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Translation Assistance

Postby vociferous » Thu Dec 11, 2003 11:16 pm

I've never studied Latin before. I am trying to translate the phrase "Always seek the truth", with the verb in the imperative tense.

By using a dictionary and grammer guide, I translated it as:

"veritas semper quaereo" but was told that "veritas semper petendus" was more accurate. I could not find the verb pertendus in any dictionary. Is this true?
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Postby Kasper » Fri Dec 12, 2003 4:46 am

Inexperienced as I am I would go for:

"semper pete veritatem"

'pete' being the imperative of petere - to seek or ask for
'veritatem' being the accusative of veritas - the truth

But there are a lot of people here who know far more than I do.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Episcopus » Fri Dec 12, 2003 1:53 pm

semper veritas petenda is more of a universal truth is always to be sought, rather than a more personal imperative "pete veritatem semper" but they're both doable.
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Postby benissimus » Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:39 pm

"veritas semper quaereo"

While these are the correct words (though I believe "quaereo" should be "quaero"), it's no good grammatically.

veritas semper petendus

This would work if it were "petenda" (from the verb "peto" to seek). But if you really must have the imperative mood, this is not it. As is, this means "truth always (is) to be sought".

As others have put, the best sentence is probably something like "pete semper veritatem" or "quaere semper veritatem". You could possibly use "veritati" in either of those expressions, meaning "seek to the truth", a bit odd in English, but not so much in Latin.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby whiteoctave » Sat Dec 13, 2003 5:40 pm

the phrase definitely necessitates a gerundive here, however the brevity of the phrase makes the use of any adverb ugly and nigh on superfluous.
as opposed to using the verb "peto" which contains a different sense of seeking (viz. physically striving towards something), it would be better, it seems to me, to use a form based upon "quaero", as wisely suggested.
so as to highlight the frequentative nature of the seeking of truth (on this, the mental level of seeking something out ), why not use just that - the frequentative form of this verb, i.e. "quaerito" (1)? with this particular, yet oft-neglected, verb, the sense of the constant necessity to seek truth is captured without the need of an adverb.

thus "veritas quaeritanda"

what is better, all the more, is that this little phrase is itself a clausula, so beloved of Classical prose writers.
The first three syllables are the common Cretic and are followed by two Trochees. This cretic-trochee-trochee/spondee tends to be the third favourite of various prose clausulae and is evident in such phrases as:

...mentio facta non est. (Cic. Rosc. Am. II, 5)
...vestitu suo publicatus. (Cic. Sest. XXVII, 59)
...exsultant et vagantur. (Cic. Rep. II. IV, 7)

take your pick,

~dave
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Postby benissimus » Sat Dec 13, 2003 6:37 pm

I agree completely with that guy! :lol:
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Episcopus » Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:25 pm

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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