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Please check my translation for nighttime blessing
http://forums.avemariaradio.net/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=157835
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Author:  StJustinMartyr [ Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

Looking for help translating a nighttime blessing I say to my children. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Here's the English:

"May the Lord bless you, keep you safe, and be always in your heart."

Here's what I've come up with for the Latin (FYI, my kids are very excited to learn Latin and are always asking me how to say our English prayers in Latin, hence this request):

"Donet benedicat tibi Dominus, et custodiat te, et sit in corde tuo semper."


Again, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Author:  Pelagius [ Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

Your prayer is modeled off the priestly prayer of Aaron and his sons from the book of Numbers, which begins,

Benedicat tibi Dominus, et custodiat te. (6:24)

The donet at the beginning is unnecessary, and doesn't make sense. I would change the last one to read, "et sit semper in tuo corde," because (1) it follows the order of the blessing "Pax Domini" from the mass and (2) saying "sit semper" just sounds cool.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

The pronouns need to be plural: vobis and vos instead of tibi and te.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

Actually if you follow the form of the blessing at Mass, it should be "benedicat vos" for the first one too.

Author:  StJustinMartyr [ Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

The blessing does need to be singular, as I give it to each of the children individually.

Thank you all for the help.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

Then it would be "Benedicat te Deus, et custodiat te, et sit semper in corde tua."

Author:  Pelagius [ Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Actually if you follow the form of the blessing at Mass, it should be "benedicat vos" for the first one too.


True, it looks like benedicere is always used with the accusative in the ordinary of the mass, and that is the more common usage, although the word can be used with a dative object as well. There are multiple places in Scripture that use the dative. I would argue that it would be more appropriate to use the dative here since the first two clauses are not from the mass, but lifted straight from Numbers 6:24, which has the dative in the Vulgate. The third clause is not part of that blessing, so there is more freedom there, I would say.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/vul/num006.htm#024

So I'm still sticking to my guns. :P

Benedicat tibi Dominus, et custodiat te, et sit semper in tuo corde.

Author:  Pro Ecclesia Dei [ Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

Benedicere, to speak well. So + dative, to speak well to, benedicere tibi, to speak well to thee

Benedicere originally means to praise, commend, speak well of.

The use of the dative is rare, and already archaic in the Vulgate. You see it in Numbers, yes, and a few of the Psalms. Less frequently with respect to God, benedic Domino (Bless the lord). Which is weird, because benedicere Deum/Deo retain the sense of praising more than benedicere creaturam/creaturo

The Vulgate is probably not the best exemplar here. Benedicere in early Latin took dative, because it effectively meant to praise. The Septuagint used a Greek word for the Hebrew and bent its meaning and use, the Vetus and Jerome in the Psalms especially follow the oddity of the Greek and hence split between late and early use of benedicere

Outside of scripture, Benedicere meaning "to bless, consecrate, hallow" almost always takes the accusative, and the use of the dative is used to clarify benedicere as "to praise"

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

Lewis and Short.

Author:  Pelagius [ Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

I don't disagree with your appraisals of the facts, but I think we're going to have to disagree on principle here. I like rigid conformity to standards where it is appropriate.

(1) It's grammatically correct to use the dative here.
(2) It is not wrong to conform our phrasing to the biblical text when the words are lifted directly from the Bible.
(3) It is common across languages to use unusual or archaic phrasing in contexts of prayer.
(4) The Psalms are prayers and they do not hesitate to use the dative case with benedicere.
(5) God used the dative case when he revealed this Latin prayer to Moses.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

5)?

The original is in Hebrew, which doesn't have grammatical cases.

Author:  lbt [ Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

Liturgia Horarum, which I am reading, does use the dative for benedicere. Here's an example from Daniel 3, 37-88, 58:

62 Benedicite, sol et luna, Domino, ...

74 Benedicat terra Dominum, ...

The first one uses the dative, and the second the accusative.

Author:  Pro Ecclesia Dei [ Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Please check my translation for nighttime blessing

Which is taken from the Vulgata, which has already been explained as an odd case..

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