Textkit Logo

Need Translation Assistance

Here's where you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Moderator: thesaurus

Need Translation Assistance

Postby At A Loss For Latin » Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:27 pm

Hello Latin Forum!

I am a simple old woman, mostly self-educated. I have a friend who likes to send me little tidbits in (what I suspect to be poor) Latin. Normally I can use a beginning Latin text I picked up at a flea market to assist in translating. But this time, while I am getting the gist of individual words, I am not grasping the overall meaning of the phrase... I just can't seem to string it together in a meaningful way, and I am tired of being made to feel ignorant.

I would be very grateful if someone here could assist me with this phrase:

Divina natura dedit agros, ars humana aedificavit urbes

Thank you everyone,
At A Loss
At A Loss For Latin
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:21 pm

Postby Rhapsody » Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:37 pm

its something like:
"the divine nature gave us the fields, the human art built the cities"
Rhapsody
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:51 pm

Postby At A Loss For Latin » Sun Feb 08, 2004 8:25 am

Rhapsody,

Thank you for your response.

Apparently, my difficulty in attempting this on my own was that I was making it more difficult than it had to be. I had "divina natura" as something more along the lines of "The nature of God/Deity" as opposed to the much more literal version you've given.

No wonder it didn't make any sense.

Thank you again.
At A Loss
At A Loss For Latin
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:21 pm

Postby Evito » Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:01 pm

At A Loss For Latin wrote:Rhapsody,

Thank you for your response.

Apparently, my difficulty in attempting this on my own was that I was making it more difficult than it had to be. I had "divina natura" as something more along the lines of "The nature of God/Deity" as opposed to the much more literal version you've given.

No wonder it didn't make any sense.

Thank you again.
At A Loss


Well, that ain't even such a wrong thought you had there. Implied in the sentence is that it is the nature of the divine to give us fields. When using the adverb dominantly, it could also be translated as "the divine of nature gave us fields, the human art gave us cities".
phpbb
Evito
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:56 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Postby MickeyV » Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:41 pm

I agree, Evito. "divina natura" may well mean "the fact that nature is divine" = "the divinity of nature" :)
But a small remark: I don't think "dominant use adjectives (I suppose "adverb" is a small confusion?)" is settled terminology for most of us. A more common reference to this construction is "predicative use". This use is not restricted, by the way, to adjectives. See an example of Tacitus (read it in Woodcock's Grammar a while ago):

"...superbire miles quod filius legati orator satis ostenderet ...etc" -> "...that the soldiery was boasting that the fact that the son of the ambassador was an envoy showed clearly enough...etc"

So, "orator" here is by no means in apposition to "filius". It should be read as "quod filius legati orator est (id) satis ostendit...etc"
MickeyV
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2003 3:29 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Postby MickeyV » Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:44 pm

Examples may be multiplied, by the way. In legal Latin, if a Roman jurist wanted to write "after the making of the testament", he would write not "post factionem testamenti" but "post testamentum factum". And perhaps the most famous example is "ab urbe condita".
MickeyV
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2003 3:29 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Postby Evito » Sun Feb 08, 2004 5:15 pm

Yes, and thank you for correcting me on the adverb part. Even in Latin class we always used the Dutch terms. Although I know right from wrong what this is concerned, I sometimes write "good" instead of "could" too, or "write" instead of "right": confusing.
phpbb
Evito
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:56 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Postby At A Loss For Latin » Sun Feb 08, 2004 8:36 pm

Thanks everyone for the further responses.

So, in addition to Rhapsody's literal translation, would it be correct for me to assume that a different, but equally correct translation might be:

It is in the nature of God to give us fields, it is the art of Humanity to build cities

???

On a purely discussional philosophical tangent, can someone give me insight on how it is possible to draw parallels between the Nature of God and the Art of Humanity? :D

Thanks again...
At A Loss
At A Loss For Latin
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:21 pm

Postby Evito » Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:08 am

At A Loss For Latin wrote:Thanks everyone for the further responses.

So, in addition to Rhapsody's literal translation, would it be correct for me to assume that a different, but equally correct translation might be:

It is in the nature of God to give us fields, it is the art of Humanity to build cities

???

On a purely discussional philosophical tangent, can someone give me insight on how it is possible to draw parallels between the Nature of God and the Art of Humanity? :D

Thanks again...
At A Loss


Well some might say it wouldn't be possible, some might say it would be. I don't know who's the author of the sentence, but it could very well be a Roman polytheïstic point of view. Keeping in mind they had a God for agriculture...
phpbb
Evito
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:56 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Need Translation Assistance

Postby mingshey » Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:54 am

At A Loss For Latin wrote:I have a friend who likes to send me little tidbits in (what I suspect to be poor) Latin.


Sounds like me. Maybe he's just me from the future. :?
User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1332
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul


Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], Jandar and 42 guests