Difference between 'μετὰ' and 'σύν' - EtG translation

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Wishfulcrystal
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Difference between 'μετὰ' and 'σύν' - EtG translation

Post by Wishfulcrystal » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:59 am

Mastronarde's Introduction to Attic Greek, unit 9, exercise section III, #1.

The sentence (in English) is: With friends it is easy to endure evils.
Mastronarde's answer key translates it as: μετὰ τῶν φίλων ῥᾴδιον κακὰ φέρειν.
I translated it as (with proper accentuation and diacritics on-paper): Συν τοις φιλοις ραδιον κακα φερειν .

Two questions: (1) Is my translation workable? (2) Is there some other difference between the two in meaning? Does one emphasize a relation more than the other, or something like that?

When I was still using H&Q, I learned that σύν is a dative preposition of accompaniement, and I learned that μετὰ has the sense of accompaniement, but is genitive.

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Re: Difference between 'μετὰ' and 'σύν' - EtG translation

Post by Hylander » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:32 pm

Your translation wasn't really wrong: the two prepositions are very close, and in fact συν + dative eventually displaced μετα + genitive. I think μετα + genitive would be closer to "in the company of" or "in the midst of" or perhaps "surrounded by", which would probably better fit the sentence to be translated. συν would maybe be closer to "with the help of". But that's just my intuition.

Here are links to the entries for these words in the Liddell Scott Jones lexicon, which gives the full range of meanings for both words:

συν:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... y%3Dsu%2Fn

μετα:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... %3Dmeta%2F

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Re: Difference between 'μετὰ' and 'σύν' - EtG translation

Post by Timothée » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:43 pm

Hylander wrote:in fact συν + dative eventually displaced μετα + genitive.
Shouldn’t this be exactly the other way around? The LS s.u. μετά:
with gen. (in which use μετά gradually superseded σύν, q.u.)
The LS s.u. σύν:
The prep. σύν gradually gave way to μετά with gen.
Cf. Modern Greek με ‘with’.

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Re: Difference between 'μετὰ' and 'σύν' - EtG translation

Post by Hylander » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:49 pm

Shouldn’t this be exactly the other way around?
Yes, you're right. Sorry.
Cf. Modern Greek με ‘with’.
The signs read: ΤΑΧΥΤΗΤΑ ΕΞΕΤΑΖΕΤΑΙ ΜΕ ΡΑΔΑΡ, but the taxi driver assured me that the radar doesn't work.

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Re: Difference between 'μετὰ' and 'σύν' - EtG translation

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:30 pm

Wishfulcrystal wrote:The sentence (in English) is: With friends it is easy to endure evils.
Mastronarde's answer key translates it as: μετὰ τῶν φίλων ῥᾴδιον κακὰ φέρειν.
I translated it as (with proper accentuation and diacritics on-paper): Συν τοις φιλοις ραδιον κακα φερειν .

Two questions: (1) Is my translation workable?
Yes. If you had written μετὰ τοὺς φίλους instead, that would have been wrong.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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Re: Difference between 'μετὰ' and 'σύν' - EtG translation

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:19 am

Hylander wrote:
Shouldn’t this be exactly the other way around?
Yes, you're right. Sorry.
Cf. Modern Greek με ‘with’.
The signs read: ΤΑΧΥΤΗΤΑ ΕΞΕΤΑΖΕΤΑΙ ΜΕ ΡΑΔΑΡ, but the taxi driver assured me that the radar doesn't work.
μετά + genitive is preserved in some set (formal) phrases.

Interestingly, the preposition μετά + accusative with the meaning "after", or "beyond" has expanded in Modern Greek, with its use as an adverb becoming much more common than we see in earlier times, and now even as a conjunction.

As prefixed morphological units, συν- and μετα- are both still found extensively in Modern Greek. Despite that it is much reduced in its range of usages as an individual word (preposition), it is still found in the senses of togetherness, giving help to another, cooperation, etc. Likewise in the inherited word stock, μετα- retains the range of senses of change, repetition, sharing, etc. There don't appear to be striking surprises in those prefixed element patterns of usage for somebody with a classical background encountering Modern Greek.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
(Keats, Ode to a nightingale, 1819).

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