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easy traslation

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easy traslation

Postby cicada » Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:12 pm

Hi,

I started to learn Latin and trying to translate some easy passages. I want to ask an easy sentence to translate:
'Damocles, amicus Dionysii, divitias tyranni semper laudabat et dicebat Dionysium fortunae filium esse.'

I translated this sentence like that: Damocles, the friend of Dionysius, praised the riches of the tyrants and always said that the fortune of Dionysius is his son.

Is that correct? I believe it's not ... please help..
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Re: easy traslation

Postby ingrid70 » Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:18 pm

cicada wrote:Hi,

I started to learn Latin and trying to translate some easy passages. I want to ask an easy sentence to translate:
'Damocles, amicus Dionysii, divitias tyranni semper laudabat et dicebat Dionysium fortunae filium esse.'

I translated this sentence like that: Damocles, the friend of Dionysius, praised the riches of the tyrants and always said that the fortune of Dionysius is his son.

Is that correct? I believe it's not ... please help..


tyranni is gen.sing: so the riches of the tyrant. (it could also be nom.plu, but not here, beacuse there is a subject in the sentence already)

Dionysium and filium are in the same case, acc.sing, so Dionysius is the son. Fortunae is gen.sing: so Dionysius is the son of fortune.

semper modifies laudabat: he always praised. He might have said what he said just once:).

So: Damocles, the friend of Dionysius, always praised the riches of the tyrant and said that Dionysius was the son of fortune.

Hope this helps,
Ingrid
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Postby Aurelia » Thu Aug 26, 2004 7:45 pm

laudabat et dicebat

ah be careful, laudabat and dicebat are imperfect. Thus "he WAS praising" and "he WAS saying." :D

Latin is a blast, isn't it? 8)
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Postby whiteoctave » Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:10 pm

it should not be forgotten, however, A., that the imperfect can be rendered in about seven different ways, and here perhaps the past habitual 'he used to praise' etc. would be more appropriate than a single continual event in the past?

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Postby classicalclarinet » Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:19 pm

esse?

Shouldn't it be 'erat' if he 'was'?
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Postby Aurelia » Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:36 pm

it should not be forgotten, however, A., that the imperfect can be rendered in about seven different ways, and here perhaps the past habitual 'he used to praise' etc. would be more appropriate than a single continual event in the past?


Well for someone just starting out, it's good to know the difference between perfect and imperfect tenses, is it not? if the author wanted a beginner to translate it "he praised" he would have put "laudavit" instead of "laudabat" and so on. Unless, of course, this was written by a native speaker, then forget what I just said.

Once one gets more in depth one can start to explore the other ways the imperfect tense can be expressed. At least, that is just my opinion.

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Postby benissimus » Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:25 pm

classicalclarinet wrote:esse?

Shouldn't it be 'erat' if he 'was'?

I am not sure what book you are using, but there should be a thorough discussion of indirect statements. Classical Latin would never say "he said Dionysius was the son of fortune", it would say "he said Dionysius to be the son of fortune". This can be translated literally, but it becomes awkward most of the time to translate the infinitive. Thus, most of the time you should translate sentences like this as "he said that Dionysius was the son of fortune". This usually occurs with 'verbs of the head', that is verbs expressing feelings, thoughts, and sensations.

Aurelia wrote:Well for someone just starting out, it's good to know the difference between perfect and imperfect tenses, is it not? if the author wanted a beginner to translate it "he praised" he would have put "laudavit" instead of "laudabat" and so on. Unless, of course, this was written by a native speaker, then forget what I just said.

Once one gets more in depth one can start to explore the other ways the imperfect tense can be expressed. At least, that is just my opinion.

I agree that it is a helpful distinction for beginners. However, I do not think it should be considered an error on the translator's behalf if he chooses to translate it differently. If someone becomes too attached to this method, he will undoubtedly learn the meaning of these sentences only after he has translated them and not be able to understand them in their true form.
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Postby cicada » Fri Aug 27, 2004 5:51 am

It's very kind of you to reply that fast. I am happy to join this forum.
I am really thankful to you all, especially to Ingrid for explicating in detail.

yours,

ebocicada.
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