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Salvete! An interesting phrase...

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Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby lucavi » Sat May 02, 2009 3:36 am

I've been studying quite a bit lately and it really is uncontrollable that I'll be hit with some phrase and to try a proper translation of it. Bah, engrish. XD Anyway, I want to know how off I am.
Basically: "From possibility to actuality - in reality." is the phrase I'd like to try and translate over.

The latin rendition: "A Posse Ad Esse - Revera" or "Ex possibility ut vere revera."
I'm still quite the n00b, even so... something feels amiss.
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Re: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby benissimus » Sat May 02, 2009 5:18 am

sticking more to the sense of the phrase than to the form, I would say "iam fit quod fieri potuit"

while your translation is not wrong per se, it is not very idiomatic Latin. abstractions like "actuality" and "possibility" are usually best rendered by verbs in Latin. the use of revera strikes me as odd for that reason, but also because it seems orphaned from the rest of the statement syntactically, which seems to me something that is more common in English adverbs than in Latin ones. also, "actuality" and "reality" seemed unnecessarily redundant to me.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Re: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby adrianus » Sat May 02, 2009 1:27 pm

Hi benissimus.

I believe that what you're saying is correct in detail but wrong in principle. To speak in a way other than Cicero and Caesar is not to question the beauty and merit of their language. And I'm not excusing my own, many mistakes of all types and my idiosyncracies. Classical Latin speech just doesn't address many of the concepts of Medieval philosophy. By definition, you wouldn't necessarily expect it to. We enjoy all such heritages today.

Nobody, speaking normally, would say in English "From possibility to actuality - in reality." They are speaking abstractly and, without explanation, obscurely. Of course, you could attempt to render any particular thing idiomatically, in a classical voice, but idiom is (by definition) not plain speaking either. Rather, idiom succeeds in conjuring the feeling of a particular group (which is what you are wanting to do, I think). No one has to speak in a classical idiom necessarily to speak plainly in Latin. As long as you speak grammatically, it is possible for you to speak plainly. Speaking plainly, however, about obscure things doesn't necessarily make obscure things plain or abstract things concrete.

That said, however, who wouldn't like what you proposed "iam fit quod fieri potuit"?!—even though it lacks the obscurity of the original!

Salve benissime

Credo te rectè prae rebus quae singulatim recitat at falsò prae principiô suffulciente dicere. Alio modo loqui eo Ciceronis vel Caesaris formam laudemque verborum illorum virorum negare non est. Neque mea vitia propria multa et varia et idiotismos excuso. Simpliciter refert quòd classicus sermo multa philosophiae concepta de aevis mediis ignorat,—quo per definitione ferè praestolandum est. Nunc proditis omnium talium legatorum fruamur.

Nemo anglicè qui apertè dicere velit sic dicat, "From possibility to actuality - in reality". Abstracto et (sinè explicatione) obscurè modo dicit. Certò, ullam quandam rem in sermones aevi classici proprios vertere potes, voce classicâ dicamus, sed idioma (definitivè) figurativus non clarus modus loquendi est. Immò, per idiomâ loqui est genus gregis cuiusdam creare (quod facere benè velis, nisi fallor). Ut planè dicas, necessariè classicâ per idiomâ dicere non te oportet; quàm diù grammaticè loquaris, possible sit ut planè dicas. Manifestè dicere autem tenebricosis de rebus non necessariò clara facit res obscura, nec concreta res abstracta.

Hôc autem dicto, quis non amem quod proposuisti "iam fit quod fieri potuit"
?!,—etiamsi obscuritas fontis caret!
Last edited by adrianus on Sat May 02, 2009 7:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby adrianus » Sat May 02, 2009 5:23 pm

benissimus wrote:also, "actuality" and "reality" seemed unnecessarily redundant to me.

Here is a quote that explains the difference between Actuality and Reality much better than I could, benissimus, and with such clarity, that I'm sure you'll be so convinced after reading it that you will not feel the need or desire to read any more from the works of this author.

Ecce, benissime, locus apud quendam auctorem qui, multò meliùs quàm ego id explicare possim et tam clarissimè, distinctionem inter Actualitatem et Realitatem aperit. Eo lecto et argumento absorpto, utrum plus legere apud hunc auctorem requiras an desideres valdè dubito.

Boris Aldanov, The Human Predicament, p.435 (or his English translator, to be fair) wrote:The fault, we have found, is in the fact that the Reality-idea is only the antithesis of the problem-object, so that the Reality-idea of the object's solution is ultimately (on the second-level) its idea of itself NOT (also) of the object, it is Reality's idea of Actuality according to its idea of itself NOT also Actuality's idea of himself and of the Reality-idea according to himself.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=U-J6 ... t&resnum=1

Would you say that the author's sense would be better communicated in Latin in nouns, or in verbs, or by no words at all of whatever kind?
Dicasne sensum auctoris latinè meliùs confactum fore per nominibus, per verbis, an per nullis vocabulis quocunque de genere?
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: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby thesaurus » Sat May 02, 2009 7:46 pm

Boris Aldanov, The Human Predicament, p.435 (or his English translator, to be fair) wrote:The fault, we have found, is in the fact that the Reality-idea is only the antithesis of the problem-object, so that the Reality-idea of the object's solution is ultimately (on the second-level) its idea of itself NOT (also) of the object, it is Reality's idea of Actuality according to its idea of itself NOT also Actuality's idea of himself and of the Reality-idea according to himself.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=U-J6 ... t&resnum=1

Would you say that the author's sense would be better communicated in Latin in nouns, or in verbs, or by no words at all of whatever kind?
Dicasne sensum auctoris latinè meliùs confactum fore per nominibus, per verbis, an per nullis vocabulis quocunque de genere?


This is unbelievable. I majored in philosophy so I'm by no means allergic to abstruse discussions, but this is really over the top. I wonder how much of it has been destroyed in translation. I always wonder about these people who write translations of (as they seem to me) barely comprehensible texts...

Hoc non credendum! Cum philosophiae rationes apud universitatem discerim nullô modô sum disputationibus abstrusis allergicus, sed hoc est nimium. Miror quanta ratio vertendo perdatur? Semper etiam miror eos qui philosophiam vix (mihi quidem) intellegendam aliis linguis vertere optant.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby Lucus Eques » Sat May 02, 2009 8:20 pm

I quite agree with Benissims here, both in translation and in approach. The original was redundant. Moreover, "idiom" is inherently a matter of any kind of speech, or a "figure of speech," and can be either common (¿Cómo se llama? What's up?) or abstract (to live is to love).
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Re: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby adrianus » Sat May 02, 2009 8:43 pm

Salve Luce amice

Lucus Eques wrote:The original was redundant.
Because... reality and actuality are the same thing?
Quòd... realitas et actualitas sunt eadem res?

Lucus Eques wrote:Moreover, "idiom" is inherently a matter of any kind of speech, or a "figure of speech," and can be either common (¿Cómo se llama? What's up?) or abstract (to live is to love).
It also occurs between "idiolect" and "idiomacy" in the OED.
Et inter "idiolect" et "idiomacy" in OED dictionario invenitur.
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: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby Lucus Eques » Sat May 02, 2009 9:41 pm

Salve, Adriane noster. :)

adrianus wrote:
Lucus Eques wrote:The original was redundant.
Because... reality and actuality are the same thing?
Quòd... realitas et actualitas sunt eadem res?


Litterally, "actuality" ought to mean the realm where things can be done, making it redundant with "possibility" (the realm where things can be or be done). But in common English, "actual" and "real" are often used synonymously, making "actuality" redundant with "reality." Either way, "actuality" should just be removed for its lack of clarity, leaving us with the clear "possibility" and "reality."
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Re: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby adrianus » Sat May 02, 2009 11:37 pm

Tell that to Aquinas, and try translating these two sentences without a word for the concept of "actuality" or "being in actuality".
Id Thomae de Aquino dic. Tunc sinè verbo pro "actualitas" concepto (seu "ens actu"), has duas sententias converte.
Wikipaedia wrote:The theory of Potentiality and Actuality is one of the central themes of Aristotle's philosophy and metaphysics. With these two notions, Aristotle intends to provide a structure for the comprehension of reality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentiality_and_actuality_(Aristotle) (which I quote for its easy access/quod cito quià facilè verificatum)

"From possibility to actuality - in reality."
A potentiâ ad actualitatem in realitate. (Neo-Latinè, dicam)
Ab ente in potentiâ ad ens actu per formam/in essentiâ/in materiâ/sub caelo/in mundo essentiae (per linguam Thomae de Aquino, ut suppono)
A posse ad esse (ut dicis) in veritate
, also seems good to me/et bonum mihi videtur.

What does Junya say? Quid dicit Junya?
Last edited by adrianus on Sun May 03, 2009 10:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby lucavi » Sun May 03, 2009 5:31 am

Well, this has been interesting to say the least. XD
Here I go sparking off another profound discussion relating to the nature of reality and actuality.
It's been very entertaining to watch, so I apologize for my late response. Also, I thank you for your translations and pointers. They have proved to be very helpful! Perhaps, I can toss out a few more riddles for you one of these days. XD
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Re: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby benissimus » Sun May 03, 2009 11:52 am

Indeed, it seems this has taken flight from where I left it as well, but in a very welcome way.

To address your complaint, Adriane, my aim was mainly to encourage commoner constructions over quirkier ones (like prepositions with non-nouns), since I think lucavi is still getting a feel for things. You are absolutely right that abstract nouns do become more common in later Latin, and so I should not have shot that down so fast; still, I think there are 3rd-declension nouns that would suit that purpose better than infinitives (though my knowledge of medieval idiom is very limited).

et gratias plurimas ago, dilectissime deliciarum, pro isto loco quod simul ac conspexerim quam suauissimo uomitus sapore permoueor. (I'm not the biggest fan of theoretical discourse). As Lucus correctly assumed, I was of course referring to common usage, and not to a technical definition of the words "reality" and "actuality" - I thought lucavi was too but I could be wrong.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Re: Salvete! An interesting phrase...

Postby adrianus » Sun May 03, 2009 12:44 pm

As Lucus correctly assumed, I was of course referring to common usage, and not to a technical definition of the words "reality" and "actuality" - I thought lucavi was too but I could be wrong.

No one in their own mind says "From possibility to actuality - in reality." The clue that this is an acquired notion is in lucavi's initial post. He's immersed in studying. He must be studying something academic, because only an academic would frame that phrase. Academic's are not in their own minds. They are in other people's minds, shovelling from the textbook author's mind into the student's mind.

Nemo suâ propriâ in mente hanc clausulam dicet. Quòd acquisita notio est, primâ in epistulâ de lucavi indicatur. Ibi se in studia immersum esse dicat. Academica in studia, non dubito, quià solùm academicus hanc clausulam fingat. Academici enim non in suis mentibus propriis sunt, sed in mentibus aliorum, ligone tollentes ê mente auctoris libri scholaris in mentem discipuli.
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