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Recently, on the first day of their 2011 Ordinary Plenary Assembly, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ) formally endorsed a new, colloquial translation of the “Hail Mary” in colloquial Japanese. This new version replaces a previous colloquial version introduced in 1993.
The new prayer’s formal Japanese name is Ave Maria no Inori, or “The Ave Maria Prayer.” A first draft of this translation underwent a nationwide trial period of provisional use from December 8, 2010, to March 25, 2011. During that time, 446 people contacted the CBCJ with their opinions.
In response to some questions and concerns that formed part of this feedback, the CBCJ recently issued a guide to the revised prayer on its website. That document highlighted nine features of the translation and offered the rationale for the translations used in each.
Here is the final text of the prayer in Japanese, with the official Latin and English texts provided in parallel for reference. Each numbered passage has accompanying notes summarizing the most important clarifications offered in their guide.