Thursday, December 20, 2012

Errors of Translation in the Pope's Book on Childhood Narrative of Jesus --- One Error Makes (Sadly) Three

(Rome) "The childhood narrative" by Pope Benedict XVI., of the the third volume of his three volume work Jesus of Nazareth has found itself in the most various lands on the first place of the best seller lists    as the most purchased book.  The Vaticanist Sandro Magister has drawn attention to the translation errors which have appeared in the Italian, Spanish and French editions.  Pope Benedict XVI has published his work in his native German.  The various texts are translated from the original German.  Magister noticed the translation errors, where he found them on page 136,  as the exact same error appeared in the other editions.

Benedict XVI. introduced in the German issue (page 124), that the epithet used for Jesus, Nazarean, which is also heard as "nezer" appears in "the middle of Joschua 11:1".  There it says in the Holy Scripture, "From the root of Isaiah grows a shoot (nezer)."  The Pope continued:  "Yes, we may understand with much justification, that Mathew heard the word "shoot" (nezer) and identified Jesus is indicated as the Nazarean in the fulfillment of the promise, that God would grow a new branch on the immortal stump of Isaiah,  on which the spirit of God would lay.

The Italian edition reads: "[...], that God will give a new shoot from the stump of Isaiah, ..."

"From the stump of Isaiah?", asked Magister.  Isaiah, the Father of David, from whose line Jesus was born.  In the few lines previously it reads in the German original and the Italian translation correctly: "The special on this promise that Isaiah hearkens back to the progenitor of David.  From the apparently dying stump, God is letting a new shoot to grow."  In the original Joshia (Jes) and Isaiah (Genitive Isais) is self-evidently used correctly.  In Italian Joshua is Isaia and Isai Jesse.  The similarities serve to make them  interchangeable.  And actually the names are used interchangeably in the Italian edition at this point.

The Italian translation and product was by Ingrid Stampa, the former house keeper of the Pope, from 1991 to 2005 during his time as Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine and the Faith.  It is upon her that the same errors in the French and the Spanish edition are traced, as Magister suspects.  That one and the same error appears in the three different translations is "statically more than improbable", says the Vaticanist.

In the French edition, as it appears in the Publisher Flammarion,  reads that the translation is "from the German" and was accomplished by Mother Marie des Anges Cayeux of the Dominican Order, of Lazzarist Father Jean Landousies and by Msgr. Jean-Marie Speich.  The Spanish translation was done by Augustinian Friar Fernando del Rio.

In the French edition the erroneous statement "de la souche morte d'Isaie" (correctly it reads: de Jesse).  In the Spanish edition the statement is also false, 'del tronco muerto de Isaias" (Instead of correctly as "de Jese")

Already the genetive Isais could have led to the erroneous translation in the German original.  Clearly the translator used the Spanish and French editions also next to the German original also the erroneous Italian translation of Ingrid Stampa and already had tripled one, small, but not unnatural error.

Stampas translation, on the other hand, did not undermine the other editions in English, Polish and Portuguese, in which the German original was carried over correspondingly.

Link to katholisches...


Ember Days are awesome! said...

I do not think it wise to read anything written by this pope or his predecessor, translation errors or not. And that is not an unkind comment. I am merely saying that when someone has already so often spoken scandalously why oh why would one then read their works and possibly embed even more error further into their brain? Not I. Even one erroneous opinion not previously by The Church can and will lead a soul astray. I have witnessed it often and been a victim of this myself.

schmenz said...

I wish this Pope would stop writing his strange, esoteric books which aren't exactly edifying. Better that we should read better minds like Marmion, Archbishop Goodier and/or Geuranger if we want solid teachings on the life of Our Lord.