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H & Q Unit 8 Greek to English

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H & Q Unit 8 Greek to English

Postby bingley » Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:53 am

I’m having trouble with this sentence from H & Q Unit 8, I.13:

[face=SPIonic] a)reth/ toi to\ pa=san xw/ran sw|=zon, w=) ge/ron. [/face]

[face=SPIonic]a)reth/ [/face] nominative feminine singular = virtue

[face=SPIonic]to\ sw|=zon [/face] neuter singular article and present participle (presumably accusative since we already have a nominative feminine) = saving

[face=SPIonic]pa=san xw/ran [/face] accusative feminine singular and adjective, presumably object of [face=SPIonic]sw|=zon [/face] = the whole country

[face=SPIonic]w=) ge/ron [/face] vocative masculine singular.


I just can’t put it all together as a sentence.
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Re: H & Q Unit 8 Greek to English

Postby mingshey » Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:15 am

bingley wrote: [face=SPIonic]to\ sw|=zon [/face] neuter singular article and present participle (presumably accusative since we already have a nominative feminine) = saving


Yes. But it can also be a nominative. Two nominatives(one as the subject, and the other a complement) can make a sentence. With "to be" abbreviated.

My guess is:

O old man, as you know, it is a virtue to save the whole country.

(anyway, beware, I'm a novice in Greek myself :P)
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Postby bingley » Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:50 am

I thought of there being a deleted [face=SPIonic]e)sti [/face], but wouldn't it be with the infinitive rather than a participle?
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Postby mingshey » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:13 am

Well I'm not very good at distinguishing between an infinitive and a participle. :oops: Let me put it:

"O old man, as you know, the (work of) saving a whole contry is a virtue."
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Postby Skylax » Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:02 pm

It could be "Virtue is what saves the country" (or something in real English). Yes, a complement should not have an article, and a subject could, but here article with the participle is the only way to say "the thing that saves the country", and when the complement is the very same thing as the subject, the article is possible before the complement.

[face=SPIonic]xai/rete[/face]
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Postby bingley » Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:56 pm

Ok, if it means something like: old man, saving the whole (of one's) country is a virtuous act, you know, what would be the difference between:

[face=SPIonic]a)reth/ toi to\ pa=san xw/ran sw|=zon, w=) ge/ron[/face]

and

[face=SPIonic]a)reth/ toi to\ sw|/zein pa=san xw/ran, w=) ge/ron[/face]
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:02 pm

the article + infinitive is translated as '(the) saving (of something)'. It doesn't work that well in English, but what you're doing is substantivating the verb, for example 'Reading is good'.
and article + participle can always be translated with a relative clause, so 'something, which saves' or 'he, who saves', depending on the case of the participle (and its article). In this case it's not the act itself.
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:08 pm

bingley wrote:Ok, if it means something like: old man, saving the whole (of one's) country is a virtuous act, you know, what would be the difference between:

[face=SPIonic]a)reth/ toi to\ pa=san xw/ran sw|=zon, w=) ge/ron[/face]

and

[face=SPIonic]a)reth/ toi to\ sw|/zein pa=san xw/ran, w=) ge/ron[/face]


the translations would be:

old man, verily that, which saves the whole country, is virtue.

and the second sentence needs to be changed a little to make sense (whole country in genitive case for example)

old man, verily the saving of the whole country is virtue.
That's bad English, I know, but I hope you know what I mean.
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Postby mingshey » Wed Jun 09, 2004 11:30 pm

Emma_85 wrote:the article + infinitive is translated as '(the) saving (of something)'. It doesn't work that well in English, but what you're doing is substantivating the verb, for example 'Reading is good'.
and article + participle can always be translated with a relative clause, so 'something, which saves' or 'he, who saves', depending on the case of the participle (and its article). In this case it's not the act itself.


Ah, that's very enlightening! Thanks!
In english it was not very clear. Both infinitive and participle(was it gerund?) could be used to denote the act itself. And there's gerund to add confusion. hehehe.
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Postby Emma_85 » Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:48 am

Yes, I find it much more difficult to translate Greek into English than into German for example, as the German grammar is more like the Greek than the English is. I'm afraid I have no idea what Korean grammar is like...
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Postby mingshey » Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:34 am

Korean is confusing, too, when it comes to translating the participles and gerunds and infinitives, and moreover, relative pronouns, etc. You have to break up the sentences connected with those grammatical elements to make it sound like a natural Korean.
The grammatical structure is quite different. That must be another reason I feel the difficulty about them. I can say I wouldn't be able to translate more than half of my own posts into Korean. I think in English when I write in English, and when writing in Korean, in Korean. (I'm gonna develop a new mode of thinking; in Greek).
The modern Korean lacks many features that would make the use of it more flexible. The long tradition of scholars using Classical Chinese in academic works left their mother tongue almost a vulgar language. It's a great shame, indeed. I vaguely hope we could change the future, though.
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Postby bingley » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:05 am

Emma_85 wrote:
bingley wrote:Ok, if it means something like: old man, saving the whole (of one's) country is a virtuous act, you know, what would be the difference between:

[face=SPIonic]a)reth/ toi to\ pa=san xw/ran sw|=zon, w=) ge/ron[/face]

and

[face=SPIonic]a)reth/ toi to\ sw|/zein pa=san xw/ran, w=) ge/ron[/face]


the translations would be:

old man, verily that, which saves the whole country, is virtue.

and the second sentence needs to be changed a little to make sense (whole country in genitive case for example)

old man, verily the saving of the whole country is virtue.
That's bad English, I know, but I hope you know what I mean.


The Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek, which I've just bought, gives in its explanation of the articular infinitive (pg 124):

to| tou=to pra/ttein

glossed as 'accomplishing this', which would seem to indicate that an articular infinitive can take an object in the accusative. Is this wrong?

However, I think I see the difference you're making. With the article + participle whatever saves the country is a virtue, while with the article + infiniteve it is the actual saving of the country which is a virtue. Is that right?
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Postby Emma_85 » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:24 am

to| tou=to pra/ttein

glossed as 'accomplishing this', which would seem to indicate that an articular infinitive can take an object in the accusative. Is this wrong?


No, it's not wrong, but anything belonging to the substantivated infinitive should be between the article and the infinitive. If you 'do something', then 'something' is in the accusative, so it would be correct if the 'whole country' were between the article and the infinitive, but in your example it is outside, so there you would need a genitive, as the infinitive no longer acts as a verb then, but as a noun.
At least I hope this is correct, my grammar says nothing on the subject...

However, I think I see the difference you're making. With the article + participle whatever saves the country is a virtue, while with the article + infiniteve it is the actual saving of the country which is a virtue. Is that right?


yep! :)
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