Civitas etc.

Manus Correctrix

QVAE CORRIGIT
I’m doing a basic Latin course so that I can get something on paper that says I know Latin. Here’s the translation section from assignment 4.

Translate the following sentences into English:
  1. Auxilium Romanis a sociis dabatur.
    ‘The Romans were given aid by their allies.’
  2. Multi elephanti in prœlium a Hannibale mittentur.
    ‘A lot of elephants will be sent into battle by Hannibal.’
  3. Multi vocantur in periculum et semper vocabuntur.
    ‘Many are called into peril, and they always will be.’
  4. Civitatem Romanam neglegis et a civibus punieris.
    ‘You are neglecting/disrespecting the Roman community,
    and will be punished by the citizens.’
  5. Oppidum a barbaris obsidetur. O cives, oppidum defendite!
    ‘The town is being besieged by [the] barbarians. Citizens, defend the town!’
Here are her comments.

1/ good.
2/ 'a lot' is fine. However better to use 'many'.
3/good. 'peril' is fine, but better to use 'danger'.
4/Civitatem= state. This is understood as it's near Romanam. Roman state.
5/good.

I disagree with her.
  • Why is something other than ‘a lot’ better? What if I want to be informal?
  • Why is something other than ‘peril’ better? What if I want to be literary?
  • How would you say ‘community’ then? I think that ‘community’, ‘commonwealth’, ‘society’ and ‘citizenry’ are fine for this. I would prefer res publica for ‘state’.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
I’m doing a basic Latin course so that I can get something on paper that says I know Latin. Here’s the translation section from assignment 4.

I disagree with her.
  • Why is something other than ‘a lot’ better? What if I want to be informal?
  • Why is something other than ‘peril’ better? What if I want to be literary?
  • How would you say ‘community’ then? I think that ‘community’, ‘commonwealth’, ‘society’ and ‘citizenry’ are fine for this. I would prefer res publica for ‘state’.

That's why "translating" is evil. personal tastes for words always surface :)

"it a language, it's a living thing" - R. Foster

PS:
Just to be very explicit for her benefit, maybe it's wise to include the slash alternate options :)
 

Manus Correctrix

QVAE CORRIGIT
I’m just annoyed because she gave me 9.5/10 for assignment 4, whereas I got 10/10 for the first three. There’d better not be any crap like that in the two exams!
 

socratidion

Civis Illustris
I wonder, does she know who she's dealing with? For certain students I too might have made silly comments like those: 'peril' for 'periculum' looks, hmm, tactless, being so close to the Latin word -- I might suspect it was just a desperate guess, as when students translate 'senserunt' as 'they sensed'. We teachers want to wean the young'uns off such coincidences of vocabulary, because of all the 'false friends' soon to come.

Between 'many' and 'a lot of'... in modern English, we hardly use 'much/many' in this sense -- it's almost always paired with a negative (not much, not many), so your teacher's advice is daft from one point of view. But I suspect it's just caution: maybe it's safer to teach 'multus' = 'many' because they are both adjectives, at least.

In English, 'community' has a different nuance for me: usually something less formally defined.
 

Manus Correctrix

QVAE CORRIGIT
How would you speak of the ‘community’ or ‘society’ then, in the sense of all the people as opposed to their mechanisms of governance?
 

Arca Defectionis

Civis Illustris
I disagree with her.
  • Why is something other than ‘a lot’ better? What if I want to be informal?
  • Why is something other than ‘peril’ better? What if I want to be literary?
  • How would you say ‘community’ then? I think that ‘community’, ‘commonwealth’, ‘society’ and ‘citizenry’ are fine for this. I would prefer res publica for ‘state’.

I think you're absolutely right, but you must understand that a lot of Classicists (not all!) seem to be stuck in the past of the English language, and to be entirely uncomfortable with informality in any written medium (and it's no wonder, since they're reading fossilized English all the time!). Granted, there's a whole spectrum of sticklerish-ness, with some bristling at the use of "who" as its own objective case, and the more die-hard insisting on a first-person "shall/ should." It's really no surprise that one of these people might object to "a lot" as a translation of "multa." Many (a lot ;) ) of these people also tend to expect one-to-one translations. Of course, I tend to take too many liberties with my Latin, but I do really hate the one-dimensional, zombie Latin that some expect you to put out.

If you were writing a translation for publication I'd think it proper to pay close attention to the register of English that might most accurately reflect the Latin, but when translating sentences out of context, absolutely not, and even if you had translated Virgil in a casual style, it couldn't be marked wrong, I'd think (though it may be rejected for publication.)

P.S. I'm rather impressed you decided to become such a Latinist without formal training of any sort ;)
 
Not so sure about "a lot" even though that's what I would have said but I think "periculum" is just stupid. To me, peril is a more formal use of the word danger so obviously more "Latin". :D
 

Arca Defectionis

Civis Illustris
Not to mention the word "peril" is from periculum....
 

Cambrinus

Civis Illustris
quot alumni tot versiones - that is, as these Latin sentences have no context, it is a bit foolish to be so doctrinaire about the precise translation.
 

Manus Correctrix

QVAE CORRIGIT
OK, the ‘peril’ and ‘a lot’ stuff is bullshit, so the arguable point about ‘community’ versus ‘state’ basically lost me 5% of the mark for that exercise. It’s weighted 10%, so that’s 0.5% of the unit gone.

For the timed vocab test, I got 9/10 (and the grade of High Distinction), so that means I lost 10% there. It’s weighted 10% too, so that’s 1% of the unit gone.

Here is the test:
Translate the following words into English. In addition, for verbs give all 4 principal parts, and for nouns give nominative, genitive, and gender.
Orno, duco,habeo, intellego, facio, dormio, laudo, dico, munio, terreo.
Nauta, praemium, miles, caput, arx, senex, corpus, cornu, exercitus, dies.
Verbs
Orno, ornare, ornaui, ornatum. — decorate/equip
Duco, ducere, duxi, ductum. — lead
Intellego, intellegere, intellexi, intellectum. — understand
Facio, facere, feci, factum. — do
Dormio, dormire, dormiui, dormitum. — sleep
Laudo, laudare, laudaui, laudatum. — praise
Dico, dicere, dixi, dictum. — say (there is also dicare)
Munio, munere, muniui, munitum. — fortify
Terreo, terrere, terrui, territum. — frighten
Nouns
Nauta, nautae (f) — sailor
Praemium, praemii (n) — reward
Miles, militis (m) — soldier
Caput, capitis (n) — head
Arx, arcis (f) — citadel
Senex, senis (m) — old man
Corpus, corporis (n) — body
Cornu, cornus (n) — horn
Exercitus, exercitus (m) — army
Dies, diei (m/f) — day
Where is my mistake?

For the final exam, the only mistake I can see is that I missed out half of one subquestion: the parsing of fui. I got 40/50 (and the grade of Distinction). I really don’t see how I should lose 20% of the mark for that oversight. It’s weighted 50%, so that’s 10% of the unit.

Overall, that’s 88.5%. I suppose that’ll be a Distinction. Bunch of arse, more like.
 

Manus Correctrix

QVAE CORRIGIT
Oh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu, I’ve just realised I put an (f) next to nauta. Bah. It could be a sailor girl, haha. OK, that’s what you get for get for doing an exam on a Sunday afternoon straight after a night of debauchery.
 

Cambrinus

Civis Illustris
If you wrote munio, munere, muniui, munitum. — fortify, then the 2nd part should be 'munire'....... And, no, it could not really be 'sailor girl', unfortunately.
 

Manus Correctrix

QVAE CORRIGIT

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
And, no, it could not really be 'sailor girl', unfortunately.
Theoretically it could. It seems that Latin 1st declension nouns that represent a type of person are common gender (poeta m. and poetria f. are borrowed from Greek, so they don't count).
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus

Manus Correctrix

QVAE CORRIGIT
Theoretically, eh? Can you find me a classical instance?
Put it like this: how would you say ‘She’s a sailor’? Surely nauta est.

Anyway, I wasn’t seriously saying my answer was right. If it’s common gender, I should have put (c) or (m/f); (f) is just wrong. I plead sleep deprivation and hangover. I’d spent the crazy night before pretending to be a 22-year-old Melbourne girl (when I’m a 34-year-old transwoman from London). It was hilarious. I may have blown my cover when I described some 80s music as ‘a blast from the past’.
 
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