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translation question

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translation question

Postby Bert » Sat May 31, 2003 11:36 pm

Hi, everyone.<br />Paragraph 41 line 9 of White's First Greek Book, has -(ai oikiai mikrai hsan-. I translated this as -there were small houses. The answer key has -the houses were small-.<br />I can see that that would be the more logical translation, but would mine be possible too? Or should there be an indication where the small houses were, eg; there were small houses in the village.<br />Thanks<br />Bert de Haan
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Re:translation question

Postby sfryer » Sun Jun 01, 2003 3:50 am

[quote author=Bert de Haan link=board=2;threadid=138;start=#648 date=1054424192]<br /><br />Paragraph 41 line 9 of White's First Greek Book, has [face=SPIonic]ai( oi)ki/ai mikrai\ h]san[/face]. I translated this as -there were small houses. The answer key has -the houses were small-.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />I think that "There were small houses" wouldn't have the article so it would be just [face=SPIonic]oi)ki/ai mikrai\ h]san.[/face]<br /><br />Hope that makes sense.<br />Stephanus
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Re:translation question

Postby chiron2b » Sun Jun 01, 2003 3:51 am

I will try to help suggest ideas (caveat- I also am a beginner).<br /><br />In going through the JWW book it seems, especially in the example sentences, that the verb will often be the last word in the sentence while the word that verb is acting on typically comes right before the verb, in these cases in the penultimate spot.<br /><br />i.e.- the houses SMALL were, the day LONG was (paragraph 41, ex5-JWW)<br />[face=SPIonic]ai oikiai mikrai hsan ---<br />h hmera makra hn[/face]<br /><br />Second idea... while there is/there are appears in english to be from the verb, to be, we might want to think of it as a separate verb, such as in Spanish (and surely other languages) where "hay"= there is/there are AND has nothing to do with the verb "to be".<br /><br />So now you can only translate your sentence as,..the small houses were (which looks incomplete; "...were" what??), OR small were the houses OR the houses were small.<br /><br />Hope I have helped, have not confused, and have not made any egregious errors.<br /><br />My question for others, is there a verb equivalent to "there is/there are" for Attic Greek?<br /><br />Thanks
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Re:translation question

Postby sfryer » Sun Jun 01, 2003 4:04 am

[quote author=chiron2b link=board=2;threadid=138;start=0#651 date=1054439519]<br />I will try to help suggest ideas (caveat- I also am a beginner).[/quote]<br /><br />I'm a beginner at Greek too, but I can call upon a lot of Latin experience, which sometimes helps.<br /><br />[quote author=chiron2b link=board=2;threadid=138;start=0#651 date=1054439519]<br />My question for others, is there a verb equivalent to "there is/there are" for Attic Greek?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />The same verb can be used for either meaning and translation depends on the sentence structure (Latin does the same). I'm not sure off the top of my head how to explain it clearly but by now it just seems obvious to me which to use. <br /><br />Stephanus
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Re:translation question

Postby annis » Sun Jun 01, 2003 4:32 am

A few things.<br /><br />First, chiron2b, you have intuited a rule of Greek syntax it took modern linguistics (discourse theory) to figure out, namely the focus role of the position right before the verb. <br /><br />A note for those curious, everything I'm about to say does not apply to Greek poetry, which retained a hostility to the definite article for some time.<br /><br />Next, the secret here has to do with what Greek Grammars call "attributive position." Whenever a noun has an article, like here, any adjective that modifies it (as in "the small houses") must come after an article. So, ai( mikrai oikiai - "the small houses." You can also phrase this as ai( oikiai ai( mikrai with the same meaning.<br /><br />For your sentence here, since the noun has the article, but the adjective does not, the adjective is in the predicate position. Since you don't have to use the verb "to be" in these cases, both of these mean "the house is small": ai( oikiai mikrai, mikrai ai( oikiai.<br /><br />Non-homeric Greek adores to put long modifying phrases after an article to modify a noun:<br /><br />[face=SPIonic]oi( e)n th=| kw/mh| a)/nqrwpoi[/face]<br /><br />"The in-the-village people." Once again, you can throw the modifying (attributive) phrase after another article:<br /><br />[face=SPIonic]oi( a)/nqrwpoi oi( e)n th=| kw/mh[/face]<br /><br />"The people, the in-the-village (ones)"<br /><br />If there is no article involved, then there is potential confusion. Rarely will you encounter Greek in the wild where confusion exists, though, but textbooks love to boggle our brains with these.<br /><br />Have I made this more clear or more murky?
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Re:translation question

Postby Bert » Sun Jun 01, 2003 12:18 pm

Thanks all.<br />I do understand it now.<br />One note; I find the transliterated Greek sentences almost impossible to read especially with the accent and breathing marks. Just have to get used to it I quess.<br />Bert.
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