Why do we hate what we do not understand?

By aSleepingPanda, in 'English to Latin Translation', Mar 12, 2019.

  1. aSleepingPanda New Member

    I am posting this for a friend who would like to get this phrase turned into a tattoo. She states that this tattoo is meant to reference our fear of the unknown. Thanks for anyone reading this and especially anyone willing to translating this phrase.

    edit: After posing a question for more context my friend said that when she said this phrase in her head her voice sounded sombre but inspired. Hopefully this helps. Thank you.
    Last edited by aSleepingPanda, Mar 12, 2019
  2. LenCabral Member

    Location:
    Newark DE
    Here's my attempt: cur detestamur quid non intellegimus?
  3. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Quid should be quae. Quod would be acceptable too, I guess, but the plural feels better to me. In any case, quid is wrong, because it's an interrogative pronoun and what we need here is a relative.
  4. aSleepingPanda New Member

    I posted this on a translation forum on reddit and got a possible translation of
    "Cur odimus quae non intellegimus?"
    It's really interesting that 2 different people came up with a very similar sentence. What's the difference between odimus and detestamur?

    I'm assuming quid relates to "I" and quae would relate to "we"?
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    That's a good translation.
    Both mean "we hate" but I think detestamur may be a bit stronger (maybe like "detest" or "abhor").
    No. Quid is wrong here because it would mean an interrogative "what", as in a question, which isn't the sort of "what" you've got in your sentence.

    The viable options here are quod and quae. Quod would refer to any one thing ("the thing which"/"any one thing which") and quae to several things ("the things which"). Although quod wouldn't be technically wrong, I think the plural version, quae, is more likely here. Your "what" sounds very general and could refer to many things, and this would tend to be expressed with the plural in Latin.
  6. syntaxianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Alternatively:

    Cur odiosum omne incomprehensum?

    = Why is everything not understood hateful?

    Cur odio nobis est quidquid [sit] incomprehensum?

    = Why is it a hateful thing to us, whatever might not be understood?

    Odio is a "dative of purpose."
  7. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    The verb in the second sentence would more likely be in the indicative.
  8. syntaxianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Bene, I have not looked far, but it feels as though it could be a characteristic type of clause.

    Whatever sort of thing might not be understood...
  9. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I thought that was what you had in mind. I wouldn't say it's impossible, but it doesn't seem very likely. Relative clauses in very general statements usually take the indicative. Probably for that reason, I can't remember finding a subjunctive of characteristic in a quicquid clause (quicquid being in its essence very generalizing).
    syntaxianus likes this.
  10. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    The usage of modi differs a bit between Latin and English. I think English tries to convey some uncertainty regarding the relative pronoun or other things by allowing the subjunctive, but the generalising relative clause conveys an actual expression, Latin quite strictly uses the indicative here.



    There is an example in Cicero's Laelius De Amicitia, 22:
    quoquo te verteris, praesto est amicitia.

    This seems to be due to the generalising 2nd person in there, but it's not a subjunctive of characteristic.
    You might also find some subjunctive clauses that can be explained by modus attraction.
  11. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I didn't mean to say that you couldn't find any subjunctive in a quicquid clause. Of course, it can take the subjunctive for myriad reasons, ranging form unreal conditions to general "you" to indirect speech and whatnot. I was only saying I couldn't remember seeing it with a subjunctive of characteristic.
  12. aSleepingPanda New Member

    Thank you for all the great replies! My friend loves the translations and is going to spend some time thinking them all over.

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