Friday 5 April 2019

Archives Awareness Week 2019: You're the Translator!


April 1-7 is Archives Awareness Week in Ontario, and we've got a challenge for you! The Archdiocese of Toronto is proud to offer masses in 33 languages. It's wonderful to be able to serve such a diverse community, but one of the challenges of the job is to accurately process material that comes to us that we don't automatically understand. 

It's a bit easier now that we have the Internet, but ARCAT archivists didn't always have that luxury. When the older material in the archives was described, the archivists would have had to rely on people in the building or in the wider Catholic community who spoke languages other than English to provide translations. As you'll see below, it can be especially challenging when trying to decipher handwritten letters.

Now it's your turn to play language detective! We've selected 10 records in different languages, and it's your job to match them to the list below with the help of a few clues in the captions. Good luck!

Polish - Tamil - Italian - Latvian - German - Slovak - Chinese (Traditional) -  Hungarian - Croatian - Korean 

This 1968 booklet explains the history of a community group associated with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.

ARCAT Parish Collection

This 1920 letter to Archbishop McNeil was translated by a priest at St. Casimir's Church. It reads,

"I place myself in your hands with a great request with humility from America. I am a priest and was educated in Europe. I received priestly ordination from the Rev. Bishop Carfory of Chicago but if your excellency would accept me I would be very grateful and would be able to unite the _____ people and I would be properly situated with regard to yourself. I place myself in your memory."

MN EC05.15
Archbishop McNeil Fonds

This 1963 booklet on the sacrament of marriage was in the collection of a personal parish established in 1955 and named after Mary, Queen of their country.

ARCAT Parish Collection

This 1956 ad from the Ontario Department of Highways explaining highway signs to newcomers is from the newspaper Nový Domov, which is still in publication today.

MG EN12.46
Cardinal McGuigan Fonds

In 1947 the Archbishop of Cologne wrote to his countrymen in Canada to ask for assistance for the people in his area who were suffering as a result of the Second World War.

MG EN03.01
Cardinal McGuigan Fonds

The youth of St. Elizabeth Parish were invited to a disco dance in 1977.

This 1875 note is explaining a few facts about Canada, including how many Catholics are members of the cabinet (il gabinetto) and senate (il senato).

L AD04.77
Archbishop Lynch Fonds

This 2002 bulletin comes to us from Sacred Heart of Jesus (Ye Su Sung Shim) Parish.

ARCAT Parish Collection

A 1954 circular for Canadian Catholics hailing from a particular Baltic State.

MG EN06.08
Cardinal McGuigan Fonds

A page from the 2013 Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan, which is fully available in six languages and summarized in 30.

Available on the Archdiocese of Toronto Website:  

Scroll down for the answers!

To find a mass in all of these languages and more, you can use the Find a Parish tool:

A. Chinese (Traditional)
B. Polish
C. Croatian
D. Slovak
E. German
F. Hungarian
G. Italian
H. Korean
I. Latvian
J. Tamil

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