Joe at Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam , who has been translating Evangelii Gaudium into English from the original Spanish, believes that the official Vatican translation is so bad that it cannot be accidental. Here is a comment that he made on Father Z’s blog:
I have been following, and for the benefit of my monolingual friends, translating homilies and talks by then-Cdl. Bergoglio for at least the last five years and posted these translations on my blog. I also, for professional reasons, wind up translating mountains of reports, analyses, etc. between Latin American and Anglosphere clients.
Charity forbids me from accurately expressing exactly how abysmal the Official Vatican English translation AND ONLY the English translation happens to be. (This, of course, is nothing new.) I, personally, do not find it credible to say such a travesty of a translation is the result of simple carelessness, or ineptitude. To me – and this is only my opinion – in comparing both the English to the (presumably original) Spanish and back again, it seems decidedly deliberate.
In fact, I am so incensed by this, that I have taken the liberty to begin retranslating Evangelii Gaudium on my blog. (It’s up there now at http://jmgarciaiii.blogspot.com for anyone who’d like to read it, with the caveat it’s in very much a work-in-progress.)
When someone who is native-level fluent in both languages (as I am) contrasts the two versions, the differences are staggering. The Holy Father extols entrepreneurship, the increase of goods, demands that groups within the Church actually help the poor instead of talking or lobbying, decries the accumulation of national debt. The list goes on and on.
Insofar as I can tell, there are many on “the right” who are using Evangelii Gaudium to beat up on Francis, just like many on “the left” who are using Evangelii Gaudium to beat up on “the right.” But none of this is supported by an accurate translation.
Sancte Ignatius, ora pro nobis!Go here to Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam to see the progress that Joe has made in his translation. As a general rule PopeWatch does not attribute to malice what can be explained by gross incompetence. However, it does seem very convenient for the port side of our politics that the original translation seemed to mimic many Leftist economic shibboleths, even using the cant phrase of trickle down economics. Assuming that the mistranslation was deliberate might be too cynical, but as some Popes have indicated, when viewing the inner machinations of the Vatican bureaucracy it is hard to be too cynical.