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BLD §95 II Tranlation Q's

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BLD §95 II Tranlation Q's

Postby Timothy » Tue Apr 13, 2004 3:30 am

(Timicus lamentat) :(

§95 II.

"Alto muros, longa at dura bella, clara victorias quis non laudat?"

Isn't "victorias" the accusative plural of victories? So I translated this as "famous victories" rather than "famous battles" (claras pugnas).

(sigh) The previous set of excercises really threw me. I must have gone over §86 10 times without getting it right. I've had [i]a lot[/i] of difficulty selecting the proper case for phrases such as "to the village", "call to dinner" to the point where I couldn't tell what the object of the sentence was any longer or if I was just memorizing the the answers by sheer repetition. I finally stopped and did some remedial Latin from BLBCD and then went back and tried again.

I [i]think[/i] I have gotten past it since I was finally able to complete the exercise while selecting the right words, matching cases, and knowing why. However, it consummed a lot of time.

:?: In any case, my question: does "ad" _always_ use the Accusative rather than the Ablative? §53 lists the prepositions that must have the Ablative case following but I can't see why "ad" takes the Accusative other than by default. That's where I get into trouble.

...nautam vocat.

But when I try to put in "to dinner" I get stuck with using the accusative because I [i]already have[/i] a direct object.

Lastly, I always though Latin was a definative language such that there shouldn't or couldn't be abiguity in terms of word connections; hence the word order could be used for emphasis. But I just came across the thread on amici legati mali. ugh. I didn't have the problem when I did the exercise, but now I'm not so sure.

Why do beginner books do this sort of thing?
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Re: BLD §95 II Tranlation Q's

Postby benissimus » Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:08 am

Timothy wrote:(Timicus lamentat) :(

§95 II.

"Alto muros, longa at dura bella, clara victorias quis non laudat?"

Isn't "victorias" the accusative plural of victories? So I translated this as "famous victories" rather than "famous battles" (claras pugnas).

I assume the book has altos muros and claras victorias. You are correct that victoria means "victory", does the key have otherwise?

(sigh) The previous set of excercises really threw me. I must have gone over §86 10 times without getting it right. I've had a lot of difficulty selecting the proper case for phrases such as "to the village", "call to dinner" to the point where I couldn't tell what the object of the sentence was any longer or if I was just memorizing the the answers by sheer repetition. I finally stopped and did some remedial Latin from BLBCD and then went back and tried again.

I think I have gotten past it since I was finally able to complete the exercise while selecting the right words, matching cases, and knowing why. However, it consummed a lot of time.

It's good to go back and review everything that seems confusing. To be able to read, you have to recall all the old concepts and merge them with newer ones. Hopefully, BLD integrates old material with new material well, and you just have to keep it all by memory.

:?: In any case, my question: does "ad" _always_ use the Accusative rather than the Ablative? §53 lists the prepositions that must have the Ablative case following but I can't see why "ad" takes the Accusative other than by default. That's where I get into trouble.

Yes, ad is a preposition that always takes the accusative. The flaw in most textbooks is that they tend to explain the ablative as the case of prepositions, when this is not really true.

Prepositions that take the ablative are mainly motion away (e.g. ex, ab, de) and action without change in position (e.g. sub, in + abl.). The ablative by itself can carry meanings of separation, moving away, and other similar relationships.

Prepositions that take the accusative usually deal with motion towards or against an object, and sometimes relative positions. Ad is the most obvious example for motion towards, since it truly does mean "towards". Other examples of motion towards are in+acc. "into...", sub+acc. "under... (in motion)", and secundum "following...". Ideas of relative position, except for those that describe separation and motion away (which are governed by ablative), are expressed by such prepositions as circum "around...", super+acc. "over...", and citra "on this side of...".

You have to remember which case to use for each preposition, and these rules should help you do so, but you will have to memorize the cases nonetheless.

...nautam vocat.

But when I try to put in "to dinner" I get stuck with using the accusative because I already have a direct object.

The object of a preposition is not the direct object of the sentence. You will know them apart because the direct object stands alone and the prepositional object has a preposition before it ;) This will be hard to do if you skip through sentences looking for subject, verb, and object like many people, so try to read it in the order it is written and recognize the parts in their natural state.

Lastly, I always though Latin was a definative language such that there shouldn't or couldn't be abiguity in terms of word connections; hence the word order could be used for emphasis. But I just came across the thread on amici legati mali. ugh. I didn't have the problem when I did the exercise, but now I'm not so sure.

Why do beginner books do this sort of thing?

With fragments there are far too many interpretations. You need the entire sentence to distinguish whether this is...

1.) nominative plural amici and genitive singular legati mali the friends of the bad legate
2.) genitive singular amici and genitive singular legati mali the bad legate's friend's...
3.) genitive singular amici and nominative plural legati mali the bad legates of the friend

In Sentence 1, the subject is the plural noun "friends", so the verb must also be plural. In Sentence 2, the subject has not yet been revealed. Sentence 3 would take a plural noun like Sentence 1, and you would have to distinguish which made more sense (probably Sentence 1, but depends on context).

This is by far more precise than English, where a word such as "friend" could be any singular case other than genitive, and "friends" could be any plural case except for genitive, while in Latin all the words were narrowed down to genitive singular or nominative plural.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby whiteoctave » Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:15 am

Of course, out of context amici legati mali, haec verba praeter istas admonitionis tui, Benissime, reddi sic possint:

the friends of the ambassador's apple
the friends of the apple's ambassador
the ambassadors of the friend's apple
the ambassadors of the apple's friend
* * *
the masts of the friend's ambassador
the masts of the ambassador's friend
the friends of the ambassador's mast
the friends of the mast's ambassador
the ambassadors of the friend's mast
the ambassador of the mast's friend
* * *
the apple trees of the friend's ambassador
the apple trees of the ambassador's friend
the friends of the ambassador's apple tree
the friends of the apple tree's ambassador
the ambassadors of the friend's apple tree
the ambassadors of the apple tree's friend.
* * *
of the evil of the friend's ambassador
of the evil of the ambassador's friend

since malum, -i; malum, -; malus, -i (f.) and malus, -i (m.) are all separate words with distinct meanings.
The ambiguity here reminds me of a fun li'l Latin rhyme:

malo, i would rather be,
malo, in an apple tree,
malo, than a boy naughty
malo, in adversity.

referring to malle, malus, -i (fem.), malus-a-um and malum-i; the inclusion of a form of malle, which very often appears in the same form as the malum and malus words/adjective, is nice.

~dave
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Re: BLD §95 II Tranlation Q's

Postby Barrius » Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:50 pm

(sigh) The previous set of excercises really threw me. I must have gone over §86 10 times without getting it right. I've had a lot of difficulty selecting the proper case for phrases such as "to the village", "call to dinner" to the point where I couldn't tell what the object of the sentence was any longer or if I was just memorizing the the answers by sheer repetition. I finally stopped and did some remedial Latin from BLBCD and then went back and tried again.


Don't feel like the lone stranger. I decided to do books simultaneously because BLB has more exercises (but, as Dave pointed out, they repeat the same subject/verb/object ad nauseum). I do know there was one problem in §82 that I did yesterday that threw me. In that case I wait a few hours or a day, then go back and try to do them all again.
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Postby Timothy » Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:15 pm

I think so.

BLD: Altos muros, longa et dura bella, claras victorias quis non laudat?
Key: Who does not praise the talls walls, the long and hard battles, and the famous victories?

The "talls walls" is a typo.

I realize that much of this is ancient for you as I gather the last group went through the book last summer and finished up around March or so. So I am a bit out of synch on this. In the furture I will post both the Latin and English and section references to clarify. One result of this is that I have started a annotated key that uses section references for the principles used. If and when I finish I'll make it available for review to the forumn. OTOH, if I'm having particular problems I probably should post a section to make sure I'm not making up my own rules! ;)

Also, I don't want to leave unspoken my gratitude for your help and insight.

I find that my reading is fine, though I may be glossing over endings a little. Most of the time I get the correct meaning and my mistakes are in number or emphasis. For example,

Pulchra est terra Italia.

1. Beautiful is the Italian land.
2. Beautiful is the land of Italy.

Now, I've been trying translate the Latin in the same order as it is written since I believe that it gives a better feeling for the way the Romans spoke and thought. (It's one fo the hints in there someplace.) I seem to recall that Latin is a very declarative language (which is part of why Caesar's reports were unusual in that he spoke of himself in the third person.) So I when I translate the above I see a distinction between the two. The first is speaking of the _soil_ of Italy. These are farmers; an argrigarian society. They talk of the rich soil; the bountiful the harvest. As opposed to the landscape. The subsequent sentences seem to enforce this to me:

Agri boni agricolis praemia dant magna, et eui agricolarum copiam frumenti ad oppida and vicos portant.

I can almost hear a salespitch here for a good patch of bottomland! ;) I may get a bit more from these schoolbook sentences than they deserve, however.

The hard work is the writing. While I have the vocabulary pretty well, the sentence formation is a problem. The word order is fine, but the endings have been a bit sticky. What I have been doing is an exercise of taking a sentence and substituting different words or taking one sentance and transforming into another by changing a word. That often helps when I have a similar Latin sentence in one part of the exercise and an English translation in the other. Transforming, "Nautae boni ad bellum properant." into "Lesbia invites the good sailor to dinner." helps me see how "ad cenam" makes sense.

On a side note: you or whiteoctave (he of the OLD icon) can probably answer this. I purchased the Lewis and Short Elementary Dictionary, which I think is appropriate for my level today. I gather that one or both of you have the expanded versions of L+S and OLD. At a later time I will probably invest in one of these but, for now, the ELD will do nicely. :?: My question is on the item entry formats. Can you explain the format for me? It's been 30 years since I last saw this and my OED uses a format that I have come to enjoy. It seems to me that the latin dictionary uses something like: <word form> <gender> <meaning> <reference>. However, there are a couple of instances where the format gets confusing. I can do this offline if that is more convient.

Speaking of which, benissimus, should I contact you offline regarding a minor forumn issue?

I should stop babbling now.
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Postby whiteoctave » Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:53 pm

Hey Tim, good to see that you're an OED man.
The ELD is a pleasant little book and functions on most occasions as my quick-reference dictionary.
As regards its format, you have the head-word in bold (followed occasionally by alternative means of spelling) then the following, depending upon the type of word:

for nouns: genitive form, gender, [root etymology] (if stated),

for adjectives: adj. no forms after head-word if it is -us -a -um; if of a different declension, the feminine and neuter nominative singulars are supplied alongside the masculine nominative singular), it is then stated whether the comparative and superlative forms are also attested in Latin, [root etymology] (if stated).

for adverbs: adv., it is stated whether the comparative and superlative forms are attested in Latin, [root etymology] (if stated).

for verbs: 1st sing. pres. act. indic., 1st sing. perf. act. (if regular, only the ending with thematic vowel is given), supine, pres. act. infinitive. [root etymology] (if stated).

for other forms of speech it is not really worth explaining.

After these separate parts and a colon comes:

simple meaning: brief Latin citations (as short as possible, so as to highlight the sense of the context), Capital letter for author (Lewis has a corpus of 16 authors - each is separated by a colon; it is worth noting that citations without a letter following are by Cicero). Any figurative, transferred or significantly meanings are then listed in the same manner with a short English introduction and meaning followed by the applicable citations. Significant semantic groups are distinguished by the bold numerals I, II etc.

This manner of lexicography is not the most satisfactory and indeed does not fare too well, in my opinion, in L&S. The OLD, however, was written upon the lexicographical basis of the OED, and Murray's lucid system is applied with much success.

Finally, the most distressing of all dictionaries in terms of layour, Liddell and Scott, is to be replaced soon by the Cambridge Greek Lexicon, upon which I had the pleasure of working on for a period in these holidays. It will dominate!

~dave
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dictinary format

Postby Timothy » Wed Apr 14, 2004 4:24 pm

whiteoctave wrote:Hey Tim, good to see that you're an OED man.
The ELD is a pleasant little book and functions on most occasions as my quick-reference dictionary.


Well, because of the Latin classes of my youth I developed a fondness for a good dictionary and use it to look up the Latin roots. One of my teachers wrote a book on etymology and ever since I have always paid attention to the word etymology.

[skip format info]

Interesting. Thanks, that helped. I see where I got tripped up. The book size and entry layout made it difficult for me to distinguish the alternate meanings as subsections. That is the one thing I don't care for with ELD and the A+G copy I got. These books are so small that it is hard for someone like me to read them easily.

Tim
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