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thrice subjunctive

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thrice subjunctive

Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Jun 29, 2005 5:24 pm

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Postby Garzo » Wed Jun 29, 2005 5:46 pm

Very nice, Dude!

I bewail the change in my prayer book from:
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost,
as it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen


TO

Glory to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the begining,
is now and shall be for ever.
Amen.


I think there are a few interesting changes here apart from the loss of the subjunctive.

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"Poetry is that which gets lost in translation" — Robert Frost
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Postby Spiff » Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:21 am

Why did they drop "world without end"? I kinda liked that.
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Postby yurifink » Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:54 am

I think dropping 'world without end' is a logical move because you may understand:

Part1:
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost.

Part2:
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
the World is without end.
Amen.

Just a prayer + a cosmological credo. What is worse, this credo contradicts the Big Bang conception.

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Postby tcward » Thu Jun 30, 2005 6:33 am

We still use the old text in our Gloria Patri here, Garzo. Interesting that the Anglican Church does not...

Yuri, I never heard that ending phrase as saying "The world is without end." I always understood it to mean "for all eternity".

But maybe that's just me. At any rate, the Big Bang Theory was not a concern, that's for sure.

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Postby Garzo » Thu Jun 30, 2005 6:55 am

The world without end is the traditional English of the Latin saecula saeculorum, which is not all that easy to translate in itself. I think the original is Greek, so we should think of it along the lines of aeons upon aeons. Of course, there is nothing in this that contradicts Big Bang theory unless you're a creationist.

I was interested more in the loss of the subjunctive: or are we to read glory as a subjunctive (or imperative!)?

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Postby anders » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:42 pm

Where do I start? Perhaps by mentioning that many optatives (expressing a wish) look like subjunctives. In languages like English and Swedish, the optative isn´t productive, and is probably poorly understood by younger people.

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost,
as it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen

We used to read "Ära vare Fadern …", using the nowadays rare present optative. The preterite (or imperfect) optative is less rare in Swedish: "Om det ändå snart vore sommar!" ’Would that it soon were summer’ in my perhaps distorted translation.

When our "Bibel 2000" was launched, it immediately was a best-seller in secular Sweden, and several debates started. One of them referred to the priestly blessing in Num 6.

KJV: "The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:"
Rev’d Engl. Bible: "May the Lord bless you and guard you;"
Sw. 1917: "Herren välsigne dig och bevare dig"
B2000: "Herren välsignar dig och beskyddar dig."
Optative in 1917, present indicative in 2000. To me, it sounds like 2000 calmly states a fact, but that 1917 humbly just hopes for those actions.

Even worse, a trial version had "Herren skall välsigna dig och beskydda dig". There would be two interpretations of that sentence in Swedish: 1) a statement of a certain future happening, 2) it´s a command, almost like "the Lord is going to, and had better, bless you" etc.

Some orthodox Swedish websites address Zacharias’ praise in Lk. 1:68, criticizing KJV "Blessed be the Lord", 1917 "Lovad vare Herren" (pres. optative/subj.), arguing that the Greek text uses no ´be´ verb: "Eulogētos Kyrios ho Theos...." so it should be "Blessed is the Lord". They blame it on Luther, who has "Gelobt sei der Herr…". They should be happy with B2000 "Välsignad är Herren" (pres. ind.)

Garzo wrote:The world without end is the traditional English of the Latin saecula saeculorum, which is not all that easy to translate in itself. I think the original is Greek, so we should think of it along the lines of aeons upon aeons.

Swedish used to have i evighet 'in [all] eternity'. Don’t you think that there might be a Semitic influence on the Greek, like in Shir ha-shshirim, the Song of Songs, the Superlative Song?
<Edited out the duplicate. Tks, Henri.>
Last edited by anders on Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby WonderingSpaniard » Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:42 pm

I know nothing of optatives nor of the Swedish tongue, but Bible/liturgical translations offer always a passionate debate we often discuss in class.

I found very curious to see "per saecula, saeculorum" rendered as "world without end" in English, whereas our Spanish translation reads "por los siglos de los siglos". The former seems thus the domesticated version and the latter the foreignised.

"Glory" might be read as a subjunctive, knowing where it comes from, but, isn't it more natural to leave it as a mere substantive. I'm thinking of "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (St. Luke, II, 14). Same as "peace" is no verb and hence can be in no subjunctive mood, "glory" shouldn't be regarded as such either. Extrapolating, the same applies to what you write, Garzo. I think the subjunctive was lost when the "be" disappeared, because the translator wanted to... He simplified other parts, so that I don't reckon it's logical to say "glory" is a subjunctive.

By the bye, I like the second version of the prayer better, although I tend to appreciate much more the elder translations.

Regards,

WS.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:01 pm

Glory in the subjunctive? Is glory a verb? What about glorify?

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Postby Garzo » Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:44 pm

We glory in your brilliance as we have ever gloried thus.

It be not usual, but it be done!

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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:01 pm

I didn't know that.

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Postby Stargzer » Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:46 pm

But in the case of the prayer I think "glory" is used as a noun as a subject to the verb "be," e. g.:

(Let) Glory be to the Father . . .
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Postby Flaminius » Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:50 am

anders wrote:
Garzo wrote:The world without end is the traditional English of the Latin saecula saeculorum, which is not all that easy to translate in itself. I think the original is Greek, so we should think of it along the lines of aeons upon aeons.

Don’t you think that there might be a Semitic influence here, like in Shir ha-shshirim, the Song of Songs, the Superlative Song?


One of the most facile place to find parallel is Judeo-Aramaic of Kaddish. One portion reads:
יהא שמה רבא מברך לעלם ולעלמי עלמיא

and the last ul`alemei `almaya is very close to Latin saecula saeculorum.

Also Aramaic עלם or Hebrew עולם means both eternity and world, though I haven't figured out why.

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Postby Garzo » Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:39 am

I don't know where you get it from, but, Flam, you're spot on. The l`olam `olmin phrase comes at the end of the Syriac Lord's Prayer (hear it here). I don't know whether this is a specifically Jewish turn of phrase that carried over into Christian prayer, or whether this was more common currency. I am struggling to remember how the Eastern Orthodox Church have translated this phrase from Greek into English, but I remember thinking it sunded overly literal. Now, we can't have that!

Glory isn't really used much as a verb, but it can be. This shows how much older grammar was more flexible in some ways: modern English would prefer give glory, or some such.

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Postby Flaminius » Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:40 am

Just off the hat, Garzo, "world of worlds" may not be particularly Judaic. More common expression in Hebrew liturgy for "for all eternity" is le-`olam wa-`ed, and for "from now and ever" me-`ata we-`ad `olam (Psalmodia 121:[last verse, sorry for not exact]).

Kaddish is part of the traditional Jewish litany but said in Aramaic, which is very rare. In any case, the parallel was too wonderful to miss.

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