the spring rains that we might have the strength to withstand the heat of the day, and not become parched and narrow in our love.

From the Portuguese: Quicken in, extracts us for urgings of its breath morna to the rupture through the ground of our proper barrenness and fear. The memory of rains of the spring teaches to us to arrest sacred that we could have the force to support the heat of the day, and not to become roasted and straits in our love.

From the Japanese: Early do us, in the urgings of the breath where you are warm, pulling come through our itself barrenness and the earth of fear to the ? ? being broken eye. The causing ? which possesses the strength which we keep and with our love the parched, resist the heat of day narrowly thing us who are not, memory of the holy spring rain and others it is not the sea urchin teach.

From the Korean: Under quickening boil us, in the side of the urgings of the suction which you is warm in the gap be stimulated in the soil of our specific barrenness and fear. We will catch, inside our loving it stops completely, it is narrow and ten of work that it has the strength which resists us memory of the new star one spring rain, it does not become, teach.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the Koreans are on to the game; in almost every case they improve on the original. I leave you with our Seoul brothers' antiphon to the Spirit of the North:

May mercy when beckoning us it will listen to us, it forgived, us in us deep peace, it encouraged. And in constant temperature the Q-bedspread which forgives a fear our readiness.


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Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Ezekiel - Jan. 19, 2005 3:33 AM ET USA

    What a truly marvellous piece of journalism. It's got everything. Keep it up.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 18, 2005 6:54 PM ET USA

    This certainly brought back memories-shades of new age and wicca. All I need is a warm summer night, a full moon. My bishop too is supportive of women's rituals. I don't think he knows what they are or their roots. I at least I hope he doesn't. If he is knowingly supporting this nonsense we have even more problems than are apparent.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 18, 2005 11:39 AM ET USA

    A perfect example of how the Church has suffered since she dumped Latin. Had this beautiful hymn been written in Latin, instead of vulgar English, it could be sung with respect, reverence and solemnity, and no one would be the wiser.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 18, 2005 10:52 AM ET USA

    EVERYONE concerned with the situation in the US Church should read that AWFUL pagan, pantheistic drivel in its entirety. After they have finished throwing up, without any doubt, they should read "Lord of the World" by Robert Hugh Benson, pub. 1907. 100 years ago it was all foreseeable. Satan has removed all sense of sin. We are all one in the great, all good, loving mother earth. No one knows when the Anti-christ will come, but there are enough signs to make anyone wonder seriously.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2005 9:57 PM ET USA

    The "blessing" on the SF Archdiocesan website was even more New Age-ish before Jan 15, when they revised it due to complaints. It made reference to the Spirit of the North...South...West...East and of the Earth. The full text can be found on another site: It deliberately makes no reference to Christ as it was supposed to be used by persons who had been alienated from the Church due to the sex scandals. Mention of Christ offends?

  • Posted by: Aussie - Jan. 17, 2005 9:25 PM ET USA

    If only the good people at Google could help us translate "Modernist newspeak" into english then at last we could understand each other. Until then we will have to translate English to Korean and then back again. It works both ways, This is what I got for the beginning of the Miserere. "Inside your kindness have the mercy, in my shoes. Inside your compassion, close my violation at the outside."

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jan. 17, 2005 8:00 PM ET USA

    ICEL: Lord our God help us to love you with all our hearts and to love all men as you love them. English to Portuguese back to English: Mr. our god helps us to love it with all our hearts and to love all the men as you love them. Actually, I think the latter is more true to the Latin original for next week's prayers.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2005 3:11 PM ET USA

    << May mercy when beckoning us it will listen to us, it forgived, us in us deep peace, it encouraged. And in constant temperature the Q-bedspread which forgives a fear our readiness. >> Say what?? You can ungoogle this by drinking three glasses of wine (in a short period of time) and then reread it. Then you will not fear readiness.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2005 2:13 PM ET USA

    "...inside us and B,..."? Who the heck is B? Not another previously unknown author of the Gospel of Mark, I hope.