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Yet more Wheelock muddling...

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Yet more Wheelock muddling...

Postby Einhard » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:24 am

Hello again,

Just after working my way through the P&R from Chapter 27 of Wheelock, and no. 1 gave me some difficulty. It goes:

Quisque cupit quam pulcherrima atque utilissima dona dare,

and I translated it as:

Each person desires that most beautiful (thing) and also to give the most useful gifts.

I used "quam" with "pulcherrima" as the acc.f.sing relative pronoun, and didn't relate it to "dona". Is that correct? Or, if not idiomatically, could it be ok in a literal sense?

And speaking of literal translations, P&R no. 6

Ostendit hostes ultimum signum luce clarissima illa nocte dedisse,

is tranlsated in benissimus' key as: He showed that enemy had given the last signal on that night with a very bright light,

which ticks all the boxes, literally and idiomatically. My initial translation was:

He showed the enemies that the last signal was given by night from this very bright light.

Obviously mine is a bit clunky but I think it is, literally at least, one possible translation. Is it? Or am I missing something?

Again, thanks in advance,

Einhard.
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Re: Yet more Wheelock muddling...

Postby adrianus » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:19 pm

Salve Einhard
quàm [adverbium cum superlativo] celerrimè curro = I run as quickly as possible
dona quàm [adverbium cum superlativo] pulcherrima atque utilissima = the nicest and most useful gifts possible

"He showed the enemies that the last signal was given by night from this/that very bright light [referred to]." = "hostibus ostendit ultimum signum illâ luce clarissimâ nocte deditum esse."
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: Yet more Wheelock muddling...

Postby Rindu » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:20 pm

quam with a superlative = "as _______ as possible".

In this case it is not a relative pronoun but a particle.
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Re: Yet more Wheelock muddling...

Postby adrianus » Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:47 pm

Some say it's adverbial in that usage, like "how" or "so". That's why it's marked with a grave accent,—to distinguish it.
Eo usu, nonnulli qui id adverbium esse dicunt, sicut "quomodò" vel "taliter". Ideò, per gravem accentum denotatur, ut distinguantur.
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: Yet more Wheelock muddling...

Postby thesaurus » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:27 am

Einhard wrote:Ostendit hostes ultimum signum luce clarissima illa nocte dedisse,

is tranlsated in benissimus' key as: He showed that enemy had given the last signal on that night with a very bright light,

which ticks all the boxes, literally and idiomatically. My initial translation was:

He showed the enemies that the last signal was given by night from this very bright light.

Obviously mine is a bit clunky but I think it is, literally at least, one possible translation. Is it? Or am I missing something?


To explicate Adrianus's answer a little more, your translation is (unfortunately) not possible. Because you took "hostes" as the object of "ostendit," you've mistakenly translated "dedisse" as a passive verb. It's active, so you need a subject. That's when you figure out that the accusative "hostes" becomes the subject of the reported speech.

Si Adriani responsum paulùm explicare possum, versio tua (pro dolore!) impossibilis est. Cum "hostes" obiectum verbi "ostendi" habeas, verbum "dedisse" passivum esse perperam arbitratus es. Cum activum sit, aliquid subiectum adhibere necesse est, atque ita discernens, verbum accusativum "hostes" fieri subiectum orationis obliquae invenies.
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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