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Please can someone translate

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Please can someone translate

Postby audacious » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:37 pm

Dear All,

Please can someone be good enough to translate the following into latin for me...

"The man I could never be"

Kind Regards

Chris.
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Re: Please can someone translate

Postby furrykef » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:10 am

It's usually good form to show us your own attempt unless you have a good reason why you need the translation and can't try it yourself. But I'll give you this one. :)

How about "vir quī numquam poterō esse"? Literally, "the man I will never be able to be". Though in context maybe a different form of "posse" ("can") would be more appropriate. What's the context here?
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Re: Please can someone translate

Postby adrianus » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:59 am

"Vir quem esse nunquam mihi licitum est" (despite using esse twice // bis insertando eiusdem verbi esse enim invito)
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: Please can someone translate

Postby audacious » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:58 pm

Thankyou both for your responses, I have no knowledge of Latin so could not begin to attempt a translation. By way of context, my father passed away recently and I am considering getting a tattoo with these words.

Can I ask what the difference is between the two translations:-

Vir quem esse nunquam mihi licitum est, and:-

vir quī numquam poterō esse


Many thanks again for your help with this...
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Re: Please can someone translate

Postby adrianus » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:16 pm

If you don't mind my saying, a tattoo only decipherable by a few may not be the best memorial. I would say one is English is better because it's clear and you aren't relying on strangers.

Tuâ veniâ, nota paucis solis cognobilis ut signum memor non apta est. Meâ parte melius est anglicè compungere quia clarum quod vis dicere qui in hostibus non speras.
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: Please can someone translate

Postby audacious » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:38 pm

adrianus,

I welcome your opinion. Can you confirm what the difference is between the two translations ..

Chris.
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Re: Please can someone translate

Postby adrianus » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:27 pm

Well, I think "quem" not "qui" and "vir quem nunquam potero esse" means literally what Furrykef said "The man whom never will I be able to be."
And "Vir quem esse nunquam mihi licitum est" literally means "The man whom to be never to me is to be permitted" where "nunquam mihi licitum est" + infinitive is often translated as "never could I"

Fortassè erro at, meâ sententiâ, rectiùs scribitur "vir quem nunquam potero esse"

Also "vir quem nunquam possim esse" = "the man whom never would I be able to be"
Or maybe "vir qui ego nunquam faciar" = "The man who I never may become"
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: Please can someone translate

Postby furrykef » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:44 am

adrianus wrote:Well, I think "quem" not "qui" and "vir quem nunquam potero esse" means literally what Furrykef said "The man whom never will I be able to be."


I don't understand why you want to use "quem" instead of "quī" here. In English we say "I could never be him", but in Latin, a nominative subject takes a nominative complement, doesn't it? "Ego" -- the implied subject of "poterō" -- is nominative, so, by this logic at least, the relative pronoun should be nominative as well. Or does actual Latin usage not reflect this?

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Re: Please can someone translate

Postby Craig_Thomas » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:16 am

From Section 206 of Gildersleeve and Lodge's Latin Grammar:

3. All copulative verbs retain the Nom. with the Inf. after auxiliary verbs (423).
Beātus esse sine virtūte nēmō potest, C., N.D., 1. 18, 48; no one can be happy without virtue.

A Google search of http://www.thelatinlibrary.com seems to confirm this: http://www.google.com/search?q=%22esse+ ... 798417a8e0

But I at least wouldn't be willing to have inked into myself forever something in a tongue I didn't know composed by contrary strangers to whom it's not native, especially when the sentiment is so well and briefly stated in English. I would have it done in the language my father and I best understood.
Last edited by Craig_Thomas on Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Please can someone translate

Postby Craig_Thomas » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:19 am

...to have inked into myself forever something in a tongue...

Though on the tongue is even worse, I hear.
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Re: Please can someone translate

Postby adrianus » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:36 pm

3. All copulative verbs retain the Nom. with the Inf. after auxiliary verbs (423).
Beātus esse sine virtūte nēmō potest, C., N.D., 1. 18, 48; no one can be happy without virtue.

Fair enough, "qui" not "quem" it is.
Fiat "qui" non "quem"

Strange. I posted the same thing a while ago and it disappeared.
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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: Please can someone translate

Postby calvinist » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:13 am

furrykef's Vir qui numquam potero esse "The man that I will never be able to be" expresses the idea best I think. This is a very idiomatic phrase, and Latin probably had a set phrase for this idea, but I'm not aware of it. I think the 'literal' translation into Latin works just fine, especially since no one walking around is a native speaker anyway. Anyone with some knowledge of Latin would read it and understand it immediately.
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