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I have a document here written in either Italian or Latin and need help translating it.

An extract from

Dusina's Apostolic Visitation Report of 1575: teneatur deservire choro Ecclesia Parrochialis [intus Castrum]

"In quanto allo servitio dello choro io non me ne impaccio ne tocca a me, perchè non sono se non un semplice parrochiano, et non si fa servitio in choro in questo loco."

All help appreciated.

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    Welcome to Italian.SE! Better than asking for a translation into English, a translation into modern Italian would be more appropriate. – egreg Apr 4 '18 at 21:34
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Provided that the context is almost certainly ecclesiastical, since the document is about an "Apostolic Visitation", a mixture has here been common between Italian and Latin, mainly because the official language was opposed to the vernacular, which can be regarded as an ancient form of Italian. As Riccardo de Contardi commented in a previous answer, the title is in Latin and its meaning is (following Riccardo hints)

[He/it] is required to serve the choir of the parish church [inside the walls]

where "choro" can be probably intepreted as a vocal choir. The second part of the text is instead Italian, without apparent Maltese influences:

Talking about choir service I won't get involved in it, nor it is my duty, since I am nothing but a simply parishioner, and in this place you don't serve the choir.

I try an interpretation: during the Apostolic Visitation the superior questioned about the choir service, arguing that the man whose words are quoted should do it; the man then appelled to the local laws (maybe just habits), by which he had not to get involved in it.

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    My fault, I have not noticed that the latin phrase was the title, in this case the passive form of the verb is maybe used as an impersonal form, that is: "it is required to serve..." – Riccardo De Contardi Apr 5 '18 at 11:08
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    Somehow you and SOROMEED made the exact same mistakes, and it bugs me. The correct word here is “nor,” not “neither.” Also, subject and verb are reversed after “nor,” so it should be, “nor is it my duty.” – Tom S. Fox Apr 5 '18 at 22:10
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It means something like, “As far as service in the choir is concerned, I do not get involved in it, nor does it fall to me to do so, for I am but a simple parishioner, and one does not serve in the choir in this position.”

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It seems to be a quite old form of italian. It's hard to answer without any context, but I can relate it to a religious one.

The word choro is probably referred to the italian word coro (=choir), the group of people that sings during a function or a rite. The word servitio (servizio) could be translated as "service", but it might be off since in a religious context servitio could mean different things.

Regarding the "choir service" I don't take care of it and nor does it concern me, because I'm nobody but a simple parishioner, and in this place there is no "choir service" / and no "choir service" is offered in this place.

That would be my rough translation without any other hint.

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  • The document comes from Malta in the 1500s from a Catholic priest. I know it isn't Maltese so its either Italian or Latin but it isn't very old. There may be dialect words thrown in from Maltese though – Charlie Apr 4 '18 at 17:30
  • Yes it's italian and I would consider a 500-year-old document to be old :) does this translation fit the rest of the document? – SOROMEED Apr 4 '18 at 17:42
  • I don't have the rest of the document, but it can be looked up. I am researching my ancestor Lorenzo de Apapis and this happens to be something he said in this document: Dusina's Apostolic Visitation Report of 1575: teneatur deservire choro Ecclesia Parrochialis [intus Castrum] – Charlie Apr 4 '18 at 17:55
  • That's latin."teneatur" is the passive form of "tĕnĕo" = "to require"; as it is the 3rd singular person of the verb, I think that the subject is the person that the document refers to. deservire choro = to serve the choir. The next two words are puzzling me, because they should mean "of the parish church", but I expected a genitive form (Ecclesiae Parrochialis) But that could be an error due to the late latin... [intus Castrum] is a note that IMO means basically "inside the walls" (castrum is a fortified place). So: "[He] is required to serve the choir of the parish church [inside the walls]" – Riccardo De Contardi Apr 4 '18 at 20:10
  • Somehow you and Gabriele made the exact same mistakes, and it bugs me. The correct word here is “nor,” not “neither.” Also, subject and verb are reversed after “nor,” so it should be, “nor does it concern me.” – Tom S. Fox Apr 5 '18 at 22:11

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