Pope Plans a Latin Academy!

This is getting a bit of coverage … the Guardian seems to have the version that’s most appropriate for us (but see also Harry Mount in the Telegraph … link below):

Alarmed by a decline in the use of Latin within the Catholic church, Pope Benedict is planning to set up a Vatican academy to breathe new life into the dead language.

Long used by the Vatican as its lingua franca, Latin is currently promoted by a small team within the office of the Holy See’s secretary of state, which runs a Latin poetry competition and puts out a magazine.

But Benedict – a staunch traditionalist – is backing a plan for a new academy which would team up with academics to better “promote the knowledge and speaking of Latin, particularly inside the church,” Vatican spokesman Fr Ciro Benedettini said on Friday.

The academy, added one Vatican official, would be “livelier and more open to scholars, seminars and new media” than the existing set-up.

As the study of Latin dwindles in schools, it is also on the wane in the church, where seminarians no longer carry out their studies in Latin and priests from around the world no longer use it to chat to each other. Until the 1960s Vatican documents were only published in Latin, which remained the language of the liturgy.

Today cash machines in the Vatican bank give instructions in Latin and the pope’s encyclicals are still translated into the language, but the new academy could provide much needed help to those charged with translating Latin words for 21st-century buzzwords such as delocalisation, which appeared in Benedict’s 2009 document on the economic crisis as delocalizatio.

That choice was criticised by Jesuit experts, reported Italy’s La Stampa newspaper.

“Some don’t like that kind of translation because it simply makes Italian and English words sound Latin, rather than being more creative with the language, although both ways are valid,” said father Roberto Spataro, a lecturer at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, who described the idea of the academy as “very opportune”.

Jesuit critics were more impressed with the more elaborate translation of liberalisation in the encyclical as plenior libertas and fanaticism as fanaticus furor.
Lost in translation?

Vatican officials tasked with finding Latin words for new English words call the internet inter rete and emails inscriptio cursus electronici. The 2003 Lexicon Recentis Latinitatis also offers the following translations:

Photocopy exemplar luce expressum

Basketball follis canistraque ludus

Bestseller liber maxime divenditus

Blue jeans bracae linteae caeruleae

Goal retis violation

Hot pants brevissimae bracae femineae

VAT fiscale pretii additamentum

Mountain bike birota montana

Parachute umbrella descensoria

See also:

Of course, we should note that this has been a sort of constant thing for HH Benedict:

How the Romans Made Statues ‘Real’

Interesting little video clip from the BBC (which is hype for a program, of course) on the evidence for colorization of Roman statuary:

On the ‘egyptian blue’ thing, check out some of our previous posts:

Roman Wedding at Nicopolis ad Istrum

I really think focus-fen ought to look into a better translation service:

The wedding ritual will start at around 4 p.m. The entire ceremony and the wedding festivities will be held in the spirit of the Ancient Rome. Though the wedding will observe all the Roman traditions and rituals it will be also in line with the legal requirements of the nowadays marriage procedure.

All guests at the wedding will be dressed in Roman tunicas. The wedding will start with the dance of the Vestal Virgins, who symbolically clean the house where the wedding ceremony will be held. The couple, which is to wed, will be brought in by their parents. Mayor of Veliko Tarnovo Municipality Daniel Panov will play the part of a senator, while a young man will be the pontiff, who will addressed a series of prayers to Jupiter, Venus and Diana.

After the wedding ceremony there will be treats for the guests, which will be made under ancient Roman recipes.

Let’s hope they at least consulted Karen Hersch’s recent book and didn’t just take their info from the internet …

Also Seen: Iris annual fiction competition for under 19s

Seen on the Classicists list:

We are delighted to announce the details of the Iris annual under 19s fiction competition 2012!

This year we are looking for pieces inspired by the figure of the “locked-out lover” in Roman love poetry, in line with the theme of Roman love poetry in the forthcoming Iris annual edition. The maximum length for entries is 30 lines, and entries can be in poetry or prose. Entries should be emailed to editor AT irismagazine.org with the subject line “IRIS COMPETITION”, and your name and age. We are also delighted to announce that Madeline Miller, author of the bestselling novel The Song of Achilles, will be judging the competition.

For further details, please visit the competition page at http://irisonline.org.uk/index.php/fiction/fiction-archive/100-iris-annual-fiction-competition-2012-3-for-under-19s

The competition aims to encourage creative responses to the Classics in schools and amongst young people across the UK and beyond, in line with The Iris Project’s mission to promote Classics to a wide audience in an inclusive, creative and engaging way.