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Could someone help me with this one line translation?

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Could someone help me with this one line translation?

Postby Josh1989 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:50 pm

Hi, I'm a first years classical history student and I thought it would be fun to take a Latin module. None of us have studied it before but we get into nerdy arguments after class and this is the most recent; I was hoping someone could help with it:

What is the correct translation of "The world is better than it isn't."? Our attempts are a grammatical mess but I'd be quite interested to know if only to disprove my classmates theories. Thanks.

Josh
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Re: Could someone help me with this one line translation?

Postby thesaurus » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:52 am

I don't really understand the sentence in English, so I'm not sure I can provide a useful translation. Could you elucidate it a little?

Nonetheless, here is a literal attempt:

Orbis terrarum melior est quam non est.

However, I'm not sure it's possible to compare a noun "Orbis terrarum" with a finite verb "non est". Again, I'd like to know what this phrase is supposed to convey.
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: Could someone help me with this one line translation?

Postby Josh1989 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:25 pm

thesaurus wrote:I don't really understand the sentence in English, so I'm not sure I can provide a useful translation. Could you elucidate it a little?

Nonetheless, here is a literal attempt:

Orbis terrarum melior est quam non est.

However, I'm not sure it's possible to compare a noun "Orbis terrarum" with a finite verb "non est". Again, I'd like to know what this phrase is supposed to convey.


Well we were reading epigrams, by Marshal I think, and the gist of a few seemed to be that everything was alright. The state of the world was better than it could be: better than it wasn't good. Sorry, its quite hard to explain in writing. In grammatically wrong English: "the world is gooder than it is bad" is the message we were trying to convey.

I hope that clarifies a bit but either way thank you for the translation above.
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