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Translation? Exercise

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Translation? Exercise

Postby auctor » Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:33 pm

Is it time again for one of those fatuous wastes-of-time which I post now and again? How about translating (rewording into Greek idiom first will guarantee a better result) a little quip from a much maligned politician who was also a classicist of the highest ability...

History is littered with the wars which everybody knew would never happen.

Extra Brownie points for anyone identifying it (without Google!!).

Good luck & fun,
Paul McK
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Postby Phylax » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:24 pm

Gosh, that's a tricky one, Auctor, but fun!

Would I be right in thinking the Greeks would set about it in a less figurative, more straightforward and concrete fashion, e.g.:

"The past spawned many wars, those (ones that) forsooth all were knowing never to-become", and fling a [face=SPIonic]me/n[/face] into the first clause and a [face=SPIonic]de/[/face] into the second, to provide that point/counterpoint feeling the Greeks were so fond of?

Umm ... , is that enough to let me off actually having to translate it, Sir? :lol: ... Over to my more learned and diligent colleagues!

Your humble pupil,
Phylax
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Postby chad » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:12 am

here's a quick translation :)

pole/mou tino\j gignome/nou, oi( po/lloi prole/gontej a)/llwj e)le/gxontai.

when a war occurs (gen abs), the many predicting otherwise are refuted.
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Postby chad » Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:04 am

actually that's pretty bad i decided 1 minute after posting it... here's another attempt...

e(/kaston po/lemon polloi\ dh\ h)rne/onto genhse/sqai, e(/wj e)ge/neto.

many denied that each war would happen (fut inf), until it happened.

i'm not sure if i got the moods right here.
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Postby mingshey » Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:08 am

How about putting it like this?

Nobody ever believed in (or, listened to) their Kassandra.

[face=SPIonic]ou)dei/j ou)/pote[/face]
(or just [face=SPIonic]po/te[/face]?) [face=SPIonic]Kassa/ndra| au)tou= e)pisteu/e[/face] (or [face=SPIonic]h)kou=e[/face]).

Corrections are welcome. :D

P.S.
Was the politician somebody quite like a Bismarck?
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Postby auctor » Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:30 pm

Yes Phylax, I'm sure the Greeks would have been much less 'flowery' with their language. People and definite things as subjects of verbs is a good start. 'History' is hardly a thing - more a concept that we understand because of Greek learning - and as such probably can't be 'littered'.

Chad, I think, has come close to replicating the whole sentiment... but isn't the original more definite? Everybody knew that blah blah, not just most people.

Mingshey has found a very cute classical image in involving Cassandra - could that be extended? I'm sure there's mileage in that route.

When I rewrote the sentence I came up with...

Mankind knew never to-be-going-to happen those wars which actually have happened.

I'll leave it a day or so longer to see if there are anymore people working on this little doodad. Or, indeed, if someone wants to comment on my maundering thoughts.

Paul McK
btw The original writer was a student under A E Housman at Cambridge, and was a professor of Greek at Sydney
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Postby auctor » Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:46 pm

postscriptum
He knew his Virgil - Aeneid bk 6, l. 86
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Postby auctor » Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:23 pm

Alright then time to close this off...
Enoch Powell wrote the original and my version of it is...

[face=SPIonic]
h)/|dei ou)=n o( a)/nqrwpoj ou)de/pote genhsome/nouj tou\j po/lemouj e)kei/nouj oi(/per kai\ e)ge/nonto
[/face]


This is far from the _answer_, more like my take on it, comments welcome, as would be someone more knowledgable to give a lesson on accentuation :D

Paul McK
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