January 19, 2023
Cathedral’s virtual tour and multi-language platform
Serving our international visitors
We started on an ambitious project two years ago to produce a new virtual tour of the Cathedral of Saint Paul and to translate it into the seven languages most requested by our international visitors. St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City has done it so why not here in Saint Paul?!
Introducing our French Translator & Narrator
Frédérique Toft, of Minneapolis, works as a contract linguist and educator in French, Spanish and Portuguese. Her native homeland sits near the center of France, in the Région Centre-Val de Loir, best known for the Loire Castles, wine country, and crop farming.
She moved to Minneapolis in 1995 to complete graduate studies, and then moved to South America for five years, before returning to Minneapolis.
Frédérique Toft has a favorite quote that has always resonated with her: “The day you stop learning is the day you start dying.” Albert Einstein
While she worked on the Cathedral Virtual Tour project, Frédérique said the Shrines of Nations delighted her most, learning that Archbishop John Ireland wanted the series of small chapels to honor all the ethnicities of the people who built the Cathedral. A landmark church in her native
French region would be the Cathedral of Chartres, “known partly for its amazing stained-glass windows,” said Frédérique.
North Rose Window, Chartres Cathedral.
Credit: Walwyn (CC BY-NC-SA)
A sweet taste of home
When asked to name a popular dish from her hometown, Frédérique named a delicious sweet: Beignets de fleurs d’acacia. “Flowers of the Black
Locust” tree are dipped into beignet batter, fried, sprinkled with sugar. This dish can only be made in early May when these delicate flowers are blossoming,” she said. “The aroma is unique and delicate.”
Tom Hauser lends his voice
We have finished shooting, editing, and recording the English version narrated by Tom Hauser, KSTP-TV’s Chief Political Reporter and host of “At Issue,” for which he has won multiple Emmy awards.
Hockey fans might also know him for his exuberant commentary during the Minnesota State High School Boys and Girls Hockey Tournaments, which he hosts on KSTC-TV, Channel 45. He’s also written a few books and run 29 marathons and
When this project came up, we went looking for the busiest person we could find with a big heart to match, and fortunately for us, Tom gave us an
Nothing lost in translation
Our seven linguists who have stepped up for this project are all native speakers of the language they will translate. CHF Board Chair Mary Schaffner made this request at the start of the project, and we believe this extra effort will give our tour added
credibility. We have completed the translations and recorded narrations in French, Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin Chinese. In progress are translations in Hmong, Japanese, and Ukrainian.
(Pictured right: Mikey Tang, Chinese translator & narrator)
We are still fundraising for this project. To date, we have received the following:
$5,000 private donor
$5,000 Hubbard Foundation
$37,000 Federal Tourism Recovery Grant
We welcome all support. Please send a check to the address below and write TOUR in the memo or donate online.
1430 Concordia Ave.
P.O. Box 40027
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5485