QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2003-09 > 1063551353
Subject: Re: [Q-R] St. Athanase is ..... in English
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2003 10:55:53 EDT
In a message dated 9/14/03 02:46:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> This is a link to the most extensive list of French/English/Latin surname
> equivalents that I am familiar with. And it does not list Athanase or
> anything similar enough to be a variant.
> Possibly the name fell into disuse in western Europe. I believe that D.O'
> is correct about who it is. For a very thorough (tedious actually) write-up
> on St. Athanasius go to this link
> I Believe that he is celebrated more in the Eastern and Greek Orthodox
> Churches than in the Roman Rite. (If I let it, my spell checker would change
> Athanase to Euthanasia! :) )
Thanks, cousin Dave! The link to the AFGS index of given names is a very
good resource, as far as it goes. But some of the "Champlain Valley" versions of
French given names are not included. For instance "Nelson" is used not only
for "Narcisse" and "Nazaire", but also for "Arsene" -- go figure!
You're right, too, Dave, that St. Athanasius is probably more celebrated in
the Eastern Churches than in the Western or Roman Church, which is
understandable, since he was a Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. Still, he does have a feast
day on the Roman Calendar, May 2.
> As far as translating Church names is concerned, it is seldom done. As
> a rule St. Athanase in Quebec is still St. Athanase in Denver and Trenton,
> much the same as Notre Dame in Paris is Notre Dame and not Our Lady. The same
> usually holds true for place names such as St. Jean and Trois Rivieres.
> If there is anything else I can help you with or if this is unclear
> please feel free to contact me on this list and I will do my best to help you.
> Dave Constantine in Boston
Translating the names of places and of churches is a very common practice,
but it can be dangerous. You might translate"l'eglise Saint-Antoine-de-Pade" as
"Saint Anthony of Padua Church", but if you look for "Saint Anthony of Padua
Church" in Longueuil, you might not find it. Notre Dame translates easily to
"Our Lady", but the proper name of the mother church of Quebec is not "The
Church of Our Lady", but "Notre-Dame". The proper name of the church in the city
of Laprairie is not "Notre-Dame de Laprairie", but "Nativite de la
Bienheureuse Vierge Marie" (Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary), but that's another story.
And if you want to translate "Saint Louis", you need to know which Saint
Louis is referred to. Saint Louis de France remains Saint Louis in English, but
Saint Louis de Gonzague is Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.
And in Portugal, Saint Anthony of Padua is known as Sao Antonio de Lisboa.
The English have a tendency to do strange things with place names. The city
of Livorno in Italy is known in London as Livorno. Same is true for proper
given names, especially (but not exclusively) Gaelic names. Some people are
named Kevin, a few are named Kevan, but neither Kevin nor Kevan are likely to
recognize their own name when it is spelled properly in Gaelic as Comhain. Or
when Owen Taggart is written out as Eoin an'tSaggarth.
Fr. Owen Taggart