dean of the Vatican College

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Johanna65

Senior Member
Sweden Swedish
Hello Italian speakers!

I'm translating a book where a man introduces himself as "an American Jesuit priest" and "dean of the Vatican College". Can you help me understand what sort of position "dean" refers to here, and what sort of college this is?

Thanks a lot!
 
  • Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Hello Johanna,

    Is "Vatican College" all you have? It is really not enough to answer the questions you pose. The interpretation that leaps to mind, though, is that this might refer to the College of Cardinals. The dean of the College of Cardinals has certain ceremonial functions, chief among which is the duty and privilege of convening the College to elect a new pope upon the death of the incumbent. Is this Jesuit a cardinal?
     

    Johanna65

    Senior Member
    Sweden Swedish
    Well, I don't have a lot of context, I'm afraid. A woman is invited to sing at the Vatican, and it is this friend of hers, who, through his role as dean of the Vatican College, has arranged for her to perform in front of all the priests. It doesn't say whether he is a cardinal or not. I think you might be right about it being the College of Cardinals though.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Dean of the College of Cardinals is a very elevated position. (It was the last job held by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger before he was elected pope.) However, it is not usually referred to as the Vatican College. Is your text set in the present day? Usage has changed over the centuries. Is it a novel? Writers of novels are not always scrupulously accurate in their references. ;)
     

    Johanna65

    Senior Member
    Sweden Swedish
    This happens in 1978 apparently. The book is a biography by a woman who was married to one of the Gucci men. Of course it is quite possible that this man's position isn't accurately described ... Always a very difficult situation for a translator.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I'm a translator, too, and you have my sympathy. ;)

    My suggestion would be to translate the words "dean" and "college" according to their usual meanings. Good luck!
     
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