Mourning my magistra’s daughter

By Jiacheng Liu, in 'Latin Beginners', Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Hello again

    My Latin magistra’s daughter, also known as one of our Latin colleagues has just committed suicide. The class has decided to write our magistra a card with this piece on it (I wrote 95% of it and please don’t laugh at my horrible skill if it’s no better than Google Translate):

    Loquere, magistra, si vis, nobiscum.
    Nubem densissimam iam trans amores
    Amatīs dīscipulīs tenebuntur.
    Tenebrae te sectantes per milla.
    Mella illius nunquam delebuntur;
    Dolorem imaginari nequimus.
    Neque nostrī deflere versus
    Veros satis bene possunt affectos.
    Affamur adhuc ti verba confortandi
    Confirmata sequentes te ad quidquid locum.

    Talk, magistra, if you wish, with us.
    Across the densest cloud love
    Is held by your cherished students
    Accompanying you trough miles of gloomy time.
    Her sweetnesses will not be forgotten;
    But we can’t imagine the pain.
    Neither are our verses
    Capable of expressing the real sadness.
    Yet we speak to you the assuring words of consolation
    Following you anywhere.

    I cannot make it rhyme (due to my very limited skill) but I adapted one the traditional Chinese poetic styles (since I am a Chinese international student and my magistra gave me immense help for my orientation): the first word of the line rhymes with the last word of the previous line. Can anyone kindly check if this is free of innuendos, grammatical mistakes (probably not) or confusions? This is my very first attempt of actually writing something in Latin so I am ready if anyone comes up with a page of mistake.

    Thanks.
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Hi,
    This didn't make any sense to me until I read the English. It probably needs to be rephrased.
    Did you mean for tenebrae to be genitive singular? Tenebrae is plurale tantum, i.e. it occurs only in the plural: tenebrae, tenebrarum.

    Milla isn't a Latin word. Mil(l)ia is.

    I'm assuming sectantes is referring to the students. If so, it must be in the same case. With what you've got now, discipulis, it should be sectantibus, but since the previous line needs changing, you may end up using a different case.
    The noun affectus is fourth declension.
    Ti isn't a Latin word. Mihi has a shortened form mi, but such isn't the case with tibi.

    Affor takes the accusative of the person addressed, and if you say that you address them with words, verbis should be in the ablative.

    Adhuc means "yet" as in "still (now)", in a temporal sense, not in an adversative sense as in "nevertheless".
    Is confirmata meant to refer to te? If yes, it should agree with it.

    Ad quidquid locum is ungrammatical. Quidquid is a relative pronoun meaning "whatever (thing)", as in faciam quidquid voles, "I'll do whatever you want". Ad quemvis/quemlibet locum could work. Quovis/quolibet would be more straightforward, but I don't know if it can be made to fit whatever syllable pattern you're using, if any.

    While the first word in each line has some letters in common with the last word in the previous line, it doesn't really rhyme with it.
  3. What a great lesson for our class. Certain people already thought it worked fine but all of us in the class need to understand that translating English into Latin doesn’t work like that. I’ll deliver the results. Thanks Pacifica!

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