Russian slavist: Orth churches will eventually switch to nat'l languages
Russian slavist: Orthodox churches will eventually switch to national languages
MINSK, 22 August (BelTA) – Transition of Eastern Orthodox churches to national languages is a matter of time, BelTA learnt from Alexander Kravetsky, a delegate of the 15th International Congress of Slavists, head of the Church Slavonic Language Research Center at the V.V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“The process is going on and I think that it is a matter of time. However, it might take much time; amateur translations are abundant, but they will not do,” the expert said. He emphasized that there are no theological or philological barriers for conducting church services in Russian or Belarusian.
However, some problems do exist. The scientist reiterated that quality translations are needed. “There are a lot of underlying issues here, because translation from/to sister languages almost always leads to stylistic disparagement. After all, a church service is a complex process with Biblical and theological references. The terminology should be common,” he said. Alexander Kravetsky added that the Bible should be read on the language of the service, not only on the Church Slavonic language. This needs high-quality translations.
Speaking about Catholics, the scholar noted that they have a stronger inclination towards national languages, which is partly attributed to the Second Vatican Council that allowed other languages besides Latin to be used during church service. Alexander Kravetsky added that Orthodox churches in Serbia mostly use the Serbian language, and Bulgarian Orthodox churches use Bulgarian. As for Russia, the transition to the Russian language is strongly opposed by some parishes, he said. The scholar said he would like to study the experience of the Belarusian Orthodox Church of switching to Belarusian and visit the Belarusian language church service that is regularly held in Minsk.
Alexander Kravetsky noted that international congresses of slavists were initially designed to raise awareness of the unity of Slavic languages, the common nature of the language and culture. “This is also about the things that make us similar and make us different. To fully realize our unity, we need to address an array of technicalities, including differences and similarities of Slavic languages. We need to study dialectic features, migration flows and other things. These are technical ways to describe the history of languages, the history of peoples, which is interesting,” the scientist said.
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