First published January, 2010
All Orthodox are familiar with the story of Saints Methodius and Kyril, who were commissioned to translate the services of the holy Church into a language “understanded of the [Slavic] people.” We are all aware of the importance of worshiping in a speaker’s native language, and find it quite natural that services are offered in multiple languages throughout the world. And yet, a great deal of misunderstanding and cross words have flowed from a recent project which translated the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom into Lolspeak.
“Blezd R teh kingdum uv teh Ceiling Cat, n uv teh Happy Cat, n uv teh H0ver Cat, nao n all tiemz, srsly” begins the much-maligned translation.
“‘Happy Cat’?” asks Yeraslav Penguin, professor of historical liturgics at St Toucan’s Orthodox Seminary and Roadside Icon Shoppe.
“That’s the term used for our Lord Jesus among the speakers of Lolspeak,” explained translator and self-proclaimed “Truf-speekr to teh Kittehz” Thomas Felinus. “No disrespect is intended. The Methodists and Presbyterians have made great inroads among native speakers of Lolspeak, and it’s about time the One True Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church was represented in the Lolcat community.”
“What native speakers? Lolspeak is a joke language invented less than five years ago as a lark,” protested Professor Penguin.
“Scoff if you will, but when our Lord returns in His glory, I’m going to make sure some of the kittehz are there to receive him with joy.”
Felinus began his work after hearing of the monumental Lolcat Bible Translation Project. “Why should there be a Lolcat Bible, but not services of the Orthodox Church?” Felinus reasoned.
“Because it’s stupid,” suggested Professor Penguin.
“I may be just a new convert,” said Felinus, “but I know that we need to reach out to everybody. St. Paul said he became all things to all men to save some.”
“He didn’t become a cat,” observed Professor Penguin.
“Lolspeak speakers are people too,” protested Felinus.
Felinus was helped by the fact that so much of the Liturgy consists of quotes and paraphrases of Scripture and as was noted above, the Scriptures have already been translated. “The rest of it was a breeze,” he said. “Really, the hardest part was ‘Lord, have mercy.'”
“How did you translate that?” asked our intrepid Onion Dome editor.
“Lordcat u kan haz mrcy, kthx.”
Reaction to the new translation has been far from mixed.
“I hate it,” said Metropolitan Bob of the Rump Orthodox Jurisdiction.
“Not acceptable,” said Archbishop Bill of the Hellenic North-and-South Jurisdiction.
“You must be joking,” said Metropolitan Dan of the Syrious Jurisdiction.
“Everyone laughed at Einstein, at Edison, at Mendelssohn,” said Felinus.
“Who laughed at Mendelssohn?” interrupted our intrepid editor.
“Well, okay, nobody, but I like him because his first name is Felix and Felix is the name of a cat,” admitted Felinus.
“Look, you’re seriously loony,” observed our intrepid editor.
“It’s an idea whose time has come!” protested Felinus.
“Oh give it up. I’m going to go talk to someone more sensible.”
“Izzat mean I Noah can haz cheezburger?” asked Felinus.
“Kthxbai,” said our intrepid editor.
Copyright © 2010-2012 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.