Saturday, October 12, 2013

St Jerome Again / Collaborative Translating

St Jerome Again
For a reason that’ll become apparent in another post, I let the Feast of St Jerome (30 September) slip by this year. However, a couple of new comments about his Vulgate translation of the Bible have been attached recently to a previous post. To find them, enter feast in the Search box on the right. The Vulgate ceased to be the Roman Catholic official ‘pivot’ for Bible translations in 1943, when Pope Pius XII issued an encyclical to that effect. Nevertheless, in 2001 the Vatican issued an instruction establishing a revised edition, the Nova Vulgata, as “a point of reference for all translations of the liturgy of the Roman rite into the vernacular from the original languages.” At roughly 1,600 years, the Vulgate has had a long innings.
  • Vulgate. Wikipedia, 2013. Click here.
  • Divino Afflante Spiritu. Wikipedia, 2013. Click here. This is the Papal encyclical of 1943.

Collaborative Translation Conference
There has been a tendency since the Renaissance to see translations as the product of single translators' minds. But the fact is that a great many translations, both literary and technical or legal, are collaborative efforts, sometimes between whole teams.

Collaborative translating has been given great new impetus by the advent of internet crowdsourcing (enter crowdsourcing in the Search box on the right); yet it’s far from new on a smaller scale, so it has history. One of the most successful enterprises of the sort was the 17th-century King James Version of the Bible (enter KJV in the Search box).

News comes now of an innovative conference next year recognising this reality. It's called La traduction collaborative: de l’Antiquité à Internet (Collaborative Translation from Antiquity to the Internet). It's to be held in Paris, June 5-7, 2014, and one of its spin-offs is that participants get to see the interior of the spectacular French National Library. Papers can be in English. What's more, participation is free. But be quick! The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2013. Submissions should go to, and questions to


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