Book Series Biblia vernacula, vol. 1

Translation Automatisms in the Vernacular Texts of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period

Vladimir Agrigoroaei, Ileana Sasu (eds)

  • Pages: 528 p.
  • Size:178 x 254 mm
  • Illustrations:1 col., 1 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60033-8
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60034-5
  • E-book
  • Available
  • Contains contributions in Open Access

This volume explores the concept of translation automatisms in early vernacular texts before 1650, introducing the novel idea of "translation clusters" and examining a wide range of situations involving translation units, language automatisms, culturemes, and formulaic borrowings.


The volume deals with the issue of translation automatisms in early vernacular texts predating 1650. It introduces the novel concept of ‘translation clusters’, first defined in machine translation theory, but equally considering a wider array of situations that involve ‘translation units’, ‘language automatisms’, ‘culturemes’, and ‘formulaic borrowings’ in vernacular texts. Contrary to contemporary languages, where translation units, clusters, and automatisms appear frequently due to the influence of standard language varieties or dialects, the vernacular idioms of the Middle Ages and Early Modern period are often pluricentric. Consequently, automatisms are limited to specific cases where diachronic, diatopic, diastratic, and diaphasic variants align similarly in two otherwise different translations. This is a crucial topic for philology, as it can explain accidents that ecdotic methods tend to mistake for variant readings of a single ‘redactio’. The volume aims to determine the organic interplay between three primary situations in which common coincidences between translations or texts occur. Firstly the volume explores the shared elements resulting from the transfer of textual units between multiple translations or adaptations (quotations, corrections, formulas). Secondly chapters study the shared elements arising from the existence of a common source text (translation clusters, based on translation units); and lastly, the volume questions the fixed, inherent, and unchangeable aspects of the target language (language automatisms, often coinciding with translation units). The chapters of this volume focus on numerous vernacular languages and a multitude of case studies, with a particular emphasis on biblical translation—a cornerstone of contemporary translation studies. The chapter format encourages diverse perspectives to push the boundaries of philology, translation studies, and “vernacular theologies”.


Vladimir Agrigoroaei—Ileana Sasu, Translation clusters, translation units, and language automatisms: Describing organic language phenomena found in translation


Claudia Tărnăuceanu—Ana Maria Gînsac—Cosmin Popa-Gorjanu, Colloquial calque translations, novice errors, and grammaticalization clusters in a Latin complaint of the Romanian knezes from the Remete estate, c.1360–1380
Vladimir Agrigoroaei, The issue of heresy and oral translation errors in two low-prestige contexts from twelfth-century France
Jos Schaeken, The psalter as a school exercise in Medieval Russia: The case of the thirteenth- century boy Onfim
Ileana Sasu, Old English knowledge in the interlinear Middle English translation of an homily from the Tiberius Psalter
Marco Robecchi, Fluctuant translation strategies in two thirteenth-century administrative documents written in Latin and Old French
Kateřina Voleková, Translation choices for the Latin adnominal genitive in the Old Czech psalters
Mădălina Ungureanu—Ion-Mihai Felea, Who is hiding the face of God? The translation choices for the Church Slavonic dative absolute in early Romanian psalters
Jost Gippert, Tracing translation models: The case of Caucasian Albanian


Vladimir Agrigoroaei, The beneurez huem, the cunseil de feluns (and the chaere de pestilence) of Ps 1:1 in a series of twelfth- and thirteenth-century Old French texts
Hana Kreisingerová, Identical translation choices and the issue of the origin of the Third Old Czech Psalter translation
Vladimir Agrigoroaei, Identical language automatisms and translation clusters in the Old French Oxford Psalter and Eadwine Psalter: Analysis of Ps 151
Ágnes Korondi, Psalm quotations in the Old Hungarian versions of a Latin prayer and the issue of automatisms in translation
Kateřina Voleková, The Old Czech hapax legomenon domoskyna as a Modern Czech poetic expression
Vladimir Agrigoroaei, The allophone translator of a Franciscan ‘Rule with a bull’ and his use of Greek biblical quotations
Ondřej Fúsik, Referencing female characters in the Old English Heptateuch translation of Genesis: An evidence against translation automatisms
Vladimir Agrigoroaei, Philip of Thaon’s biblical quotations in his Bestiary as proof of Old French language automatisms at the beginning of the twelfth century
Elena de la Cruz Vergari, Decoding the political and moral justifications of virtus in five medieval French prose translations of Vegetius’ Epitoma rei militaris
Andrea Svobodová, The fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer (‘Give us our daily bread’) in Czech. Brief diachronic analysis of its textual variants
Robert Dittmann, Roman pagan God Mercurius in Czech biblical translations of the Early Modern Period


Jost Gippert, Hadrian the Coward: A misunderstanding and automatisms in the translation from Greek into Georgian
Vladimir Agrigoroaei, Ps 50:6 iudica(ve)ris or the difference between translation automatisms, copies, and diorthoses in several medieval French texts based on the Psalms
Ileana Sasu, Two verses of the Gospel according to Matthew in translation: A case study based on multiple occurrences in a heterodox Middle English sermon cycle
Jeanette Patterson, Rhetoric, rewriting, and scribal revision in medieval French translations of Pr 31:10–31
Katarzyna Jasińska—Andrea Svobodová, Sacrificium, oblatio, holocaustum: Old Czech and Old Polish translation choices for the offerings in Ps 50:21
Vladimir Agrigoroaei, Old Testament references in the Cathar Interrogatio Iohannis, the linguistic conundrum of its (Greek) source, and the issue of diorthoses vs. retranslations
Mădălina Ungureanu—Ion-Mihai Felea, Creative calques in the early Romanian translations of the psalter: Translatological and philological approaches
Stephen Morrison, The place of the Wycliffite Bible in the production of fifteenth-century Middle English sermons
Andrea Giraudo, Translators and preachers at work: Latin models and vernacular outcomes in the Old Occitan Waldensian translation(s) of Iacobus de Varagine’s sermones
Elizabeth Solopova, Multiplying words: The Wycliffite Bible and the development of the biblical register
Ana Maria Gînsac, When philology has the upper hand: ‘Culture-specific items’ and their translation in sixteenth-century Romanian psalters as proof of a prototype text


Kateřina Voleková—Katarzyna Jasińska, Vypitvaj tuto rybu: Dissecting the manuscript fragment of the Old Czech Tobit and its relation to Polish translations
Katarína Džunková, Synonymic variation in the New Testament of the Fourth Redaction of the Old Czech Translation of the Bible (1450–1489)
Vladimir Agrigoroaei—Ileana Sasu—Kateřina Voleková—Andrea Svobodová—Katarzyna Jasińska—Ágnes Korondi—Mădălina Ungureanu—Ana Maria Gînsac, A pan-European translation cluster? Synonymic variations in the vernacular translation choices for τυμπανιστριαί / tympanistriae (Ps 67:26)
Vladimir Agrigoroaei—Cinzia Pignatelli, The translator of the Metz Psalter (c.1365) about the exegetical and aesthetical dangers of foreignization
Chiara Cracco, Ars rhetorica and translation in the Isopet II de Paris: Considerations on binomials and trinomials
Martina Kramarić, The multifaceted use of synonymy in a series of medieval Old Croatian translations from Old Czech
Bernard Outtier, Synonymic binomials in the Armenian, Georgian, and Syriac literary traditions
Patrizia Lendinara, The words for Latin protector in the Old English psalter glosses: Variation vs. uniformity
Constanța Burlacu, Amplification and reduction: The practice of revision in the Old Romanian psalter and Apostolos texts


Kateřina Voleková, ‘How to handle hay’ or the influence of biblical commentaries on Old Czech Bible translations
Markéta Pytlíková—Hana Kreisingerová, 1 Samuel explanatory notes in the earliest Czech Bible translation and the perception of the biblical text
Clive R. Sneddon, On glossing the thirteenth-century Old French Bible: Exegetical implications
Clive R. Sneddon Xavier-Laurent Salvador, The ‘Psalter of David’ in the Bible historiale complétée and the exegetical nature of its explanatory glosses
Clive R. Sneddon, Post Script: Glossing in the Bible historiale and beyond
Anna Cappellotto, The medieval and early modern German versions of Ovid’s Pyramus and Thisbe: Translating and glossing myth through Latin and vernacular models
Brîndușa Grigoriu,  L’amer / la mer as a cultureme: Thomas and Gottfried’s sense of mare amarum
Alessia Chapel—Vladimir Agrigoroaei—Sini Kangas, Tertia die resurrexit: Formulae and translation automatisms of the Apostles’ Creed in the Old French epic poems of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries
Rachele Ricceri, Rejoicing in the Lord: Lexical choices from the Septuagint to Manuel Philes’ Metaphrasis of the Psalms
Estelle Ingrand-Varenne—Vladimir Agrigoroaei, Cum manus his Efrem fertur fecisse tu autem (1169): Formulaic transfer in the mosaics of the Nativity Church in Bethlehem
Vladimir Agrigoroaei, Translation automatisms or formulae? Unusual phrases in a Constantinopolitan icon miracle told in the Galician Cantigas de Santa Maria (thirteenth century)


Claudio Galderisi, The translation pact—an ever-renewed automatism