Saturday, January 28

Pater Noster in Latin and the Romance Languages

This is a project I had been wanting to work on for sometime.

It finally saw the light of day.

Here is the Pater Noster prayer recorded simultaneously, line by line, in Latin and in 7 Romance Languages: Portuguese, Galician, Spanish, Catalan, French, Italian, and Romanian.

It is a creation with a focus comparative linguistics, showcasing pronunciation and morphological similarities and differences among these languages through this religious chant.

The translations used are documented versions for each language. If a single translator had worked on all the languages presented, we would perhaps have translations that mirror each other word for word. As it is, the existing translations sometimes result in different word orders (i.e. Fr. que ton regne vienne vs. Sp. venga tu reino), or diverging roots in each language —  such as Latin DEBITA being maintained in all the Western Romance languages (dívidas, deudas, deutes, dettes, debiti), but Galician opting for ofensas. The Galician equivalent to DEBITA, débeda, is not attested in any Pater Noster translation that I could find, so ofensas was kept.

The major differences are found in the Romanian version, with words with completely different Latin etymologies, or deriving from Slavic altogether. Instead of a variation on PATER, for instance, Romanian has tată, itself attested in Latin (TATA).

Original Latin prayerRomanian translationOrigin of Romanian word
PATERTatălTATA (Latin)
SANCTIFICETURsfințească-sesventu (Slavic)
REGNUMîmpărățiaIMPERATOR (Latin)
VOLUNTASvoievolja (Slavic)
TENTATIONEMispităispytati (Slavic)
MALO răuREUS (Latin)

Some notes on the pronunciation:
For the Latin, I am once again using a Classical pronunciation (not an Ecclessiastical/Church one). Please refer to my previous recording for notes on that pronunciation model.

For the French, I deliberately chose an alveolar pronunciation for /r/ (a "trilled r") instead of the more standard uvular one ("guttural r"). This pronunciation, heard in various French-speaking regions in a very limited fashion, was chosen to keep the French closer to the other languages for comparison purposes.

Pater Noster in Latin and the Romance Languages


John Cowan said...

Wonderful! Your description, however, led me to expect a chorus of voices chanting the prayer in the eight languages simultaneously. (Obviously some adjustments of timing would be needed to keep the French synchronized with the rest, and the Romanian might have to be left out altogether.)

Anyhow, here is the Paternoster in the lost Romance language of Britain:

Nustr Padr, ke sia i llo chel, sia senghid tew nôn, gwein tew rheon, sia ffaeth tew wolont, syrs lla der sig i llo chel. Dun nustr pan diwrnal a nu h-eidd; e pharddun llo nustr phechad a nu, si nu pharddunan llo nustr phechad. E salw nu di'll temp di drial, mai llifr nu di'll mal. Per ill rheon, ill cofaeth e lla leir es ill tew, per segl e segl. Amen.

Pronunciation is the same as in Welsh, except that stress is on the ultima (as it was in Middle Welsh), u and y are as in other Romance languages, and unstressed vowels are reduced more or less like Catalan or English (the language has been in close contact with English for a long time, after all).

For still more contrast, here it is in Wenedyk, that most northerly of the Romance languages:

Potrze nostry, kwały jesz en czałór, sąciewkaty si twej numię. Owień twej rzeń. Foca si twa włątać, komód en czału szyk i sur cierze. Da nów odzej nostry pań kocidzany. I dziemieć nów nostrze dziewta, komód i nu dziemiećmy swór dziewtorzór. I nie endycz nosz en ciętaceń, uta liwra nosz dzie mału. Nąk twie są rzeń i pociestać i głurza, o siąprz. Amen.

Pronunciation as in Polish.

joaquim said...

La versió catalana no coincideix amb el que vaig aprendre de petit, i que crec que segueix sent l'oficial:

Pare nostre, que esteu en el cel: Sigui santificat en el vostre nom. Vingui a nosaltres el vostre regne. Faci's la vostra voluntat, així a la terra com es fa en el cel. El nostre pa de cada dia, doneu-nos, Senyor, el dia d'avui. I perdoneu les nostres culpes, així com nosaltres perdonem els nostres deutors. I no permeteu que nosaltres caiguem en la temptació, ans deslliureu-nos de qualsevol mal. Amén.

Caroline said...

This a great project! Pater Noster is one of the oldest (if not the oldest?) Cristian prayers. How, if not by such a traditional text, discover the sources of languages?

I think the history of languages is the most interesting field of the linguistic studies. Romanian translation can be compared both to Latin and Slavic studies, as it is the only Roman language within the Slavic area.

Renato Montes said...

"El pan nuestro de cada día dánoslo hoy" strikes me as an old way to pray. I'd say it's more common to say "Danos hoy el/nuestro pan de cada día" these days.

"Venga tu reino" interestingly stays that way, instead of "QUE venga tu reino", which would be the correct way to say it in today's grammar. Same goes with "hágase tu voluntad" instead of "que se haga tu voluntad".

yani said...

Nice post.Nice post.Very inspiring.We have learned to earn, grow, and live a fulfilled and happy life in the Spirit.I think interpreting our lives would mean on how we live our christian life more than any translation agency could ever offer.It is important to apply and use correctly what you hear and read so we must learn how to speak and pronounce it and use it in a conversational manner.

rosalyne carter said...

Your blog is really awesome. It is informative for french language learner. I am french language learner and i have taken various course to learn french.I am trying to speak confidently with proper pronunciation . I have learnt many things from you and very easy to learn. Thanks for sharing with us.

Post a Comment

Make sure your comments include a name or username. Anonymous comments are subject to deletion.