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New learner, need help with sentence...

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New learner, need help with sentence...

Postby phookster » Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:24 pm

Hi everyone,

I have started enjoying the wonders of Latin BUT I am an absolute noob. A friend of mine has asked if I could translate the following sentence: "Knowledge will always be heritage of a few". I guess that I will be able to do this easily in a few years but right now I am stuck!

Any help would be appreciated, thanks a bunch :)

Regards,
David
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Re: New learner, need help with sentence...

Postby thesaurus » Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:59 pm

Good luck on your Latin odyssey!

"Knowledge will always be heritage of a few"
Sapientia semper erit paucorum hereditas.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: New learner, need help with sentence...

Postby thesaurus » Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:00 pm

double post
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: New learner, need help with sentence...

Postby Kasper » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:35 pm

'Scienta' , in my opinion, would be better than 'sapientia'.

also, the present tense, i believe, should be preferred in statements that are considered to contain a general 'truth'.

ps. a quick search in A&G reveals at para 465. "the present tense denotes an action or state ... (3) as indefinite, referring to no particular time, but denoting a general truth". It provides as examples: "minora di neglegunt" and "obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit".

ah! and apparently this is known as the 'gnomic' present. Well, you learn something new everyday...
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Re: New learner, need help with sentence...

Postby Trimalchio » Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:35 pm

Also there is sentence structure to think about. What are you trying to emphasize?

The typical translation would be Scienta...erit. Unless of course, you meant to emphasize the few.
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Re: New learner, need help with sentence...

Postby adrianus » Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:22 pm

If I were to say "people with mustaches always have eggs for breakfast", that is a general "truth" (!).
Were I to say "I always will have eggs for breakfast", that is not a general "truth" but either (1) a prediction about what will always happen in the future or (2) a declaration about what I intend to always happen,—for all of which the future tense is just perfect, and in a very vivid sense. "Knowledge will always be the heritage of a few" does not necessarily mean the same thing as "Knowledge is always the heritage of a few". So I may say:
"Knowledge is always the heritage of a few. Let's try to change that!"
or "Knowledge will always be the heritage of a few. There's no point trying to change that!"

Si dicam "qui subium gerit semper in jentaculo habet ova", verum universum erit (!).
Si dicam "semper ova in jentaculo habebo" non erit verum universum sed aut (primum) praedicam quod futuro eventurum est, aut (secundum) clamabo quam rem fieri volo,—cui utri rei egregiè servit tempus futurum, et sensu benè vivido. Non continuò eundem sensum habent hae duae sententiae: "Pauculi semper/usquè sunt haeredes sapientiae/scientiarum" et "Pauculi semper/usquè erunt haeredes sapientiae/scientiarum" [dicamus quoquè "Pauculis semper est/erit haereditas sapientiae/scientiarum"]. Ergô proponamus ità:
"Pauculi semper sunt haeredes sapientiae/scientiarum. Id mutare conemur!"
et aliter "Pauculi semper erunt haeredes sapientiae/scientiarum. Si eam rem mutare conemur, futile sit!"
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: New learner, need help with sentence...

Postby Kasper » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:47 pm

Thanks Adriane, i certainly take your point.

what, in your opinion, then does constitute a general truth to which this gnomic present would apply?
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Re: New learner, need help with sentence...

Postby adrianus » Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:15 pm

Salve Kasper

How's this for pedantry? "Knowledge is the heritage of a few" is gnomic present. But, in my opinion, if the author uses "always" in the sentence, then the tense is just the plain old present tense. Otherwise the "always" is superfluous. Now, if the author uses "Knowledge will always be the heritage of a few" the future tense was used deliberately, and clearly refers to a future time. That, both on its own and in combination with using the word "always" in the sentence, means that the gnomic present would be misrepresenting the author's meaning or intention,—even though it may be an improvement! Had the author wished to use the gnomic present, he/she could have done so in English. It's pretty pedantic, though, to criticize a translation that improves the sense when that happens (and it doesn't always happen)!!

What do you reckon?

Me grammatistam! "Pauculi [sunt] haeredes sapientiae" gnomici temporis praesentis est. Ut opinor, quidem, si "semper" scribatur, tunc praesens modò erit tempus, aliàs superfluum erit adverbium. Et tempore futuro et "semper" adverbio in utendo intrà sententiam, nonnè eis rationibus significatur in mente scriptoris sensum gnomici temporis deesse? Verus garammatista autem qui versionem incusat quae sensum pristini cumulat (nec semper autem cumulat).

Quid putas?
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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