"Fabulae Ab Urbe Condita" 20c

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
That's a correct literal translation. What were you unsure about? If you're wondering about a more idiomatic translation, you could say something like "As long as I can control my desires, I shall lack nothing".
 

iamrian

Member
Pacifica,

Thank you for the lightning-fast response.

My concern was about how best to translate cupiditātibus imperāre poterō.

It looks like poterō is the future tense of possum, so I wanted to show that; but I suppose the "as long as" does that already. Second, imperāre is an infinitive, but "to control" sounds wrong. Last, cupiditātibus was noted as dative plural in my commentary; but I think it might fit better as an ablative plural with the preposition "over". (If a noun is in the ablative, is it okay to supply a preposition that isn't already there?)

I find that there is a strong temptation, for me, to move too quickly to the idiomatic before fully grasping the meaning of the text. I do this because I don't fully understand the sentence. When translation is done the right way, one gets a literal translation first; and then polishes it with idiom.

But, there is also the middle place where a sentence sometimes just doesn't make sense until some polishing is done to it. I find this to be a hardest part of translation: knowing the difference between polishing and cutting-corners.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It looks like poterō is the future tense of possum, so I wanted to show that; but I suppose the "as long as" does that already.
Yes, English often uses the present tense with future meaning in subordinate clauses, where Latin uses the future tense.
Second, imperāre is an infinitive, but "to control" sounds wrong.
English has two kinds of infinitive. The one with "to" and the one without "to". After "can", you use the one without "to". That's the way it is. Just a peculiarity of English that isn't shared by Latin. Nothing to worry about; the translation still corresponds.
Last, cupiditātibus was noted as dative plural in my commentary; but I think it might fit better as an ablative plural with the preposition "over".
You can translate it with "over" if you like, but it is dative. That's the case used with impero to denote the person or thing one is giving commands to.
(If a noun is in the ablative, is it okay to supply a preposition that isn't already there?)
Sometimes, Latin will use a bare ablative where English would use a preposition. It isn't the case here, though.
I find that there is a strong temptation, for me, to move too quickly to the idiomatic before fully grasping the meaning of the text. I do this because I don't fully understand the sentence. When translation is done the right way, one gets a literal translation first; and then polishes it with idiom.
Yes, it's important to understand the structure of the original first.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
You're welcome. Glad to be of help.
 
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