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Fictitious Epistulam

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Fictitious Epistulam

Postby Strix Varia » Mon Jun 07, 2004 5:48 am

Hello there everyone, or should I say salvete? But I digress-

As you've probably figured out, I'm a newbie, despite having popped by this message board, or more specifically, the Agora, where I find myself almost totally lost. However, I was creating a somewhat fictitious epistulam this evening (which I originally attended to send to a friend, but got carried away), but I was wondering how many zillions of syntax and grammar rules I managed to break. LOL, I do realize that I've added a lot of English grammar, but that's just a crutch. You'll also notice that some of the sentence structures are really... shall I say liberal? I don't want a piece of literary quality; I want something that mimics what a Roman might have emailed a friend if there actually was email. Then again, maybe Latin is more conservative, and I am merely being overly influenced by both the metaphorical qualities I see in translations as well as my own modern day mentality, but anyway, this is my first:

Fictitious Letter

Corneliae Edvardous salutem,

Si vales, gaudeo. Ego valeo recte.
Quamquam perplexus sum.
Tu respectum inquirisne?
Respectus? Respectus?
Si possess legite hoc:

Caballus et equa asina procreaverunt hinnum.
Caballa et equus asinus procreaverunt mulam.
Hinnus et mula procreaverunt mecumne?
Vero! Ego obstinatus sum, sed non obsequium!
Bus non sum; ego sum bonus!
Mulus non sum; ego sum melior!
Eheu! Platonos equus perfectus!
Ego somnium habeo! Somnium!
Sed minime vero!
Igitur non optimus sum!
Sed Ego sum mecum!
Estne malus? Estne injurius?
Si ita vero mecum ignoscite, amica!

Cura ut valeas
- - -
Post Scriptum: Epistulam misero in aestas, sed non sollicitate!


My translation:

Greetings from Edward to Cornelia,

If you are strong, I am glad. I am rightly strong.
Although I am perplexed.
You seek respect?
Respect? Respect?
If you are able read this:

A male horse and a female donkey bring into being a hinny.
A female horse and a male donkey bring into being a mule.
A hinny and a mule bring into being me?
Yes! I am stubborn, but I am not servile!
I am not a bull; I am good!
I am not a mule; I am better!
Alas! Plato's perfect horse!
I have a dream! A dream!
But indeed it is not so!
Therefore I am not the best!
But I am myself!
Is that evil? Is that unjust?
If yes indeed then forgive me, friend!

Take care in order to be strong
- - -
PS: I will send a letter in summer, but do not worry!
Strix Varia
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Re: Fictitious Epistulam

Postby benissimus » Mon Jun 07, 2004 8:55 am

Well done! The content was a little strange (I won't try to understand what it means unless you want to explain), but there are only a few errors. There are also a couple oddities that you may or may not be aware of.

I encourage you to ask questions if you don't understand what I have said or disagree. I am glad to explain and I may not always be right *gasp*

Fictitious Letter

Corneliae Edvardous salutem,

Si vales, gaudeo. Ego valeo recte.
Quamquam perplexus sum.
Perhaps join the sentences Ego valeo recte and Quamquam perplexus sum; that is the purpose of a conjunction (Quamquam) after all.
Tu respectum inquirisne?
Respectus? Respectus?
The repetitions of Respectus should be kept in the accusative as well, as it really implies Respectum (inquirisne)?.
Si possess legite hoc:
Why not potes? I don't know why you used a plural imperative; did you mean lege?

Caballus et equa asina procreaverunt hinnum.
Caballa et equus asinus procreaverunt mulam.
Caballus is typically not used to refer to a horse in the general sense, but more specifically a riding-horse or pack-horse. There does not appear to be a reputable feminine form. I would recommend just using equus/equa for the horse part.
As for the donkeys, asinus/asina alone should suffice for gender distinction.

Hinnus et mula procreaverunt mecumne?
-ne usually is added to the first word of the sentence. I don't know why you used mecum ("with me"); me by itself would make more sense.
Vero! Ego obstinatus sum, sed non obsequium!
Obsequium is not an adjective - you have said "... but [I am] not compliance (itself)!". You can keep it if you want that sort of emphasis, or else try to find an adjective for "servile" (e.g. servilis).
Bus non sum; ego sum bonus!
Bos is the standard form; Bus is quite rare.
Mulus non sum; ego sum melior!
Eheu! Platonos equus perfectus!
Ego somnium habeo! Somnium!
Sed minime vero!
You may like the words immo or attamen in this sentence, though yours is fine.
Igitur non optimus sum!
Igitur, though not as inflexible as most textbooks say, is usually not the first word in its sentence.
Sed Ego sum mecum!
This says "I am with myself", which might work if you mean in the spiritual/philosophical sense. I think to express what you are trying to say, it could be done with intensives such as ipse or egomet (for ego). You could also use ago instead of sum for something like "I act myself".
Estne malus? Estne injurius?
Si ita vero mecum ignoscite, amica!
With ignoscite the object should be in the dative, so change mecum to mihi (or more colloquially mi).
You used a plural imperative again (ignoscite), but it seems like you are only talking to one person (ignosce).


Cura ut valeas
- - -
Post Scriptum: Epistulam misero in aestas, sed non sollicitate!
The future perfect misero is not necessary, but that is a matter of style.
Aestas should be in the ablative (Ablative of Time), and does not need a preposition (though if it did it would be in the ablative anyways).
Non sollicitate is unusual. Negative imperatives are usually constructed with noli (imperative of nolo, nolle, nolui) + infinitive (sollicitare). However, since sollicitare is transitive, I recommend you use the passive ...noli sollicitari "do not be worried/bothered" - otherwise the reader wonders whom she is worrying.




Cura ut valeas
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Strix Varia » Mon Jun 07, 2004 9:50 pm

Thank you! This is precisely what I needed! I'm graduating high school with three years of Latin, but our teacher doesn't correct grammar, so this has been enormously helpful! To have a strong sense of basics, I'm going to study Wheelock's over the summer, and now I have a better idea of what I have to work on. I think I'll do this again sometime.

As for the peculiar contents... te-hee! 8)

I in no way want to force anyone to read my strange letter again, but just for the record, I'll post my latest version. There is probably a few errors left, but oh well :roll: ...

- - -

Corneliae Edvardous salutem,

Si vales, gaudeo. Ego valeo recte quamquam perplexus sum. Tu respectum inquirisne?
Respectum? Respectum? Si potes lege hoc:

Equus et asina procreaverunt hinnum.
Equa et asinus procreaverunt mulam.
Hinnusne et mula pocreaverunt me?
Vero! Ego obstinatus sum!
Bos non sum; ego sum bonus!
Mulus non sum; ego sum melior!
Eheu! Platonos equus perfectus!
Ego somnium habeo! Somnium!
Immo valde igitur non optimus sum!
Sed ego ago ipse!
Estne malus? Estne injurius?
Si ita vero mihi ignosce, amica!

Cura ut valeas

Post Scriptum: Epistulam misero aestate sed noli sollicitari.

*edit* fixed below... 8) *edit*
Last edited by Strix Varia on Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Strix Varia
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Postby benissimus » Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:19 am

Strix Varia wrote:Post Scriptum: Epistulam misero in aestata sed noli sollicitari.

I think the changes are an improvement; it is actually quite good Latin. However, the ablative of aestas is aestate, not aestata. The in is superfluous, as it is an ablative of time (no preposition necessary).
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Postby Strix Varia » Tue Jun 08, 2004 2:08 am

question. Future perfects are rarely used in English, but with "misero" I thought using future perfect would add a dramatic effect.

Sort of like...

"I will kill him."
"I will have killed him."

In some subjective way, the latter seems to imply that the speaker is more aware of the act he is to commit; he almost forsees his future consideration of the murder, because he sees the ends and not the means. Does that make sense? :?

This letter is vague, but by using "misero," I'm trying to suggest that the second letter will be more definitive, as if I'm going to get to the heart of the matter at that time. Nothing literal, of course.

This seems to be more of a linguistic curiosity, aye? However, I'm uncertain if this concept, which I derive via some great leap of logic, has any tenability in Latin.
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