After seven months of the "new" translation, what is being communicated via that "feedback loop"? Fr. Donahue mentions the stumbling over prayers (especially, I would note, the Collects) by presiders, the "resignation" of all to the various archaic English expressions which were supposed to evoke a sense of elevation, reverence and awe, according to the proponents of the translation. Instead, the language in many cases simply sounds and feels remote and artificial according to the many comments made by parishioners. Furthermore, and this is something not mentioned by Fr. Donahue, but something that I feel is quite significant: From what I have experienced over these months in assisting as deacon at many Masses presided over by many different priests has been a tendency to "re-write" (especially the Collects) the prayers, usually on the fly, in order to help them be more understandable in proclaimed form. While I applaud the pastoral sensitivity involved, I would simply point out that this opens the door to increasing adaptation of the very texts which its designers sought to avoid!
More disturbing, of course, is the further "distancing" caused by many of the choices made in the new translation. By focusing exclusively on the Latin text, and despite the claims of proponents to the contrary, we have distanced our liturgical language from our more ancient scriptural and liturgical roots. "Faithfulness to the Latin" -- and even how well that claim stands up to scrutiny is a matter of debate in itself! -- has undercut the intentions of both Dei Verbum and Sacrosanctum Concilium by cutting us off not only from the more ancient terms found in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew, but from the rich tapestry of meanings those ancient terms sought to convey. Vatican II wanted the sacraments to be characterized by a "noble simplicity", and in language accessible to all with ease.
Turning to Fr. Donahue's specific question, I would only add that, in my opinion, the repeated use of "chalice" constitutes an anachronism. The term "chalice" in modern times has come to mean the kind of liturgical vessel familiar to many at Mass; we don't speak of wine "chalices" in our homes, or even in fancy restaurants. The term is almost exclusively used in reference to a church vessel. As Fr. Donahue points out, there was a Greek version of a more ornate liturgical vessel reflected by its own Greek word, but the fact is, such a Temple cup was NOT what Christ used, nor is that what is referred to throughout most of Judeo-Christian scriptures! What IS referred to is a cup, plain and simple. To retroject the word "chalice" into the liturgical language is, in short, anachronistic, misplaced, and misleading. Put simply, the focus of the translation seems to be on the first half of the communications loop: finding the right symbols and meanings to translate the Latin text, without paying any real significant attention to the second half of the loop: How will all of this be received, translated and interpreted by the people receiving the message?
As a deacon, linguist and theologian, I have found the journey of "reception" of the newest translation of the Roman Missal to be a mixed bag at best. These "little" examples ("cup" vs. "chalice", "many" vs "all", and of course who can forget "dewfall," "consubstantial" and "oblation"?) add up to an effective rejection of the positions taken by the world's Catholic bishops gathering in council at Vatican II: that the liturgy should be expressed in language easily understood, grounded in the most ancient Tradition of the church, and in ways that would ensure the "full, conscious and active participation" of all. I find that just the opposite is happening, and that many of our parishioners are finding that when coupled with so many other examples of ecclesial "distancing" from the real lives and problems of people, this becomes just one more reason to walk away from the institutional dimensions of the Church.
The symbols chosen for us are not being interpreted and understood as intended, which means we must go back to the drawing board and try again. We must choose wisely.