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Author Topic: Foreign Language Use During Ritual?  (Read 8029 times)
Hyacinth Belle
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« Reply #15: January 12, 2010, 10:37:42 pm »

Obviously, some of the translation differences comes from the fact that I was trying to maintain a similar rhythm and rhyme structure in both languages. Both versions evoke similar thoughts and feelings I have towards Persephone. But one major difference I found was the translation of "Reina Muerte." It could mean Queen of Death, referring to Persephone's co-rulership of the Underworld. Or it could mean the Queen of the event/moment of death, which to my knowledge she wasn't, but it gives interesting connotations. Or it cold also refer to the "reign of death," through which Persephone guides fallen souls.

It's not that English doesn't have these concepts - it's just that you can express them in different ways in Spanish. Smiley Same holds true for any language.
Thanks for sharing! I agree, great chant.
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15

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UlsterYank
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« Reply #16: January 13, 2010, 01:33:38 am »


I'm just wondering if anyone else uses a foreign language in your ritual work and if you find it more effective than using your native tongue.

Me ka pono~
Pythuna
I use Irish a good lot of the time. Even though it's not a "native" language of mine being an American, it's still a national and first language here in Ireland. Belfast has it's own Ceathrún na Gaeltachta, and even though I'm not fluent yet, and only at my 3rd level currently, it's a language I use on a weekly basis.
IMO the Gods transcend language, but Irish is a connection to Gaelic culture. Even though the legends were recorded in Old Irish, and some deity names reflected from Primitive Irish, and Proto-Celtic, Modern Irish is still a traditionalist language, with many words and phrases that connect to the ancient mindset, appropriate indeed for Pagan ritual as it's as alive to the Gods as your belief in them, and one of their culture.
It's also what you make of it. There's a difference between "second" language, and "foreign" language. If your're not familiar with it, and are using words and phrases that are alien and confusing in their use, then it may not be as effective than doing so in "your" native tongue. (At least get the deity names correct)   Cheesy
 
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« Reply #17: January 13, 2010, 06:35:20 pm »

I use Irish a good lot of the time. Even though it's not a "native" language of mine being an American, it's still a national and first language here in Ireland. Belfast has it's own Ceathrún na Gaeltachta, and even though I'm not fluent yet, and only at my 3rd level currently, it's a language I use on a weekly basis.
IMO the Gods transcend language, but Irish is a connection to Gaelic culture. Even though the legends were recorded in Old Irish, and some deity names reflected from Primitive Irish, and Proto-Celtic, Modern Irish is still a traditionalist language, with many words and phrases that connect to the ancient mindset, appropriate indeed for Pagan ritual as it's as alive to the Gods as your belief in them, and one of their culture.
I went on a trip to Northern Ireland last summer, and we got to meet with a lovely woman in Donegal. Her first language was Irish, and she returned to Donegal after going to college and now makes her living translating medieval Irish texts (she submits her work via the internet!). She taught us a little about the language and its history/use. It was sooo interesting. We met her and had dinner at Oideas Gael, and if I had all the money in the world I wouldn't hesitate to go back to do a course there! It's really a unique and beautiful language, and we only scratched the surface.
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #18: January 13, 2010, 07:43:05 pm »

It's also what you make of it. There's a difference between "second" language, and "foreign" language. If your're not familiar with it, and are using words and phrases that are alien and confusing in their use, then it may not be as effective than doing so in "your" native tongue. (At least get the deity names correct)   Cheesy
This is pretty close to how I feel about it.  If I'm too busy focusing on things like getting my pronunciation straight in a language that's too unfamiliar, I'm not focusing on the ritual purpose of what I'm saying.  It'd be a somewhat different story if I was learning a language because it was associated with (some of) my deities; ritual use would be a very appropriate way to improve my skills - but I'd probably still introduce it gradually, a few phrases at a time.

The deities I work with are tickled pink when I examine (either through research, or by UPG-dialogue) how to pronounce their names better, or discover and make myself familiar with an appropriate word or phrase in a language traditionally associated with them.  But they don't seem to have any problem with me doing most of what I do in the language I think in and communicate well in - just as well, since I work with deities from quite a few different cultures/languages.

This is informed by my very deep conviction that the magic of words is because they communicate things.

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« Reply #19: January 14, 2010, 01:54:25 am »

I went on a trip to Northern Ireland last summer, and we got to meet with a lovely woman in Donegal. Her first language was Irish, and she returned to Donegal after going to college and now makes her living translating medieval Irish texts (she submits her work via the internet!). She taught us a little about the language and its history/use. It was sooo interesting. We met her and had dinner at Oideas Gael, and if I had all the money in the world I wouldn't hesitate to go back to do a course there! It's really a unique and beautiful language, and we only scratched the surface.
That's great, I'm glad you had the opportunity to experience the language and culture in it's natural environment. Donegal is lovely, we go to Gaoth Dobhair now and then, beautiful place. The dialects in Donegal had a huge impact on Ulster Irish(even though Belfast speaker say things that make them cringe   Grin), after a lot of the native dialects like Belfast's native Antrim Raithlin Irish went extinct. What you mentioned about teaching opportunities is also a good reason for people to continue learning the language, who think they have no reason to. I have a friend from Lurgan who's sister taught Irish language and dance in the Irish Arts&Crafts centre back in my native St. Louis, MO. Here and abroad, there's a demand for that stuff. Thanks for sharing that lovely experience!  Wink 
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« Reply #20: January 14, 2010, 07:23:52 am »


I do all my worship in English because I can express my thought and feelings easier in that language - considering I even dream in English. I also feel it's more poetic and graceful than my mother tongue and it gives a feeling of 'different' to my worship, as it makes a shift from the regular world where I either speak French or Dutch.
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« Reply #21: February 13, 2010, 03:47:20 am »

I'm just wondering if anyone else uses a foreign language in your ritual work and if you find it more effective than using your native tongue.

Absolutley. I find that English (which isn't my mother tongue) suits me better in my ritual work. As a Freemason who belongs to a Hebrew speaking lodge, I find that the Hebrew translation of the ritual doesn't resonate as well as the English one, though it is a very close translation of the English. Freemasonry, which originally came from England, sounds better, to me, in English.
Also in my "wiccanesque" (I'm not an initiated Wiccan) I find English to suit me better. Hebrew works for me only when calling Semitic deities...
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hlewagastir
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« Reply #22: February 13, 2010, 07:11:36 am »

Even though I don't live in Hawai'i, I'm learning the language for my spiritual practices.  I reason that by using a non-native, non-fluent language, I have to focus and concentrate more on my words and thoughts and thereby imbue them with more energy.  Also, because I work alot within the Polynesian pantheon, it just makes sense and shows respect to Madame Pele.  Hawai'ian is such a beautiful language and seems very mystical in itself, as words have multiple meanings as well as meanings within meanings.

I'm just wondering if anyone else uses a foreign language in your ritual work and if you find it more effective than using your native tongue.

Me ka pono~
Pythuna

In my kindred we occasionally use Old norse in our blót. But it differs a lot, depending on the preferences of the goði.
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« Reply #23: March 01, 2010, 06:33:36 pm »

I'm just wondering if anyone else uses a foreign language in your ritual work and if you find it more effective than using your native tongue.

I used Egyptian once in a ritual. I had a history teacher who was fluent, so she helped me write out a chant phonetically (she was cool with the idea and even intrigued). I learned and somewhat teach Irish for my work (I work for Rosetta Stone), although it's been slow so I'm also a bit slow right now. I've translated a few pieces of this and that for my own use, and have also begun looking into Hebrew. I like it for about the same reason as you.. it just makes sense when honoring a certain deity of a culture.

Whether or not it's more effective, I don't know. If Gods & Goddesses have that amount of power, they would be able to understand no matter what language you're speaking in. Some things though just feel better in say, Gaelic or Hebrew. So it's a matter of preference for me.
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« Reply #24: March 02, 2010, 02:59:22 am »

If Gods & Goddesses have that amount of power, they would be able to understand no matter what language you're speaking in.

I get that.  Smiley  However, I believe a person's power comes from within and using a foreign language can accomplish two things:  1) a ritual repeated is like neural pathways in the brain--the more they're used, the stronger they become; 2) by using a foreign language, one has to concentrate more on the words spoken, thereby giving the words even more energy.

Me ka pono~
Pythuna
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« Reply #25: March 03, 2010, 04:32:40 pm »

Even though I don't live in Hawai'i, I'm learning the language for my spiritual practices.  I reason that by using a non-native, non-fluent language, I have to focus and concentrate more on my words and thoughts and thereby imbue them with more energy.  Also, because I work alot within the Polynesian pantheon, it just makes sense and shows respect to Madame Pele.  Hawai'ian is such a beautiful language and seems very mystical in itself, as words have multiple meanings as well as meanings within meanings.

I'm just wondering if anyone else uses a foreign language in your ritual work and if you find it more effective than using your native tongue.

Me ka pono~


I only use spanish, my native language. I´ve studied ancient greek but i cant speak in this language. I think that language doesnt influence.
Pythuna
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