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τε ... και

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τε ... και

Postby daivid » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:47 pm

This is about a sentence from Taylor book 2 page 137
A brother having got trapped it the king's treasury tells his brother
to cut off is head lest, the first brother being recognised, the other
is also executed.

ο δε ουν ετερος ευ τε λεγειν αυτον ενομισε και πεισθεις ταυτα εποιησεν.

My (rather literal) translation is:
And the second both considered that he (ie his brother) spoke well and obeying these (things?)
did it.

The construction "both ... and" sounds very odd in English and diogenes suggests just
dropping it when translating but I am still curious as to what τε adds for the Greek
reader. It would also be nice to know when one should use such a construction when
composing in Greek.
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Re: τε ... και

Postby daivid » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:52 pm

daivid wrote:
ο δε ουν ετερος ευ τε λεγειν αυτον ενομισε και πεισθεις ταυτα εποιησεν.


On reflection, taking the context into account, it seems to me that a better translation would be:

And the second not merely considered that he (ie his brother) spoke well but being persuaded did these (things?).

Is "not merely ... but" a valid translation of τε ... και ?
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Re: τε ... και

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:07 am

τε ... και is not adversative, so "not merely ... but" is not good. "Both ... and" would be inapproriate here, "and" maybe a bit too weak but better than "both ... and" I think. How about this:

"As the second one considered he had spoken well, he obeyed and did it."

I can't pinpoint the exact meaning of τε at this time of the night, but this is how I would render this. Somehow τε serves to logically connect the two halves of the sentence, hence "as".
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Re: τε ... και

Postby daivid » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:20 am

Paul Derouda wrote:τε ... και is not adversative, so "not merely ... but" is not good. "Both ... and" would be inapproriate here, "and" maybe a bit too weak but better than "both ... and" I think. How about this:

"As the second one considered he had spoken well, he obeyed and did it."

I can't pinpoint the exact meaning of τε at this time of the night, but this is how I would render this. Somehow τε serves to logically connect the two halves of the sentence, hence "as".


"as" does indeed connect the two in a way that a simple and does not. Feel free to expand
at some later stage but already it makes sense why Taylor chose to use τε ... και here.

Thank you very much for the help
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Re: τε ... και

Postby Markos » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:29 pm

χαῖρε Δαυιδ!

Schoder and Horrigan, A Reading Course in Homeric Greek, Book II, p. 4 say

τε is frequently a difficult word to translate. Often it is to be felt rather than bluntly expressed, but its precise feeling in a given context can be assigned only on the basis of considerable experience in reading the Homeric text. As you read on in the text, therefore, do not simply by-pass τε, but try to build up a feeling for it.


I know that this is not a very scientific way to look at language. Schoder and Horrigan are really romantics (Jesuit romantics!) who assume that language is to be felt rather than analyzed and micro-parsed.

...but I am still curious as to what τε adds for the Greek
reader.


I like the sentence better with the τε. It feels better to me. "I really like thee, Dr. Fell. The reason why I cannot tell."

ἴθι πολλὰ χαίρων, ὦ φίλε Δαυιδ!
Last edited by Markos on Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: τε ... και

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:31 pm

I'm 100 % with Markos. You have to build up a feeling for τε. It's often very difficult to define it and even more difficult to translate.

In my translation, "As the second one considered he had spoken well, he obeyed and did it", you must not think τε is translated "as"; rather, I read and analysed the whole sentence and then translated it as a whole. Because you need to take into account not only τε ... καί but also ὁ δέ (which probably marks a change of subject here "he, the second one") and οὖν, which is also difficult to translate here but is closely connected to τε here. Maybe you could say that οὖν and τε together give "as"...
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Re: τε ... και

Postby daivid » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:40 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:I'm 100 % with Markos. You have to build up a feeling for τε. It's often very difficult to define it and even more difficult to translate.

In my translation, "As the second one considered he had spoken well, he obeyed and did it", you must not think τε is translated "as"; rather, I read and analysed the whole sentence and then translated it as a whole. Because you need to take into account not only τε ... καί but also ὁ δέ (which probably marks a change of subject here "he, the second one") and οὖν, which is also difficult to translate here but is closely connected to τε here. Maybe you could say that οὖν and τε together give "as"...


I take your (both of you) points about feeling. Indeed the reason that translating with "as"
made sense to me is that it was an opening for me to get to the feeling. When I posted
τε was for me just sitting there doing nothing. I know that to really get a feel for τε
I will need to read a lot of Greek but for that to work there needs to be a seed from which
that can grow.

This I now have. Thank you
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Re: τε ... και

Postby Scribo » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:58 am

Yes, you need to basically find connective words which make sense in English. I find words like and, also, as, such etc can do the job, depending on the sentence (mainly the first three). Usage: /te/ is an older version of "and" in Greek etymologically related to Sanskrit ca and Latin que and often has similar usage patterns, unless linked with /kai/ in which sentences tend to be sort both....and/ and....also etc. The others are right, one needs to develop a feel for it. Just like men/de.
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