Textkit Logo

Translation beginner, looking for feedback

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

Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby DWBrumbley » Thu May 16, 2013 10:18 pm

Alright, so, here is my first attempt. As one of my exercises in the process of learning Latin, I’m working on a translation of my church’s Articles of Faith. (Disclaimer – I’m not trying to preach at anybody here, it’s just the text I chose to use for practice, since Latin has always been so religiously flavored in my mind, so please understand I’m just looking for help and feedback on the grammar, not on the beliefs.) There are thirteen of them in total, but I’m going to tackle them one by one. They generally get longer as they go along, so the first one is the shortest. English first, then my attempt at Latin –

1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

1. Credimus Deo, Patri Aeterno, et Filio eius, Iesu Christo, et Spiritu Sancto.

A few questions I have right off the bat – I know Credo governs the dative, not the accusative, being an intransitive verb in Latin, and I wanted to preserve the structure of the English as much as possible without completely destroying the Latin. It’s also my understanding that the “in” is not necessary in Latin, since it’s inherent in the Dative case-marking, but I wasn’t sure if I should include a particle for clarification or if this is sufficient. Also, I’m aware that Latin verbs almost always come at the end of the sentence, so Credimus should probably be the last word, but all of the Articles of Faith start with either We Believe or We Claim, so I kind of want that to be first just for the stylistic parallelism. If that’s completely intolerable in Latin, I’ll obviously move it, but you all would know better than I would. Last question – Sancto is the closest thing I could come up with for a dative adjective matching Spiritu in dative singular neuter, but it’s not something I’m certain of by a long shot. Validation on that would be welcome.
DWBrumbley
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 9:46 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby Qimmik » Fri May 17, 2013 1:51 pm

I'm not the best person to comment on Christian doctrine, but I believe the standard Roman Catholic Latin credo runs "Credo in unum Deum, patrem omnipotentem . . ." At least that's how I remember it from the thrilling display of stile antico counterpoint in Bach's b minor Mass.

The dative complement with credo means to "believe someone". To believe "in" something is usually rendered with in + accusative. I suspect that this probably wouldn't show up much in classical Latin (i.e., before the second century AD), because the obligation to believe in a doctrine was not typically a part of Greek and Roman religion--the in + accusative complement would have come to prominence with the advent of Christianity in later antiquity.

Latin word order is very flexible--flexible enough to put credo at the beginning of the sentence, if that's the word you want to stress, as the Latin mass does.

The usual dative form of spiritus is spiritui, but spiritu is an alternative dative. Spiritus is masculine; sanctus, dative masc./neut. sancto, is the appropriate adjective. But again, I believe the Latin mass has et in Spiritum Sanctum, or maybe the other way around.

Writing about matters of religion runs the risk of unwittingly offending someone. I hope no one takes offense at my comment: none was intended.
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby dlb » Tue May 21, 2013 12:28 am

"Writing about matters of religion runs the risk of unwittingly offending someone. I hope no one takes offense at my comment: none was intended." Qimmik

Having beliefs and not talking about them is patently offensive.
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
dlb
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 1:43 am
Location: Lilburn, Ga.

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby ivanchong » Tue May 21, 2013 2:48 pm

I need help on translating english to latin, hope you guys can help . I need this '' The past is practice, The future is challenge'' to latin. anyone know ? please help. thankyou very much.
ivanchong
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 2:46 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby DWBrumbley » Tue May 21, 2013 9:37 pm

The doctrine I’m going with is slightly different from the Roman Catholic Latin credo. But the grammar still works, so I thank you for reminding me of that. I hadn’t thought to look there for stylistic assistance.

So then it would be rendered:

Credimus in Deum, Patrem Aeternum, et in Filium eium, Iesu Christo, et in Spiritum Sanctum.

Works for me.

Thank you for your response! I appreciate (and clearly need) all the help I can get.
DWBrumbley
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 9:46 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby Qimmik » Tue May 21, 2013 11:06 pm

I forgot to note that it should also be changed to Jesum Christum (accusative), not Jesu Christo (dative/ablative).
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby DWBrumbley » Wed May 22, 2013 12:22 am

Meant to fix that. Thanks again for the feedback. It's much appreciated.

On to the second Article:

2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression.

II. Credimus homines pro peccatis eorum punientur, et non pro transgressione Adae.

The nested nature of the clause has me grammatically stumped, but again, I did the best I could. I'm pretty sure I got the second half right, at least.
DWBrumbley
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 9:46 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby radagasty » Fri May 24, 2013 1:54 am

DWBrumbley wrote:Credimus homines pro peccatis eorum punientur, et non pro transgressione Adae.

This is not acceptable, because there are two finite verbs in the same clause. The most straightforward solution would be to change the second into an infinitive:

Credimus homines pro peccatis suis iri punitum ...
radagasty
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby Qimmik » Thu May 30, 2013 2:09 am

Rather than use the future passive infinitive, a somewhat rare form, I would suggest rendering this in the active voice:

Credimus homines poenas daturos pro peccatis suis, non pro transgressione Adam.

Omit esse.

I think Adam remains indeclinable in Latin--a foreign name without a proper Latin ending.
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby radagasty » Thu May 30, 2013 8:40 am

Qimmik wrote:I think Adam remains indeclinable in Latin--a foreign name without a proper Latin ending.

Adam can be declined as a first-conjugation noun in the oblique cases, of which the genitive Adae is especially common.
radagasty
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby DWBrumbley » Thu May 30, 2013 5:24 pm

Alrighty, so a few questions about the corrections made thus far. First off, thank you for your help with the double-verbed clause. The idea of Finite to Infinitive makes sense. Rendering the sentence in the active voice feels a bit clunky, but then again, so does the future passive infinitive construction. The active participle confuses me a bit, though, since there's no obvious subject for the participle to hang onto. Does the lack of a subject automatically give it a passive feeling without actually being passive, then?

Also, I get the eorum/suis mistake I made. My apologies.

I knew I had seen Adae before somewhere, but I still couldn't tell you where, so thank you, radagasty, for backing me up on that. If there's a source you could endorse on the subject of How to Decline Non-Roman Names, that'd be spectacular.

So it would then be rendered:

Credimus homines poenas daturos pro peccais suis, non pro transgressione Adae.
DWBrumbley
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 9:46 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby Qimmik » Thu May 30, 2013 6:18 pm

Credimus homines poenas daturos [esse] pro peccais suis, non pro transgressione Adae.


The active participle confuses me a bit, though, since there's no obvious subject for the participle to hang onto.


The participle, which really a component of a periphrastic future active infinitive (strictly, daturos esse), agrees with homines: "human beings will pay (give) penalties", "will be punished". Esse is technically correct but superfluous here, and would likely be omitted in "real" Latin written by a native speaker. This is indirect discourse after credimus: the subject is in the accusative and the verb is an infinitive.

You can usually find a discussion on how to decline Greek names, which can follow either Latin or Greek patterns, in any grammar. I don't think there are necessarily any rules on non-Greek, non-Latin names--they can be left undeclined (particularly if they end in a consonant), a declinable Latin suffix can be added in some instances, or they may be assimilated to a Latin declensional pattern in some instances where they have some similarity to that pattern, as radagasty tells us Adam does.
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby DWBrumbley » Thu May 30, 2013 7:15 pm

That clarifies things wonderfully so far as that construction goes. Thank you, yet again, for breaking that down for me.

That actually segues very nicely into the next Article that I'd like to tackle. Most of them, in fact, will be completely in Indirect Discourse as you said, so apparently I'm gonna get either really good at this or really tired of it really fast.

3 - We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

III - Credimus Reconciliatione Christi, homines omnes salvos potens, oboedientia legibus iussisque Evangeli.

A few notes on why I did what I did so that I can be corrected where I probably went wrong.

Reconciliatione is the closest I could get to Atonement without going to sacrificio placabile, which seemed a bit much for the one-word-ed-ness of Atonement (though that might be another English-ism creeping into my thought process).

Both Reconciliatione and oboedientia I put in the ablative for the sake of means, though I still feel like they need more to explain that it's "by" these things that things get done, but again, probably bad instincts on my part.

I did the best with the knowledge I have and per the above notes about indirect discourse and verbs being infinitive and participles, but this might not work here with potens. I also considered possunt for the present indicative, but if it has to be infinitive, the participle seemed more specific.

Feedback and ripping-apart welcome, as always.
DWBrumbley
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 9:46 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby radagasty » Fri May 31, 2013 1:24 am

Reconciliatione is the closest I could get to Atonement without going to sacrificio placabile, which seemed a bit much for the one-word-ed-ness of Atonement (though that might be another English-ism creeping into my thought process).

Reconciliatio is IMHO too generic to translate 'atonement' adequately, although the Vulgate does use it in this sense. Piaculum is a one-word alternative, if a little pagan, or, more Christian, expiatio, satisfactio, etc.

Both Reconciliatione and oboedientia I put in the ablative for the sake of means, though I still feel like they need more to explain that it's "by" these things that things get done, but again, probably bad instincts on my part.

Reconciliatione Christi in the bare ablative is correct Classical Latin, but Christian Latin would tend to add a preposition like per or ex. The two independent ablative phrases of means in the same clause make the whole sentence feel a little out of kilter to me, so I would change the second phrase into a participial construction oboedientes legibus jussisque.

I did the best with the knowledge I have and per the above notes about indirect discourse and verbs being infinitive and participles, but this might not work here with potens. I also considered possunt for the present indicative, but if it has to be infinitive, the participle seemed more specific.

There are a number of problems with Credimus homines omnes salvos potens:

1) If you are using the accusative-and-infinitive construction, the verb must be an infinitive. Even though a participle is non-finite, it will not do.

2) It is clear you are struggling with this construction, and it might be better to dispense with it altogether, particularly if it is to be use extensively in the creed, which will thereby have an air of being artificially classical. Christian Latin would typically use credimus quod....

3) Potens is not used as the present participle of posse, but as an adjective meaning 'powerful' etc.

4) The formula salvus posse syntactically awkward, and atypical of Christian Latin. I would suggest salutem habeo or salutem obtineo.

5) Omnis is fine for 'all', but cunctus might be better, to stress that men are saved individually and not collectively. On the other hand, 'all mankind' does seem to suggest collective salvation, so universus would be more faithful to the English text.

DWBrumbley wrote:Credimus Reconciliatione Christi, homines omnes salvos potens, oboedientia legibus iussisque Evangeli.

Overall, I would say this translation is not very smooth. Christian Latin would typically have something more like:

Credimus quod homines universi ex expiatione Christi salutem obtinere possunt, obœdientes legibus jussisque Evangelii.

P.S., This will be my last post in this thread. I now realise where the creed is going, and that it is at odds with my faith, so I am not keen to assist any further. Nevertheless, I wish you all the best with your endeavour.
radagasty
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby DWBrumbley » Fri May 31, 2013 1:40 am

Radagasty - I am sorry to hear that I will be losing your assistance and advice in this work, as you clearly have an extensive background of knowledge and experience to draw from. Thank you for the help you have offered so far, and I hope to hear from you on other endeavors in this forum.
DWBrumbley
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 9:46 pm

Re: Translation beginner, looking for feedback

Postby DWBrumbley » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:32 pm

To Radagasty's comments -

Expiatio it is. Thank you for the vocabulary assistance there.

In changing the second phrase to a participial construction (I figured leaving them both in the ablative would make things untenable, but as I stated, I had no idea of a way around this problem, so thank you) am I correct in understanding the participial phrase oboedientes legibus jussisque as something along the lines of 'so long as they are obeying the laws and ordinances' ? Just making sure I'm understanding the sense of the participle correctly.

I imagine for many of the articles going forward, I'll be using credimus quod more often than not, thank you for the help in straightening out the grammar on that.

The individuality is actually closer to the sense of the belief, at least in my understanding, so the stress on individual salvation makes sense. I'm not sure how cunctus fulfills this role, though, since my understanding of the word suggests that it would actually stress that the salvation under consideration IS collective. If someone can illuminate this, I would be appreciative.

Salutem obtinere possunt - It loses some of the original emphasis on the passive, but so far as personal perspective goes, I actually prefer the active construction. Sends a message much more in line with my own beliefs on the subject, so thank you for that.
DWBrumbley
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 9:46 pm


Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 31 guests