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Latin Translating Sense-Need Help in Improving!

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Latin Translating Sense-Need Help in Improving!

Postby Joe10112 » Wed May 16, 2012 3:09 am

Hi there,

You might not remember me, I posted asking for help on studying Latin earlier this year. I'm glad to say that I have improved drastically, but I still think that I'm missing some Latin sense. Now I just want to come to you to ask about how you all translate some random Latin Sentences. How do you approach it? What do you do first? What's your mode of thinking? When you see ___, do you think ___?

I'm just randomly pulling a few sentences out of Wheelocks Chapter 35, I have already done these as homework, but it took a little bit of time (I had to do all of the Sententiae Antiquae and the Ovid Section as HW last night T_T)

For instance:

Et Deus ait: "Faciamus hominem ad imaginem nostram et praesit piscibus maris besiisque terrae."

I translated it as: And God spoke, "Let us make men to our image, and place (him) before the fish in the sea and beasts of the earth."

When you see that Latin sentence, how do you go about translating it? If you could break down every thought process you have when translating, it would help alot.

Here are a few more "harder" ones.

"Cum tu omnia pecuniae postponas, miraris si nemo tibi amorem praestat?"

I translated: When you put money in front of all things, are you amazed if no one shows you love?

And, "Cum enim te, deum meum, quaero, vitam beatam quaero; quaeram te ut vivat anima mea."

I translated: For when I seek you, my God, I seek a blessed life, let me seek you so that my spirit may live.

Finally, this apparently really-hard Ovid section:

In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas
corpora: di, coeptis--nam vos mutastis et illas--
adspirate meis primaque ab origine mundi
ad mea perpetuum deducite tempora carmen!


I translated it as: In a new body (my) spirit compells (me) to speak of changing forms, gods, for you have changed even those, inspire my beginnings and from the first origin of the world, lead perpetual song into my time!

Those were just a couple I randomly picked, I had a tough time with them figuring out how to put them together, how to look at them, and how to think about them. (And know why each case is which. For instance, I saw some subjunctives but didn't recognize that they were Jussive/Hortatory clauses until later).

If you could go through your process on even just one of them, it would help me greatly in how to approach some difficult Latin sentences, including sight sentences, due to Finals coming up soon...

Any help is much appreciated! If you just have tips on how to go about translating, please share with us!

Note: By Chapter 35 of Wheelocks, I have learned about a bunch of stuff to do with Participles, Infinitives and Indirect Statements, the Subjunctives (all the forms and stuff), Cum Clauses, Volo/Malo/Nolo, Conditions, Deponent Verbs, and now, Dative with Adjectives, Special Verbs, and Compounds.

Thank you so much!
Joe10112
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Re: Latin Translating Sense-Need Help in Improving!

Postby adrianus » Wed May 16, 2012 5:51 pm

Your translations look quite good to me.
Meliores versiones tuae, ut opinor.

"place (him) before" ?
et praesit "and he would preside over "

"Cum tu omnia pecuniae postponas,
"When [/since] you [tend to] postpone [/neglect] everything for money"

"The Mind betakes itself [/undertakes] to speak of Forms changed into new Substances; Gods, inspire my Undertaking[s],—for You are the Ones who have Changed those very Things [/Made those very Changes],—and from the first Beginning of the World to my own Times draw out a continuous Yarn [—for song/poem]"

My process won't be so helpful, because it involves what is easy to do—checking uncertainties in a dictionary or in available translations,—and what is not so easy—trying to write in Latin to begin to appreciate why better authors write the way they do, and then looking for the most literal interpretation of what has been written (where grammar comes in) before seeking beyond the sifted words to what beauty might lie in a particular expression that might otherwise escape me, someone who doesn't speak Latin fluently. Not helpful to you, perhaps. Someone else might give good advice.

Non utilis tibi modus meus, unâ parte incallidus,—quod lumen in dictionariis vel in versionibus in sermones anglicos quaero,—alterâ parte arduior,—quod latinè scribere conor ut coruscationes habeantur cur ita scribant boni auctores, tunc verbatim locus vertatur (regulis grammaticae spectatis) ante decus quaeratur a me qui facundè latinè non loquor. Forsit consilium alii tibi adjuvabit.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Latin Translating Sense-Need Help in Improving!

Postby Joe10112 » Fri May 25, 2012 5:35 am

Thanks for the help. If there is anyone else with a systematic method of checking and thinking of how words go together in an average Latin sentence, it would be much appreciated. My final exam will be basically 6 synopses (6 different verbs, Principal Parts given, in all 6 forms (1st Single, 1st Plural, 2nd Single, 2nd Plural, 3rd Single, 3rd Plural), and a bunch of translating/parsing.

So yeah, any help with how to systematically translate will be VERY much appreciated!
Joe10112
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:36 am


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