The Legend of Gelert

By kembreg, in 'English to Latin Translation', May 21, 2006.

  1. kembreg New Member

    Hi all.

    I'm doing a translation of a popular story.
    I'm making headway, but my Latin is limited.

    Maybe we could do this collectively.
    I'll post the story in bits along with the latin I have, although the Latin is not perfect.

    Look forward to your collective input.

    Here we go:

    Prince Llywelyn loved hunting with his faithful dog Gelert.
    Regulus Llywelyn amabat venari cum cane fedele suo, Gelert.

    In fact, he was the best hunter in all of Wales.
    Vero, is erat venator optimus in summa ??Briannia??.

    There was only one thing more important to the prince than his hunting dog and that was his little son.
    Erat regulo solum una res plus magnus quam cane venatico suo: et ille erat filiolus suus.

    He resembled his father even though he was just a baby.
    Is assomiliabat patro suo quamquam solum infans erat.

    One fine morning, Llywelyn decided he would go hunting with his friends.
    Una mane bella, Llywelyn decernet ire venatum cum amicis suis.

    But he left Gelert at home that day in order to keep an eye on his son.
    Sed hic dies Gelertum domi relinquet ut filium suum caveat (cureat) .

    He knew that Gelert was an especially good watchdog, so he could enjoy an exciting day of hunting without having to worry at all.
    Sciebat que Gelert erat bonus cane da guardia, ita is potebat frui die excitante venati sine indigere sollicitari nequaquam.

    I look forward to hearing from you!
  2. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    litore aureo
    From my lofty position of complete amateur ;)

    To me the translation looks like English using Latin words.

    Some specific examples:
    Regulus Llywelyn amabat venari cum cane fedele suo, Gelert

    Usually the verb in Latin would go at the end, and you should finish all of your subordinate clauses before you finish the main clause. You also don't really need to translate 'his', unless you want to stress it. I would also use princeps rather than regulus (but I might be wrong) If you have already introduced Prince Llywelyn, you could try:
    Princeps cum cane fidele Gelert venari delectabat,

    otherwise if you are allowed to change the wording slightly I would hazard:
    olim erat princeps nomine Llywelyn qui cum cane fidele Gelert venari delectabat.

    Vero, is erat venator optimus in summa ??Briannia??.

    You do not need to translate the 'he' explicitly. I also have a feeling that vero should be the second word, but instead you could string this sentence together with the last one using namque, and then use ille as your pronoun:
    namque ille in omnia Cambria venator optimus erat

    I suspect that there is probably some idiomatic way of saying "only one thing", and "hunting dog", but with that caveat:
    If you are allowed to change the structure slightly, you could try
    nihil nisi filiolus suus erat principi carius quam canis venaticus

    or following the English more closely
    res sola quam canis venaticus principi carior erat scilicet filiolus suus
    (Not quite sure what case princeps should be in)

    Is assomiliabat patro suo quamquam solum infans erat
    Using hic for your pronoun, and finishing the subordinate clause first, pater being 3rd declension,
    hic quamquam solummodo infantulus patri assidebat.

    I would probably use custodiret to translate "keep an eye on" One fine morning also sounds idiomatic, but I don't know the best way of translating it. Likewise for watchdog.

    Sciebat que Gelert erat bonus cane da guardia

    que and da aren't Latin in this context.
    If you can change the meaning slightly, what about something like
    custos tam fidelis erat Gelert ut...

    There is a book of Latin fairly tales called Fabulae Mirabiles which is very easy reading. You could try going through it to pick up the language style.

    Love to receive any comments on my translations :)

  3. kembreg New Member

    Thanks JD.

    I implemented some of your changes.
    I posted the same on along with the changes you propose.

    Can you let me know where I can get that book of fairy tales you suggested.


  4. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    litore aureo
    One should take my advice with the caveat that I failed two Latin exams when I was at school ;)

    You can find the book at Amazon.


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