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Loci Immutati #11

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Loci Immutati #11

Postby tbearzhang » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:39 am

The first sentence:

L. Paulus consul iternum, cum ei bellum ut cum rege Perse gereret obtigisset, ut ea ipsa die domum ad vesperum rediit, filiolam suam Tertiam, quae tum erat admodum parva, osculans animadvertit tristiculam.

My translation:

Lucius Paulus consul a second time, when to wage war with king Perseus fell to him, when on that day itself he returned home toward dusk, he turned (his) mind to kissing his own little daughter (the) rather sad Tertia, who was then very little.


Question:

1. In the footnotes, it is stated that "ut . . . gereret" is the noun clause subject of obtigisset. So how should this be translated in English? In my translation I essentially translated it as an infinitive, is that correct?

2. The last half of the sentence is pretty complicated, and I know that the English translation is not very accurate. What would be a better way to formulate the sentence? I tried a few other ways but they sound even weirder. Is this a case where there is no way for English to faithfully translate the Latin and we have to introduce some additional words/clauses for it to be idiomatic?

Thanks!
行勝於言
FACTA NON VERBA
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Re: Loci Immutati #11

Postby anphph » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:34 am

1. When it happened that he'd have to wage war against the Persian King.
You got it right in your version. What the Latin says is closer to "When a war befell him, that he should have to battle against the Persian King", but it's unnecessary to stick to that level of word-per-word translation.

2.
ut ea ipsa die domum ad vesperum rediit,
filiolam suam Tertiam,
quae tum erat admodum parva,
osculans
animadvertit tristiculam.

When he returned home that very evening, as he was kissing his little daughter Tertia (who at the time was very young), he realized that she was quite sad.

What you got wrong is "he turned (his) mind to kissing". Really what's going on is that "Tertiam" is in zeugma, meaning that it is the object of both "osculans" and "animadvertit". — "Tertiam osculans, [eam] animadvertit tristiculam," but of course you don't need that "eam".

You do seem to be going for a sort of impossible Grail, when you ask if there is "no way for English to faithfully translate the Latin and we have to introduce some additional words/clauses for it to be idiomatic". The problem is that something being idiomatic really does mean that it is adopting turns of phrases of a specific language that would be foreign to some other language. Except for once in a blue moon circumstances (and with luck, and with skill) you could either have something verbally corresponding, without being idiomatic, or vice-versa. I wouldn't worry too much about having them match. If you feel like you are translating to make sure you get the text, then stick to more verbal constructions. Then, later, and if you want, touch them up, but don't feel like you have to do both.
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Re: Loci Immutati #11

Postby tbearzhang » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:16 pm

Thank you anphph! Your explanation was very clear and helpful.

anphph wrote:If you feel like you are translating to make sure you get the text, then stick to more verbal constructions. Then, later, and if you want, touch them up, but don't feel like you have to do both.


Thank you for the translation advice, too. Right now I'm mostly translating to make sure I understand the meaning of each word and the grammatical construction of the sentence, so I'll try to stick to more verbal constructions.
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