Passion of Christ

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Licinius
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Passion of Christ

Post by Licinius » Fri Nov 26, 2004 11:56 am

I am sorry if this subject has been discussed in previous topics, but I haven't found them.
So, I just want to colect opinions about the accent and pronunciation of latin(sermo urbanus) in that Mel Gibson movie.
Thank for the time spent reading this message

LICINIVS

FORTES FORTVNA ADIVVAT(correct me if I am wrong, please)

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Lucus Eques
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Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Nov 26, 2004 1:32 pm

Dom dia! Salve, Licini!

I think that's a great question; I'm not sure if it's already been discussed. I'd like to see what the others have to say on the matter.

My own opinion was that they took the easy way out; it was just the standard Ecclesiastical pronunciation common to the contemporary Church, which closely resembles Italian (the language coach herself was an Italian, as much of the cast); this was explained away by the postulation that these Roman soldiers, obviously, spoke vulgar Latin. True as that may be, in my own readings, the more significant alterations of the sermo, such as ce/ci, ge/gi given a soft and completely different sound from the typically hard ca/co/cu, ga/go/gu, did not even exist in the vulgate before the 4th century. This among other annoying aspects of Ecclesiastical pronunciation unfortunately take away from the very thing Mel Gibson was trying to achieve.
The advantage to the Italianized pronunciation of the Latin in the movie is that it sounds natural, and lilts beautifully and pleasantly. Even more important are the proper pronunciations of the vowel sounds that Italians offer the Latin; for some ungodly reason, most classicists have gotten it into their heads that short Latin vowels must resemble the pronunciation of their English counterparts. The ugliest example would be the vowel in the English word "it". This sound exists in no language but for English and Chinese, and even the latter is variable. Vowel placements in Latin and Italian alike, among so many other languages, are virtually constant, dependent only upon their shaping by adjacent consonants. Thankfully, the Italians in The Passion of the Christ give the vowels their proper sonority.



And yes, Licini, if you mean to say "fortune helps [favors] the strong [ones]," then your translation is correct. Ben factum. :)
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Post by amans » Fri Nov 26, 2004 2:25 pm

I agree that the Italian pronunciation is beautiful, but that it is probably not historically correct. I've had some "ferocious" exchanges with my Italian buddies on how to pronounce Latin. Especially the Cs make for disagreement. But one had better get used to it: especially if one likes classical music... (the films in Latin are, however, rare).

I like the proverb from Terentius - but doesn't it translate as "Fortune favours the brave"? I do know, hovewer, that "fortis" means strong...

Well: May the force be with you Luke! :D How would you say Skywalker? Coelis ambulans? :wink:

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Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Nov 26, 2004 2:57 pm

Ah! you like my little quote. :D Well, I'd translate it less precisely, to give it more of a surname ring: Caelambulator, or even to make it gens-like: Caelambulatorius.

And yes, fortis also means "brave," naturally; I forgot the common translation of that quote. I prefer "brave" anyway.
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Post by Turpissimus » Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:00 pm

The ugliest example would be the vowel in the English word "it". This sound exists in no language but for English and Chinese, and even the latter is variable.
What about German? Er ist Bischof?. I'm sure it's in quite a few others . . .
And yes, Licini, if you mean to say "fortune helps [favors] the strong [ones]," then your translation is correct. Ben factum. Smile
Isn't the more normal Latin quote/proverb Audaces fortuna iuvat? It's from Vergil, Aeneid X, 284 - lit. fortune favours/helps the bold.

Pettifogging aside, I was under the impression that "Roman" soldiers in Judaea in the first century spoke mostly Greek, this being the lingua franca of that time and place. The higher ups would have spoken Latin (or, more precisely, been bilingual). Surely if Gibson wanted authenticity he could have arranged for some koine speakers.
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Post by Timothy » Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:13 pm

Turpissimus wrote:What about German? Er ist Bischof?. I'm sure it's in quite a few others . . .
AFAICT, Allens Vox Latina documents the sounds as

/i/ as in dip
/i:/ as in deep.

There are references to the grammartians V. Longus and T. Maurus on the sound of the long and short i.
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Post by Turpissimus » Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:27 pm

AFAICT, Allens Vox Latina documents the sounds as

/i/ as in dip
/i:/ as in deep.
Isn't the short vowel supposed to have the quality of deep, but the quantity of dip? Like the French ici? I can't believe such a learned treatise as Vox Latina would make a mistake about that, so I'm unwilling to contradict. On the other hand, many of the grammars I've seen believe the vowel sound should be like the i in ici. I suppose it comes from our habit of not paying to close attention to the exact sounds of classical languages. One book I have says "since we learn Latin chiefly to read classical authors in the original language we need not pay as much attention to it's pronounciation as we would to that of a modern language". Of course, two thirds of the way through the book he springs on us the observation that vowel sounds in syllables ending with m were often elided, something which made me feel as if I had been gravely offending the shades of Cicero for six months...

EDIT: and if those are IPA symbols then it very definitely is pronounced as the i in ici.
There are references to the grammartians V. Longus and T. Maurus on the sound of the long and short i.
What do they say about the vowel quality? If they say it is, say, a less tight sound then I would be very surprised.

Very interesting....
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Post by Lucus Eques » Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:51 pm

Turpissimus wrote:What about German? Er ist Bischof?. I'm sure it's in quite a few others . . .
If you listen closely to the vowel being produced, it is much more forward than the near shwa 'i' sound in English, much more like the ie in the German sie than the i in the English "it". This sub-'ee' sound, yes, is common in many other languages, but the comparable sound our tongue is unique to English.
Pettifogging aside, I was under the impression that "Roman" soldiers in Judaea in the first century spoke mostly Greek, this being the lingua franca of that time and place. The higher ups would have spoken Latin (or, more precisely, been bilingual). Surely if Gibson wanted authenticity he could have arranged for some koine speakers.
Keep in mind the vast amount of Latin graffiti still visible in Israel today. The Roman army would tend to rotate soldiers and legions from all over the provinces depending how it suited the military needs of the Empire; it is also quite logical that significantly more loyal Italian troops would be preferred in distant, fringe-territory, upstart provinces like Judea. Lingua franca as Greek might have been among the indigenous people, the foreign troops were not necessarily limited by that factor.


Isn't the short vowel supposed to have the quality of deep, but the quantity of dip?
Precisely!
EDIT: and if those are IPA symbols then it very definitely is pronounced as the i in ici.
I wholeheartedly agree.
What do they say about the vowel quality?
I would like to know what the Romans say as well. My impression is that a difference in quality wouldn't make sense to a Roman; the qualities were constant, or so I maintain.
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Post by Timothy » Sat Nov 27, 2004 4:07 pm

Turpissimus wrote:...and if those are IPA symbols then it very definitely is pronounced as the i in ici.
I'm on a short vacation at the moment and away from my desk so I can't do any reference work. However, the symbols used here were not meant as the IPA characters but shorthand for short i and long i. I'm sorry if this was not clear.
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Post by Licinius » Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:43 pm

Thanks again for your replies.
Just one more question: The sound of "imus" (I think) from the legionarii leading Christ to the cross. Sounded like "yamus". Was that correct?

LICINIVS

Fortes et audaces fortuna adiuuat

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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:17 pm

Actually, it was eamus, meaning, "let's go;" I think their pronunciation there was dead-on. Another thing they said a lot was incede! "come on!"
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Post by Licinius » Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:03 pm

Ok. Present conjuntive of ire instead of indicative. Thank you Lucus, allways "rápido e didático".Agite would also be correct in that case, wouldn't it?
Another issue is th ce,ci,ge and gi, not very "Wheelock" like in: ecce homo, undecim, forms of dicere, viginti, etc. I think even if legionarii didn't respect all gramar rules, consonant sounds would still sound like sermo urbanus 2000 years ago. Maybe vogal lenght would be less respected in day to day conversations(or not).
Btw is there any irc channel of latin? I think using a language is the key to improve it or not to lose it.

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Post by Licinius » Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:57 am

Sorry, forgot to translate "rápido e didáctico" rapidus et praeceptivus(aptus ad docendum)

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Post by Lucus Eques » Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:52 pm

Licinius wrote:Ok. Present conjuntive of ire instead of indicative.
Yes, I guess it has more accurately the connotation of "we should go," instead of "let's go," as imus would possess.
Agite would also be correct in that case, wouldn't it?
Or agimus or agamus; I'm sure there were lots of ways the Romans said it.
Another issue is th ce,ci,ge and gi, not very "Wheelock" like in: ecce homo, undecim, forms of dicere, viginti, etc. I think even if legionarii didn't respect all gramar rules, consonant sounds would still sound like sermo urbanus 2000 years ago.
Agreed! (though I found most of the grammar very easy to understand just by listening, in my opinion.)
Maybe vogal lenght would be less respected in day to day conversations(or not).
Btw is there any irc channel of latin? I think using a language is the key to improve it or not to lose it.
I couldn't agree more! Not that I know of; try searching Google.
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Post by primitive » Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:40 pm

my favorite phrase in passion is when a soldier takes the 'flagellum' and whips it into the desk of the officer. the officer looks at him and says, "Quid facis!" there weren't any subtitles, but i thought that was actually pretty funny. a little comic relief from the gruesome stuff.
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Post by Licinius » Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:32 pm

I thought about the conjuntive/indicative question. And realy Latin is like portuguese(my native language). The problem is the verb to go( "ir" in portuguese) comes from the fusion of ire and vadire.And the 1st person pl is the same in conjuntive and indicative- vamos. But in other cases we also use conjuntive like in façamos(let's do) amemos (let's love), etcoetera.So that was my confusion!

btw just bought the DVD and is turning out to be a great learnig tool!

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Post by benissimus » Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:13 am

The phrase "age/agite" is actually from a Greek verb (not ago, agere), so it is used only in the imperative. I still haven't seen this movie, I probably should if for nothing else just to see the Latin.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae

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Post by masuro » Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:22 am

primitive wrote:my favorite phrase in passion is when a soldier takes the 'flagellum' and whips it into the desk of the officer. the officer looks at him and says, "Quid facis!" there weren't any subtitles, but i thought that was actually pretty funny. a little comic relief from the gruesome stuff.
Some of us are still in the very early chapters of Wheelock's and D'ooge. :) What does Quid facis mean?

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Post by primitive » Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:05 am

it means...what are you doing!
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Post by masuro » Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:30 am

Thanks. That's pretty funny given the situation.

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