News and Insights

Speeches of Father and Mother Moon

The Unification Principles were already revealed to Sun Myung Moon in 1944. Since then, he gained many more insights and received new revelations, which we have learnt about through his speeches.

Since the mid-1950s, Father Moon’s countless speeches were recorded. Later, they were compiled into several hundred volumes, that have only been published in Korean.

Mother Moon has given many speeches since the 1980’s. Many of them have been published. Extracts from her numerous speeches since Father Moon‘s passing was published in 2017 in True Mother Hak Ja Han Moon: An Anthology.  Some of Mother Moon‘s public speeches are included in the speech collection Pyeonghwa Gyeong (Peace Scriptures – English version 2014).

English translations of many of Father Moon‘s speeches exist, but many were usually translated simultaneously while he was giving a sermon. A good number of those translations were reviewed, and it turned out that over 80% of the content had to be translated again.

As the executive editor of an anthology containing numerous quotations from Father Moon‘s speeches, writes:

Father and Mother Moon gave many speeches

“A special challenge in preparing this volume was to establish accurate translations of Father Moon’s teachings. This was a considerable undertaking, occupying the work of the editors and their staff for two full years. Korean and English are such dissimilar languages that translation between them is extremely difficult, and furthermore Father Moon has a unique vocabulary and gives his Korean words special meanings. Few people have both the requisite skills in translation and familiarity with Father Moon’s thought as to be qualified for the task.

Although thousands of pages of Father Moon’s words exist in English, the translations are largely unreliable. Many were simultaneous translations made in the heat pf delivering a sermon, where the translator was oftentimes reduced to paraphrasinq a complex thought. Sometimes the translator adjusted the content on purpose to be more understandable to a Western audience; this was especially the case for certain well-known public speeches delivered in 1973 and 1974.

Hence, it was not surprising that when English passages selected for the book were checked against the Korean text, eighty percent of them had to be completely re-translated.” (World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon (2007), Preface, p xiv)

The speech collection Pyeong Hwa Gyeong [Peace Scriptures] is a good example of solving the problem of translation. The Original Korean version appeared in February 2013, the English version in August 2014. As the Preface points out,

“While the majority of the 178 speeches in Pyeong Hwa Gyeong were given by True Father [Father Moon], a significant number were given by True Mother [Mother Moon]. Some were given on their behalf by their children or grandchildren. Many appear in English for the first time, or have been retranslated from the original Korean text, or have had missing parts restored.

Sincere appreciation is due to the translators and editors who worked to prepare this English edition. Their work included verifying titles, venues and organizations, and comparing the English and Korean texts, which often diverged. Thanks go to those who discovered missing English texts of speeches in a computer, in a forgotten archive or tucked away in a drawer at home. Although all who were involved felt inadequately qualified for the task, the teams spirit to take ownership pf the process bodes well for the future of the work to render scriptural works into the world’s languages.” (Pyeong Hwa Gyeong, p 4)

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