Thursday, March 05, 2009

Latin for Insomniacs 2

Just in case you missed the first extravaganza, here is more of Ken doing all your favorite Latin translations from Wheelock, this time chapter 27.

Wheelock odds that we didn’t finish in class.

Catullus gone wild.


Ken Schenck said...

OK, I am wrong on #1 in the Old Sentences. The Greek third declension accusative singular was leading me astray. But I can't figure it out.

After the colon, I should be quite content to translate it, "I see better things and I approve [them] but I only make [them] worse and I do not know why."

My problem is with the first line, which I might happily translate "New things draw me by force" if this were Greek, where a neuter plural subject can take its verb in the singular. I did not think, however, that Latin could do that.

Any thoughts, ye Latinites?

Ken Schenck said...

I shall conclude this awkward translation:

"A new [woman] draws me by force: I see better things and I approve, but I only make [them] worse and I do not know why."

Charles Augustine Rivera said...

You're getting tripped up by vis, which is a little irregular. Vis is feminine and is here nominative singular and thus modified by nova: "a new force draws me." If it were ablative plural (which is I think how you're taking it), it would be viribus. The usual construction for the sense of "by force," however, is the ablative singular vi. Vis is a word whose semantics are a bit different in the singular than the plural: I think they generally say that vis is more abstract and vires more concrete, but it's a little more subtle than that in practice.

You've also got a little verb agreement mix-up in one of your English to Latins, where you write "aliqui credit," which would have to either be "aliquis credit" or "aliqui credunt" to be Latin, and must be the latter to match the English.

Ken Schenck said...

Many thanks, Charles. As I usually say when such things happen, "Just testing you..."