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English equivalent of 'odsak'
  • The greeting by which we call a priest, how is it said in English?

    Thanks
  • 'your reverence' 
  • Why complicate things? How about "Father"?
  • hehe....i am more of a translations guy....
  • I don't think childofaking is trying to complicate things. He/she is just asking for the translation of the arabic title for a priest. Maybe they want to write his name formally in a publication.

    His title would be Reverend Fr. ____ as Mina said. Just like we call the pope His Holiness Pope Tawadrous or a bishop His Grace Bishop ____.
  • Yes, but "odsak" is not a formal title, it is a greeting. "Hi Reverend John". Officially, every priest simply changes his name. (for example, pre-ordination name becomes "John the priest" or "John the Hegumen") Just like the Pope is officially called "Tawadros II, Pope and Patriarch". When we greet him or speak face to face, the greeting is informal and traditionally "Your reverence" or "Your Grace" or "Your Holiness". We can even use the greeting in the third person singular "His reverence John the Hegumen" (although this doesn't work in Arabic). In English, the traditional greeting has always been "Father John", not even "Our father John" like Arabic. This brings me back to my point to Mina. Some things are lost in translation or mean something different in the second language. Translations only get you so far. While in Arabic you can say "Salam ya odsak Abouna Yohanna" without any semantic ambiguity, in translated English it would be "Hi Your reverence our father John" (very awkward using both the second and third person singular tenses in the same sentence). It means nothing different than "Hi Fr. John". 
  • Ekhrestos anesty,
    @remenkimi,
    His reverence John the hegumen does work in Arabic.
    Oujai
  • What's interesting is qodsak and qadasdak is practically the same word.
  • I was simply wondering because it came to mind while typing an email to a priest. It was more in the context of addressing him directly. It just didn't seem right saying "when do you think...". Rather, "when does your reverence think..." seems more respectful.

    Not a big deal but thanks for your help guys.

    God bless.
  • @Remnkemi and ophadece, in arabic it would not be 'salam ya odsak abouna Yohanna' but it's 'salam ya ods abouna...' and i would translate that to 'hi reverent father yohanna'
  • @minatasgeel,
    I'm not arguing either what you're saying or what remenkimi is saying. I was correcting the Arabic mistakes remenkimi falls in without realising..
    Ekhrestos anesty
    Oujai
  • Childofaking,
    Why does it seem wrong to say, "What do you think" vs. "What does your reverence think"? There is nothing intrinsically disrespectful by simply saying "What do you think Fr". This is an example of how Arabic culture is applied artifically. We are trying to juxtapose some negative Arabic custom into English, where the English equivalent is not negative. 

    And as Minasoliman showed, even the Arabic word doesn't logically and semantically apply (ie, a priest is qodsak and the patriarch is qadasak) since the word is identical. 

    Ophadece, 
    Have you ever heard or called a priest "salam odsaho Youhanna al komos"? Or have you ever spoke about a priest in the third person and used "odsaho"? It may be grammatically correct, but I have never heard anyone ever use it. Maybe someone else can confirm if this is a common phrase. If it is not common, or anyone heard it used, then it doesn't really work in Arabic. What works in Arabic is what Mina stated. It would be "ods", not "odsaho" or "odsahe"

    The same is true for the patriarch. Never heard "qadasataho albaba Tawadros". It is always "qadastak" or "qadasat". Maybe some other people can confirm "qadasataho" or "odsaho".
  • In English, "you" is actually the formal second person. The informal is "thee" or "thou", but they have fallen out of use. So, like @Remnkemi said, there is nothing wrong with saying, "What do you think?"
  • Ekhrestos anesty
    @remenkimi,
    These are very common expressions in Arabic. You're just unlucky you haven't heard anyone say them..
    Oujai
  • Well, it is a matter of personal etiquette.  I'm sure priests don't mind the "you", but we as a culture have been so used to honorifics and formalities, and so, even I would address my priests as "Your Reverence" or "Odsak" (even though this isn't an accurate translation).

    When many Evangelical Protestants converted into Orthodoxy via the Antiochian Greek Orthodox Church, you'll see a lot of them adopt the Arabic word, "Sayedna".  So they would refer to "Sayedna Phillip" for instance (God repose his soul).

    It's just a matter of comfort.  Either way, Abouna won't think any less of you.  He likes being called "Abouna" though, because he does see you as his son.


Memorial for HH Pope Shenouda

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