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Vietnamese Catholic dictionary a first

UCN - Wed, Sep 21st 2011


Church people expect the first Vietnamese Catholic dictionary, launched with great fanfare yesterday, will make a major contribution in developing theology in Vietnam.  “Today I would like to introduce you to the first Catholic Dictionary in Vietnamese,” Bishop Paul Bui Van Doc of My Tho, head of the bishops’ Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith, told about 200 Catholics at the launch ceremony yesterday at the Archbishop’s Residence in Ho Chi Minh City.

Most Vietnamese Christian dictionaries sold in local Catholic bookstores are translated from foreign originals, he noted.

“This work stems from the local Church’s dearest wish to promote indigenous Catholic theology in the future,” the bishop said.

The dictionary is seen as a first step to fulfilling this wish, he added.

Bishop Doc said the book, with 500 basic Christian terms, has concise, clear and comprehensible definitions. It uses latest Church documentation and theological books, and most of all refers to Catholic Church catechism, he said.

Father Pierre Nguyen Chi Thiet, head of the team responsible for the dictionary, said about 150 bishops, priests, Religious and ordinary Catholics who specialize in Church history, culture, linguistics, philosophy, scripture and theology compiled the dictionary over four years.

Father Thiet, who obtained a doctorate in dogmatic theology in Rome in 1970, explained the format presents each Vietnamese term along with its closest equivalents in Chinese, Latin, English and French.

The priest said in the coming years his team plans to compile a further 1,000 Catholic terms related to Church, Christianity, morality, canon law, ministry, philosophy, spirituality and theology.

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