Unit 18 Negatives and Too Say

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Lukas
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Unit 18 Negatives and Too Say

Post by Lukas » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:45 pm

I am also having trouble with the second translation. The Greek is this:

Image

So far this is my translation:

"Never will you learn, oh evil one, not even these small things. For it will seem best to the citizens not to be persuaded these to say neither money or blows."

I was troubled by λέγειν. I believe it should mean "to say," but I cannot figure out what words go with it and where to place it in the sentence.

This brings me to another question. What thought process do you go through when translating Greek into English?
Do you try to find the nominative and verb first, and then try to figure out what the verb in the non-present tense would be in the present tense? Or do you try to translate the words chronologically starting with the first word and then the second, etc.?
Last edited by Lukas on Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bedwere
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Re: Unit 18 Negatives and Too Say

Post by bedwere » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:54 pm

Simply:

not to be persuaded to say these [things] either by money or by blows

I try to find the general sense first. Of course, you need to identify the subject first.

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seneca2008
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Re: Unit 18 Negatives and Too Say

Post by seneca2008 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:39 am

Lukas wrote:This brings me to another question. What thought process do you go through when translating Greek into English?
Do you try to find the nominative and verb first, and then try to figure out what the verb in the non-present tense would be in the present tense? Or do you try to translate the words chronologically starting with the first word and then the second, etc.?
I am sure we all have our own methods but with the examples you are dealing with, because of the relatively simple syntax, you should try to read it as it comes, this doesn't of course mean word by word. As mwh often says don't try to translate at first. Translation is the last step when you have understood the text.

so with your text

οὔποτε (some kind of negative) μαθήσῃ (verb μανθάνω whats the ending?), ὦ πονηρέ (ah looks like a vocative ὦ is the give-away so that the verb must be second person), οὐδ’ (another negative)ἐκεῖνα τὰ μικρά (mmm does ἐκεῖνα go with τὰ μικρά) · καλὸν γὰρ δόξει (verb what's the ending? what person? could it be impersonal) τοῖς πολίταις (ah a dative plural I remember now "it seems good to ...) μὴ πείθεσθαι (negative with a verb is it an infinitive? ) ταῦτα (these things) λέγειν (ah another infinite what's the construction here?) μήτε χρήμασι μήτε πληγαῖς (two more negatives and two datives neither by... nor by.. so which verb do they belong to : look up πείθεσθαι its middle/passive infinitive "be persuaded", ah so μήτε χρήμασι μήτε πληγαῖς might belong to it).

This is perhaps all very artificial but I wanted to illustrate how you can try to work out the sense as bedwere was suggesting without translating very much. Identifying the forms and the constructions used as you go will develop good habits for the future when the syntax is more complicated. Simply picking the verb and looking for the subject won't always help you as in this case.

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