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Re: Pater Noster (purely linguistically)

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Thursday, December 2, 2004, 0:17
On Wed, Dec 01, 2004 at 11:47:05PM +0100, Henrik Theiling wrote:
> 1) Pater noster qui es in caelis. > Our father, which art in heaven. > > - Would it be appropriate to translate 'heaven' with 'divine world'? > - Maybe 'divine transcendental world', but that might be redundant?
Well, the words for "heaven" in natlangs - including "heaven" itself - all originally meant just "sky". In fact, the reflex of cael- in many Romance languages is the ordinary unmarked word for sky (e.g. Spanish "cielo"). The original belief was that the gods, and later God, were literally in the sky, and if you could only go high enough you would meet up with them/Him. Our modern awareness of the nature of space beyond Earth's atmosphere led to differentiation between the concepts of "sky" and "God's residence", and "heaven" came to be used solely for the latter apart from poetic use. I don't know to what extent you want to mimic this development in your language, but it is pretty universal among natlangs.
> And now the main problem: > > 2) Sanctificetur nomen tuum. > Hallowed be thy name.
[snip definitions of "holy"]
> I found these quite enlightening, and I think the meaning of > the above line would be > > optative(be.reserved.from.profane.use(thy name))
The Latin is expressing a desire, or perhaps a "third person imperative" . . . is that what an "optative" is? But if you use "profane", you run into question-begging, since "profane" is pretty much defined as "the opposite of holy/sacred". Note that in many languages the equivalent of both the English words "holy" and "sacred" is only one word; but that's not much help. "Sacred" was originally the past participle of "sacren" which meant the same thing as modern "to consecrate" - but since that is just "to make holy/sacred", that way lies only a circle. -Marcos that the -ed in "sacred" is no coincidence; it was originally a past participle, specifically of "sacren", which means "to consecrate"
> > Thoughts? Corrections? Help! > > Bye, > Henrik


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>