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1st 5 lines of the Iliad

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1st 5 lines of the Iliad

Postby Bert » Sun Jul 20, 2003 12:46 am

I translated the first 5 lines of the Iliad and then compared them to an English "version".<br />Some of the differences I don't understand, maybe someone can help me out.<br /><br />[face=SPIonic]Mh=nin a)/eide, qea/, Phlhia/dew )Axilh=oj<br />ou)lome/nhn, h(\ muri/' )Axaioi=j a)/lge' e)/qhken,<br />polla\j d' i)fqi/mouj yuxa\j )/Aidi proi/ayen<br />h(rw/wn, au)tou\j de\ e(lw/ria teu=xe ku/nessin<br />oi)wnoi=si/ te dai=ta, Dio\j d' e)telei/eto boulh/,...[/face]<br /> My translation<br />Sing O goddess, the rage of Achilles the son of peleus <br />the deadly (rage), which caused miriads of trouble to the Achaeans<br />and many brave souls of heroes it hurled to Hades,<br />and it made them prey to dogs, and to birds an feast, and so the will of Zeus was accomplished...<br /><br />The translation I used to check my work<br /><br />Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled...<br /><br />My translation may not be very smooth English but I am not very concerned about that for now.<br />-I translated [face=SPIonic] ou)lome/nhn [/face]as modifying [face=SPIonic]Mh=nin[/face]<br />-[face=SPIonic]h(rw/wn[/face] is plural genitive so I took it to mean that the many brave souls belonged to these heroes and not as starting a new phrase.<br />(I could have made it a bit smoother by making it;-many a hero's brave soul...- asuming I was correct in my translation).<br /><br />Any comment would be appreciated.<br /><br /><br />
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Re:1st 5 lines of the Iliad

Postby annis » Sun Jul 20, 2003 2:04 am

Whose translation are you using? Your's is better, especially on the h(rw/wn matter.<br /><br />When using a translation to check your work, make sure the basic sense is correct. Most translators take liberties to get idiomatic language, so exact phrasing will often be off in many little ways.<br /><br />
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Re:1st 5 lines of the Iliad

Postby Bert » Sun Jul 20, 2003 4:23 pm

The translation I used was by Samuel Butler.<br />I can understand that in translating a poem, it is hard to make the translation anything close to literal.<br />Do you have a suggestion as to whose tranlation to use to check my work? Thanks.
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Re:1st 5 lines of the Iliad

Postby annis » Sun Jul 20, 2003 4:47 pm

[quote author=Bert de Haan link=board=2;threadid=270;start=0#1668 date=1058718202]<br />Do you have a suggestion as to whose tranlation to use to check my work? Thanks.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />The very awful translation that comes in the old Loebs of the Iliad, by A.T. Murray. The style is stilted and archaic, but stays quite close to the Greek. Also, you'll be able to check the Greek to see what version of the Iliad the translator is using. For example, line 5 in Pharr is different. Murray uses this reading:<br /><br />[face=SPIonic]oi)wnoi=si/ te pa=si, Dio\j d' e)telei/eto boulh/,[/face]<br /><br />"And all (kinds of) birds." Zenodotus, an early editor of Homer, objected to this reading since all birds don't eat flesh, just certain ones. So he imposed his own sense of reasonableness onto Homer, and said [face=SPIonic]dai=ta[/face]. Some editors accept Z's reading, some go with the old one. With the Loeb, you'll have a better idea if a strange translation is one of punctuation, translator's ideas, or variant readings.<br />
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Re:1st 5 lines of the Iliad

Postby chad » Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:26 am

Hi Bert, I'm just a beginner, so you might want to be cautious before taking advice from me, but I'd suggest that you make several translations of any Greek you'd like to learn (like of the Iliad). Commentaries talk about the great qualities of Homer's Greek: if you try to combine all these yourself into one English translation, even if you could (you'd be the first), you'll end up thinking of the Iliad through your translation, rather than through the Greek itself.<br /><br />If you have to do it for uni or something, go ahead and do a nice smooth translation... but if you're doing it to learn Homer for yourself, you can try making several translations as mnemonics for remembering the Greek, with each translation conentrating on one particular aspect of the Greek.<br /><br />Eg, do one for the Greek word order, one for the Greek sound and metre, &c. These wil probably be stilted, and that's a good thing I think: you'll realise these are only rough mnemonics for remembering the "good" original Greek.<br /><br />So for Iliad A lines 1 to 5, you could bring out the word order like this:<br /><br />Of his wrath--sing, oh goddess--of Peleus' Achilles;<br />de-stru-ctive; which so many woes, upon the Achaeans, brought,<br />and many brave souls, to Hades, sent,<br />of he-roes; and them, made them prey for dogs,<br />and birds, all birds; thus Zeus fulfilled his will...<br /><br />Of course this contains repetitions not in the Greek, but it'll help you remember the word order at least, and make you think about particular emphasised words, eg those at the start of lines 2 and 4.<br /><br />But the Greek sounds so much nicer hey :) Cheers, chad. :)
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:01 am

Bert is working on his first five lines of the Iliad, and chad is "just a beginner" ... just goes to show what a few years can do to one's mastery of Greek

Here's hope for all of you who struggle

:D :D :D
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Postby psilord » Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:21 am

Here is a translation I did:

O muse! Sing the accursed wrath of the son of Peleus Achilles, which caused countless woes for the Achaeans and hurled many valient souls of warriors to Hades, and made their bodies a booty for dogs and a feast for vultures, and the will of Zeus was being accomplished,

I found the ability of the declension system to allow movement of the
words to different lines fascinating. For example:

[face=spionic]muri/' A)xaioi=j a)lge'[/face]

it means "countless woes of the Achaeans", but when you hear it being spoken, you don't know Achaeans is in the genitive until you get to that part of the word, but your brain already hears "Achaean", so it *appears* that you will be saying "countless Achaeans" until the declension resolves and you realize that there is more to come. In effect, countless strongly modifies woes due to the case agreement, but there is a slight stress on the concept of "countless Achaeans" (who no doubt felt the woes) simply due to word order.
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Postby chad » Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:49 am

hi pete, agreed although check the case of "achaeans" :)
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Postby psilord » Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:56 am

chad wrote:hi pete, agreed although check the case of "achaeans" :)


Figures... it was correct in my notes, I just simply misparsed the word while writing the post and thought it was genitive. Oddly enough, you can see it was correct in my translation above... :)
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