Mistranslation Confuses Italian Youth

A language translation error in the Italian edition of a Catholic book aimed at young people made it look like the Vatican had changed its mind about birth control, reversing centuries of church policy. The book had to be temporarily pulled from the shelves while the publishers corrected the error, lest young Italian Catholic couples think they had been given license to practice contraception.

The book, YouCat, uses a question-and-answer format to give young adult readers guidance on Church teachings. One question deals with the traditionally thorny issue of family planning. According to, when this particular question-and-answer couplet was translated, the Italian phrase “metodi anticoncezionali” was used as a translation for the German phrase “Empfngnisregelung”. Read more