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 Requesting Help!

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Sir Celdiur Moriendor
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PostSubject: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:28 am

Does anyone on this forum speak Latin?
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Iskar
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:37 am

Linguam latinam scola apprendidi et tolerabiliter eam loquor.

PS: How may I be of service?

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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:37 am

I'm occasionally called in to lecture it in the university. What do you need?
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:20 am

Ah, good! Its for a tattoo im planning on getting sometime soon. Its a quote from the movie Kingdom of Heaven, slightly altered.

"What men are men if they do not make the world better?"

Now ive used Google translate and got this.

"Quod si homines non sint in melius?"

Only problem being, well, I really dont trust what its telling me! So I was hoping someone could check that for me, and if its wrong could you tell me what it should say?
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:09 am

That "translation" is bullocks. Literally it says "What if men aren't in better" and is not even grammatically correct.

I take it "man" here means "of male sex" rather than "human", so vir would be the proper translation.

I'd suggest:

Quales vires si non orbem melior faciunt vires sunt?

Quales vires ... vires sunt? means
"What (kind of) men are men?"

with the parenthetic conditional subclause si non orbem melior faciunt, meaning
"if they do not make the world (usually referred to as orbis terrarum, shortened to orbis; one could replace orbem by mundum, but I would prefer orbem) a better one."

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Last edited by Iskar on Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:16 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:09 am

You would be surprised at how many people ask us about translations for tattoos. And since a friend of mine (Ph.D. in Latin, mind you) got the wrong grammar for her own tattoo, I'd like to be careful and take some time to answer that. By the way, you'd be surprise at how many funny (i.e. wrong) Chinese tattoos I see around.

For now I'd say:

Qui homini homini sunt si mundum non aedificant/colunt?

If you don't want the repeated word I guess a viable option would be (although I'm not entirely sure):

Qui homini ita sunt si mundum non aedificant/colunt?

I personally think this one sounds better:

Qui homini sunt homini si mundus non illis aedificatur/colitur?
or Qui homini, si mundus non illis aedificatur/colitur, homini sunt?
"What men are men, if the world is not improved by their cause?"




Now if you want "men" to refer only to males:

Qui uiri uiri sunt si mundum non aedificant?



You may choose between aedificant (associated with building and creation) and colunt (associated with cultivation, honor and growth. The words "culture" and "[religious] cult" come from the same root) to better express what you have in mind.

Iskar may have better alternatives.



Quote :
Now ive used Google translate and...
Don't.

The result it yielded is wrong. I think google translator doesn't work well for declined or highly contextual languages - Finnish, German, Latin, Chinese, etc.

EDIT: ninjaed by Iskar. Now that he mentions it, I guess orbem would be a better word, since mundum means actually "universe".
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:15 am

Ah, colere is much better than melior facere, but I think quales is better than qui, since the question is not who they are but of what kind they are.

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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:18 am

Yeah, so you may choose

qui homini (...)
if you want to mean "who is a man, if... "

or

quales homini (...)
if you mean "what kind of men are men, if ...."
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:22 am

Sorry for double post. ninja'd Wink

Quote :
uiri

Isn't using v and u equivalently pre-classical?

With Saeros's better suggestion of colere instead of melior facere, how about

Quales vires/homines nisi orbem colunt vires/homines sunt?

I tried to give the sentence a bit of a rhetorical structure with the subclause being enclosed by the chiastically built (at first quales vires, i.e. vires in the second place, then vires sunt, i.e. vires in the first place) main clause.

Edit: If you want to go with Qui instead of Quales I would leave out the first vires, since qui does not work like an adjective as quales does, so it would be

Qui nisi orbem colunt vires/homines sunt?

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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:32 am

It's disputed. Germans tend to like using the /v/ for semi-consonantal /u/, but that essentially depends on how you pronounce it, which on its turn depends on your mother language and timeframe you're using (classical, medieval).

I was thinking about a cuimodi hominis... ("of what kind of man are the men...") to solve the weird structure problem, but right now I'll just post someinth on the voice and go to sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:38 am

Qui nisi orbem colunt vires homines sunt?

So that would be more or less the correct translation? This looks good to me, as I dont want it to be too long winded.
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:39 am

What do you want to express with the "What" in "What men are men..."?

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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:52 am

Nisi ei qui orbem colunt, qui ueri homini sunt?

"Who are the real men, if not the ones who make the world better?"

also read as "...the ones who honor the world?"

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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:00 pm

Im not entirely sure what you mean? As a whole the sentence is supposed to convey a point of view that only through right action and general goodness can a human being call themselves man.
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:09 pm

I mean, does it mean "Who are men..." or rather "What kind of men are men..." ?

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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:53 pm

Yolo?
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:45 am

Who are men.
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Iskar
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:31 am

Then it would be

Qui nisi orbem colunt viri/homines sunt.

or the slightly altered version Saeros offered.

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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:12 am

Let me correct myself and use

Nisi ei qui orbem colunt, qui ueri homines sunt?
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:15 am

I'd leave away the commata and write everything in capitals or small caps. There are neither lower case letters nore punctuation in latin.


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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:51 am

Remember to change all /u/s for /v/s if you use caps, Celdiur. And to find a good font.

Like:

NISI EI QVI ORBEM COLVNT, QVI VERI HOMINES SVNT?
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:56 am

I like that version but since it is something like an aphorism I'd make it as short and to the point as possible. One could e.g. leave away the ei.

NISI QVI ORBEM COLVNT QVI VERI HOMINES SVNT?

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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:21 am

Iskar wrote:
I like that version but since it is something like an aphorism I'd make it as short and to the point as possible. One could e.g. leave away the ei.

NISI QVI ORBEM COLVNT QVI VERI HOMINES SVNT?

Looks good to me Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Requesting Help!   Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:17 am

If you give me two weeks I'll probably stumble on a real Latin equivalent for what you want, from the I century a.D. Yeah, I'm working on the holidays, and the author I'm using is very quotable.
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