The First Translations into Romanian

The First Translations into Romanian

According to the linguistic evidence acknowledged by the Romanian Academy, the Romanian language was first used as a cultural language in the 13th century. According to one record, during the time of Pope Innocent IV (1243-1258) the liturgy was translated into Romanian as well, doing credit to the Romance Gentes including also the Romanian people. The liturgy was being simultaneously translated into Bulgarian as part of an ample process of spreading the Catholic religion.

In the 14th century, the Psalter, the Psalter of Scheia, the Hurmuzaki Psalter and the Codex of Voroneț were also translated into Romanian, the manuscript clearly revealing the various stages of the translation process by several anonymous translators in the course of time. The language used in these documents dates from various periods of time, is difficult and awkward, a mixture of evolved phrasing and archaic Latin elements, with more recent elements of Slavonic origin. It is thus obvious that the old Latin texts were later translated into Slavic in the 14th century by order of the Russian Czar.

A special role in the translation of old religious texts from Vulgar Latin (Vulgata) into the more recent Slavonic was played by the Psalms. Many psalms were adapted from the Latin, Catholic texts to the Orthodox needs of the Ecclesiastes. Such as the numerous religious hymns using the archaic forms of the Latin words translated into Slavonic:  mesereare (mercy) from the Latin word miserere; păraţ (palate) from the Latin palatium; părăta (to feel sorry) from the Latin poenitare; deşildere (to desire) from desiderare; sprezice (to appeal) from superdicere; încindre (set on fire) from incendere; vence (conquer) from vincere.

Such words were among the first forms of Romanian language used later, in 1521, in a slightly modified form, by the author of The Letter of Neacșu of Câmpulung, revealing a subsequent stage in the evolution of the Romanian language.

2018-01-03T11:43:51+00:00 January 3rd, 2018|Articles|