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Questionable translation in Bradley's Arnold

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Questionable translation in Bradley's Arnold

Postby Nesrad » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:16 pm

Ex. 41, 4:

"Born and brought up in the vast and populous city of London, I have never before had permission to exchange the din and throng of the city even for the repose and peace and solitude of rural life"

The old key has: "Londini, in urbe omnium maxima et frequentissima nato educatoque, strepitum urbis ac multitudinem vitae rusticae otio, securitate, et infrequentia, ut permutarem, nunquam antea, ne semel quidem, mihi concessum est (or contigit, 123)."

The new key has: "Mihi Londini, in urbe omnium maxima et frequentissima nato educatoque, ut strepitum urbis ac multitudinem otio vitae rusticae et securitate et infrequentia permutarem, nunquam antea concessum est (or contigit)."

The old answer is not an accurate translation of "even", but means "not even once". The new solution doesn't translate "even" because the word has been removed from Mountford's edition of Bradley's Arnold.

I'd like to offer to Carolus something to put in a footnote that follows the original key as closely as possible. How about this:

Londini, in urbe omnium maxima et frequentissima nato educatoque, strepitum urbis ac multitudinem ne vitae rusticae otio, securitate, et infrequentia quidem, ut permutarem, nunquam antea mihi concessum est (or contigit, 123).
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Re: Questionable translation in Bradley's Arnold

Postby mwh » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:36 pm

It’s hard for me think that “even” in the English is right. It doesn’t seem to make sense. What else would he want to exchange city life for other than a quiet life in the country? Could “once” have fallen out after it? That’s what the original Latin translation seems to suggest.

Your version renders the nonsensical “even” accurately enough, but to have ne … quidem bracket the lengthy phrase vitae rusticae otio, et securitate, et infrequentia reads clunky to me, and potentially unclear. (And surely the commas should go.)

The old key keeps you waiting an awful long time both for mihi (a million miles from nato) and for a construction. Isn’t the new one preferable (with or without ne semel quidem)? I similarly prefer the new key’s placement of otio (dissociating vitae rusticae from multitudinem and balancing strepitum preceding the first genitive).
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Re: Questionable translation in Bradley's Arnold

Postby Nesrad » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:24 pm

I agree on all counts. The problem is what shall we do with Carolus's transcription. Would it be better to mention in a footnote that in all probability "once" should be added after "even" to the English text?
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Re: Questionable translation in Bradley's Arnold

Postby mwh » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:15 pm

I suspect not. All is in order if we can imagine the sentence as continuing e.g. “but now I am offered the opportunity of moving to America, where the streets are paved with gold, at least for whites.” Then ne semel quidem amplifies numquam antea and there is no need to directly translate “even.”
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Re: Questionable translation in Bradley's Arnold

Postby Nesrad » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:38 pm

It does indeed continue:

"Born and brought up in the vast and populous city of London, I have never before had permission to exchange the din and throng of the city even for the repose and peace and solitude of rural life; but now I hope shortly to travel to my son at Rome, and from Italy to sail, before the middle of winter, to the city of Contantinople, which I have long been eager to visit; you, I fancy, will winter at Malta, an island which I am not likely ever to see. In the beginning of spring I have decided to stay in the lovely city of Naples, and to betake myself to my old home at London in the month of May or June."

I neglected to mention that there is a footnote at "even", which reads: "= not even".

What exactly to you mean by "all is in order"? I don't see how the continuance of the sentence solves the problematic "even", nor why it would be translated by "ne semel quidem".

Then ne semel quidem amplifies numquam antea and there is no need to directly translate “even.”


Perhaps, were it not for the above mentioned footnote.
Last edited by Nesrad on Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Questionable translation in Bradley's Arnold

Postby jeidsath » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:39 pm

EDIT: cross-posted with Nesrad

He footnotes "even" in the original with "= not even. (Intr. 99.)"

#99 in the Introduction:

The negative adverbs non, haud, neque, are placed always before the words which they qualify; ne quidem, "not even," always enclose the word which they emphasise: as, ne hic quidem, "not even he."


And now I see that the sentence does indeed continue (as I suppose mwh knew perfectly well): "...solitude of rural life; but now I hope shortly to travel to my son at Rome..."

Since he has offered an alternative though, I'd be interested to see how mwh's version translates to Latin.
Last edited by jeidsath on Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Cross-posted with Nesrad
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Re: Questionable translation in Bradley's Arnold

Postby Nesrad » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:25 pm

jeidsath wrote:EDIT: cross-posted with Nesrad
Since he has offered an alternative though, I'd be interested to see how mwh's version translates to Latin.


This could be fun. The first part is my original attempt.

"Born and brought up in the vast and populous city of London, I have never before had permission to exchange the din and throng of the city even for the repose and peace and solitude of rural life; but now I am offered the opportunity of moving to America, where the streets are paved with gold, at least for whites."

Qui natus educatusque sum Londonii, in urbe ingenti et civibus referta, numquam antea mihi licuit commutare urbis strepitum et clamorem ne cum vitae rusticae quidem otio et quiete et secreto; nunc vero facultas mihi datur ad Americam migrandi, ubi viae auro stratae sunt, albis quidem hominibus.
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Re: Questionable translation in Bradley's Arnold

Postby mwh » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:21 am

The way I see it, Bradley (or Arnold or whoever) expanded “never before” to nunquam antea ne semel quidem, a good strong translation (over-translation?) in anticipation of the upcoming “but now,” and ignored “even” (i.e. “not even,” as the note indicates) as contextually redundant and difficult to express here without clumsiness. I don’t know enough about his translational or notational practice to say. The “(not) even for …” has to imply “let alone for a still more desirable locale,” which led to my attempt at a continuation that would make sense of the “even.”

In other words, I again find myself defending the given text against postulated corruption!

It’s a long time since I tried my hand at Latin prose, even Ciceronian. But I can criticize. Nesrad, I’d fasten on two things in your brave venture: first, your opening Qui, standing starkly there with only the eventual dative to half-rescue it; and second, can cum and quidem really stand where you’ve put them? And I fancy “at least for whites,” which I appended in honor of MLK Day and the BLM movement, would need some expansion and integration if classical style is what we’re aiming at. Something on the lines of “si modo ille qui in eis ambulet non nigrum habeat corpus”?? (or dum modo, or nisi quidem w/o non?) Αnd inserted after ubi viae rather than as unprepared tailpiece?? (then stratae esse dicuntur to finish?) But I won’t further expose my incompetence.
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Re: Questionable translation in Bradley's Arnold

Postby Nesrad » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:49 pm

I can't see Bradley having ignored the "even" after telling us in a footnote that we need to translate it as "ne quidem" or something along those lines.

Thank you for your criticism. I should post such composition attempts more often, such criticism is far more useful than Bradley's key. Of course I agree with you. A major difficulty is avoiding clumsy propositions like "si modo ille qui in eis ambulet non nigrum habeat" to translate a simple "at least for whites", especially where Latin is generally more concise than English. And isn't this also an "unprepared tailpiece" in English? Though I admit "albis quidem hominibus" is deficient in meaning.
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