CLAA Open Source Translations

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CLAA Open Source Translations
by CLAA Admin - Friday, 13 March 2015, 11:50 AM

Dear friends,

The restoration of the classical liberal arts demands of us the restoration of a library of texts and translations that has fallen out of print.  While English translations may be found for ancient texts, advanced CLAA students who begin to study them will tell you that they are shockingly bad. The standard of modern classical language study is so low that those paid to translate texts engage more in interpretive guesswork than any true translation of words and ideas.

In advanced courses, you will begin to see new CLAA texts for the ancient works, with what we call demonstrative open-source translations.  What this means is that the original text is studied as students study the rules of Grammar, Syntax, and Prosody, along with the arts of Reasoning and Rhetoric, and as they continue their studies through the rest of the Philosophy and Theology curriculum. The student community will have the opportunity to translate the texts together, constantly, examining the choices made in translation and suggesting improvements where possible based on the necessity required by other readings.

For example, a word may be used in a Latin text from St. Thomas that, if looked up in a dictionary, has many possible meanings.  A modern student would be left to pick the one he likes best.  We, however, will leave the translation "open", continue our studies and find, in another place, that St. Thomas defines what he means by that term.  That definition can and will then be applied to the translation, with an explanation of why the translation is what it is.  We will, then, be able to not only establish an official CLAA translation of all of the ancient texts, but also explain WHY the translations are what they are.  This ongoing, collaborative work is why we call it "open source" and the committment to demonstrating the necessity of the translation is why we call it "demonstrative".

Translations will look like this in lessons:

Students can make their own copy to keep and edit, while one public translation will be maintained.

This is the next level of true classical studies, and we're excited to see what is developed in 10-15 years from now.

God bless,

Mr. Michael