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Translation help

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Translation help

Postby Einhard » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:38 pm

Salvete,

Just looking for some clarifications regarding the translations of some words and phrases from Wheelock Chapt 34.
For "novimus" in "Bella es, novimus, et puella, verum est", benissimus has "we know", which makes sense in the context of the translated sentence, but surely it should be "we have known, we knew"?

Also, he (she?) translates "gemina teguntur lumina nocte" as "my eyes are covered by the double blindness". Where does the double blindness bit come from? I had "by the night instead".

Thanks,

Einhard.
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Re: Translation help

Postby Nooj » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:55 pm

Also, he (she?) translates "gemina teguntur lumina nocte" as "my eyes are covered by the double blindness". Where does the double blindness bit come from? I had "by the night instead".

gĕmĭnus, -a, -um - twin, two fold
nox, noctis (f) - night

lumina means 'eyes' by metonymy. It goes with teguntur, and gemina nocte is ablative of manner/instrument.
Dolor poetas creat.
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Re: Translation help

Postby modus.irrealis » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:57 pm

Einhard wrote:For "novimus" in "Bella es, novimus, et puella, verum est", benissimus has "we know", which makes sense in the context of the translated sentence, but surely it should be "we have known, we knew"?

There are a few verbs whose perfect form has present meaning (and pluperfect = imperfect, future perfect = future). "Nosco" is one of them, and I can also think of "odi" = "I hate", "memini" = "I remember", "consuevi" = "I am accustomed to". "Nosco" in the present means "to get to know", so you can sort of see "novi" = "I have gotten to know" = "I know", but it's used just like a present without necessarily having any overtones of a perfect tense, pretty much like "I've got". (Although I don't think that's what happened historically -- I believe these are relics from earlier forms of the language where the perfect represented a stative present.)
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Re: Translation help

Postby Einhard » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:01 pm

Thanks for that. I take it then that "novimus" can both be "We have gotten to know" and "We know"?

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