Author Topic: Praying in a different language than yours.  (Read 2359 times)

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Raylight

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Praying in a different language than yours.
« on: June 27, 2014, 09:02:17 PM »
English is not my native language, and because I'm leaning into Anglicanism, I tried to find a copy of The Common Prayer Book in my language, there are some but they are very rare and hard to find ( I don't know if people can get them from the Church, Anglicans in my country are very very small minority ) also the last edition as far as I know was from the beginning of the 20th century, which kind of surprising me.


Anyway, I thought of start praying the morning, evening..etc prayers according to the Anglican Tradition in English, instead of my native language. I do understand the prayers, but it feels kind of weired to me to pray in a second language of mine.


Would you feel comfortable to pray to God in a language which is not your native language in general ? and what would you do in a situation like the one stated above ?

NOTE: This thread is not about Anglicanism or its prayers. I had to mention my situation above just to explain why I might start praying in a second language of mine.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 09:13:28 PM by Raylight »

Offline Georgii

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 09:33:24 PM »
Sure, my native language is English, but I prefer to pray in Slavonic because I think it sounds rather grand. Not much of a problem because I'm a professional translator and I started learning Russian about 30 years ago.

I also sometimes pray in German and once in a blue moon in French. I'd really like to learn Ancient Greek.

What is your native language? Sorry if you've already stated it and I missed it somehow.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 09:41:48 PM by Georgii »
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Offline Hamartolos

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 09:43:10 PM »
I love praying in Latin.  It's an awesome language.

What is your native language, out of curiosity?  You certainly type it well enough that I wouldn't have guessed that.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 09:51:05 PM »
I like to pray in Greek, but I know what you mean, Raylight. I assume you're already familiar with this resource?

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/languages.html

When I used to go to communities that stuck to the German-language services, I was intrigued but would have felt spiritually empty if all I could pray in was German. Yet most of those folks barely knew German (they speak Deitch) and felt fine about it. So I imagine it depends how personal or how ceremonial you think a prayer should be.


[Edit:  Do you know the Jesus prayer in your native tongue, Raylight?]
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 10:13:58 PM by Porter ODoran »
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2014, 10:01:18 PM »
Do you live in an English-speaking environment? Attend church in English? If so, then in time it will likely become comfortable. Back in the 1980s during my Protestant days, my family and I spent three years in Paraguay. My main job was to teach in an English language school, but we attended church in Spanish and were, of course, in a Spanish speaking country. I went there with a basic knowledge of Spanish, but after a few months I became fluent enough that I could easily pray in Spanish at church and even in my private prayers, though admittedly those were usually in English as we continued to use English almost exclusively at home.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2014, 10:16:57 PM »
I pray in Greek all the time.  My conversion to Orthodoxy was in large part because of my studies of the Ancient Greek language and because of my subsequent living there for a short time while at the American School.  I'm also not a big fan of praying in English; too inelegant.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2014, 10:39:35 PM »

English is not my first language, Ukrainian is. Therefore, I feel more comfortable praying in Ukrainian. Somehow, it seems more intimate to me.

I've certainly prayed in English, and attended services in English, however, it's just not the same.

When I can't make it to my church for some reason, I prefer the Serbs because they use Church Slavonic, even though an OCA Englisg parish is just down the road.

Ukrainian makes my soul sing.  :)
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Offline alexpetros

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2014, 10:51:26 PM »
I used to pray the Catholic hours in Latin, still do some prayers in Latin (I grew up Catholic and was in a Franciscan friary, for those who do not know or remember). Every so often, I will also pray in French and Italian, more French lately though.

Offline Gorazd

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 10:53:44 PM »
I don't know what's your native language, but since you are from Canada, it might be French.

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Canada/French1962.htm
Here is the Book of Common Prayer in French.

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 11:47:14 PM »
Would you feel comfortable to pray to God in a language which is not your native language in general ? and what would you do in a situation like the one stated above ?

I feel most comfortable praying in English because I speak English.  But I've gone to churches all my life where English was not the default language of worship, and so I've gotten used to worshiping liturgically in other languages.  Even at home, I will not hesitate to pray in another language if there's some reason for it, and that happens rather often (e.g., if a certain service is not available in English, if in mixed company).  It feels a bit different at first: it can feel like "more work", like it's an exercise in translation and not a spiritual experience.  If you're not perfectly comfortable in the language you might stumble over words enough to become frustrated, and so on, but with enough practice, it is possible to do this well, both in terms of fluency and in terms of spiritual benefit.   
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Raylight

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2014, 12:01:24 AM »
I'm glad to read the replies here.

I will try today and pray in English, see how it will go.

I wish if I could say what my native language is, however I will prefer to keep it private :)

Also, I'm not from Canada ( I have relatives who live in Canada and personally I looooooove Canada so much, very nice country, very polite, very open-minded and tolerant people and peaceful country as well, however when I say front my Canadian relatives and friends that I think Canada and America are the same ( I'm joking when I say that ), oh boy, they get so angry " We are not the SAME ", and they are not the same indeed  :) ) nor French is my native language ( the other day a member thought I'm from France )

Thanks to the members who posted a link for the Book of Common Prayers.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 12:08:23 AM by Raylight »

Offline Georgii

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2014, 12:46:10 AM »
I will try today and pray in English, see how it will go.

Well, you know we have just celebrated Pentacost, and my translator friends and I (a Church of England member and an Evangelical) used to make jokes about founding a company called "Tongues of Fire Interpreters" or "Pentacost Language Services".
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 12:46:49 AM by Georgii »
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Offline Georgii

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2014, 01:27:57 AM »
Raylight, from what you are saying you probably have a more difficult situation than what we imagine. I'm new to Orthodoxy myself, but it seems to me that the thing to do is  to pray to the Holy Spirit and to Saint Jerome/Hieronymus. I am doing that now.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 01:32:14 AM by Georgii »
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Offline Gorazd

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2014, 02:14:40 PM »
Raylight,

Sorry for think you're from Canada. I thought so because of your Canadian email address (.ca are Canadian domains).

The Book of Common Prayer actually exists in many languages. If you do not want to mention in public which is your native language, you can PM me and I will find out if the BCP is available in your language.

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Praying in a different language than yours.
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2014, 11:41:24 PM »
I think it's best God hears your prayers despite the language. :)
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