1. Catherine1642 New Member

    Hi All,

    I was reading Suetonius and for some reason this famous little poem constantly popping up my head (maybe his vocabs are pretty crazy I don't know...):). I tried to translate it to latin but stuck on the second sentence.

    Here's my try:

    Latin is a language
    Latinus est linguam (not so sure about the this, since it seems that this sentence is the antecedent of the next one.)
    Dead as dead can be.
    (No clue how to translate...:( )
    First it killed the Romans,
    Primum Romanos necavit,
    Now it's killing me.
    Iamque me necabat.


    Any help will be appreciated! Thanks in advance!;)
  2. Maybe mortuissima mortuissimarum? the most dead of the deadest? Also why is linguam in the accusative?
  3. Mafalda Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Paulopolis
    The problem with the famous little poem is that it does not make sense (just think of the logic of it: it is killing me because it is dead), and if you try to translate nonsense you will get nonsense.
  4. Iáson Cívis Illústris

    • Civis Illustris
    quam maximē mortua?
    The Latin for 'Latin' as a language is Latīna lingua.
    There's no reason to use the imperfect in the fourth line.
  5. Ser Nūmen lūnāre

    • Civis Illustris
    Lingua Latina est lingua
    quam maximē mortua.
    Prīmum Rōmānōs occīdit,
    nunc mē quoque occīdit.

    The first occīdit is a perfect and the second one is in the present tense. Maybe I should've used interfēcit and interfacit, or necāvit and necat.
  6. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    quam mortuissima? :D
    It's silly, but so is the phrase "dead as dead can be", or the whole poem for that matter.
  7. Hemo Rusticus The Lizard King

    • Civis Illustris
    If you're willing to make a few concessions, you can keep a little bit of the rhyme and meter (without which this whole bit of doggerel is, in my opinion, inappreciable and waste):

    Est Latina lingua (There is the Latin language,)
    mortua sane. (dead by all means)
    Prius haec Romanos, (First it (lit. 'this thing I just mentioned') the Romans
    nunc occidit me. (now is killing me.)

    It's not classical, really, but that goes without saying. The last two lines are made a little better by the fact that occidit is morphologically ambiguous, it may be either present or past (one to agree with the time of the Romans, the other ours).
  8. Abbatiſſæ Scriptor Senex

    • Civis Illustris
    How many might be haunted by that timeworn bit of doggerel?:D
    How old might it really be?
  9. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris

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