To mark International Translation Day my ‘word of the week’ on my Facebook page is a tribute to St Jerome whose feast also falls on 30th September:
Word of the week: Vulgate
30th September is International Translation Day. The reason for the choice of date is that it is also the feast day of St Jerome, patron saint of translators. St Jerome (born Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) was a prolific religious writer and scholar, best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin. This Latin version, known as the Vulgate, was completed in 405 AD and remained the official Latin Bible of the Catholic Church until 1979 when the ‘Neo Vulgate’ version was promulgated by John Paul II in response to more recent studies of the Hebrew and Greek texts. After finishing his translation of the Bible, Jerome spent the remaining 15 years of his life writing commentaries on various books of the Bible.
‘Vulgate’ sounds rather like ‘vulgar’ and both words originate from the same root. ‘Vulgus’ is the Latin term for the mass of the people, commoners, or the general rabble. The ‘Vulgate’ Bible was intended for ordinary or common people to read, in what was then an international scholarly language, and more widely understood than the less well-known Hebrew and Greek. Meanwhile, if you act in a vulgar way, you are being common and unrefined, or a member of the rabble.
Happy International Translation Day! С международным днём перевода!
(For more ‘words of the week’ see: https://www.facebook.com/hrhtranslation/ )