I have made a Latin translation of "The Little Engine that Could".

Toutaric

New Member
It is probably not a good one yet. The least of the problems I encountered was trying to make an elegant distinction between the male and female engines. Anyway, I would eventually like to make this available online--I think that, having translated from the 1930 edition, copyright issues would be non existent, but I could be very, very wrong. I've tried to research this, but can't seem to turn up anyone who has copyright on the original edition of the book.

Anyway, would anyone more fluent in Latin be willing to help me polish this up? Would it be too cumbersome to use this forum for that purpose?
 

rothbard

Civis Illustris
Staff member
Hi, of course it would not be a problem for us to help you revise your translation. Feel free to post it here.
 

Toutaric

New Member

Well, I'll be. My copy of the 50s version does not include the copyright notice for the 1930 version. The illustrations in the 1930 edition are completely different, so I don't know if the copyright applies, or even legally can apply to them anymore. The text was lightly revised, but now I'm less confident about whether I am allowed to make a translation widely available. :/ Well, I doubt Platt & Munk are going to care if I post the translation for our immediate purposes.
 

Toutaric

New Member
Hamaxula Capax

Sagasagasag. Puf puf puf. Taling, taling. Hamaxa parva tonans trans orbitam vadebat. Hamaxula laeta, quia onus bene hilaris sibi portandus erat. Carri eius bonis pro pueris puellisque impleti sunt.

Animalia lusoria erant—giraffae collis praelongis, ursuli farti paene sine collis, elephantulus etiam iuvenculus. Et quoque pupulae erant—pupulae ocellis caesiis et cincinnis flavis, pupulae ocellis spadicibus et cum comula quadrata murrea, et macculus lusorius festivissimus umquam videatur. Quoque curri repleti sunt locomotivis lusoriis, aeroplanis, turbinibus, cultellis, aenigmatibus graphicis, libris, et omnibus quae pueri puellaeve desiderent.


Et haud illa omnia. Aliquot carrorum eduliis multis variis pro pueris puellisque impleti sunt—magnis arantiis aureis, malis rubentibus, et lagunculis lactis cramosi erant ut in ienatculo liberi habeant. Spinacia erat ut in cena sumant. Pastellis mentheis piperitis, et tragematis diuturnis, pro cuppediis post cenam sumere.


Tramen parvum haec bona in pueros bonos et puellas bonas qui trans montem erant. Hamaxa anhelem laete ibat. Tunc subito et raptim pausavit. Prorsus nequibat alium pollicem unum prodire. Iterum atque iterum conabatur, sed rotae suae minime converterint.


Quid omnes pueri boni et puellae bonae faciant sine illis paegniis festivis quibus ludere et sine illo cibo salutari edere?


“Horsum currus tractorius nitidus novusque,” macculus dixit, qui exsiluerat e tramine. “Rogemus ei ut nos iuvet.”


Ita tota turba pupularum et crepundiorum exclamavit, “Currus Nitide Novesque, sodes trahe traminem nostrum trans montem. Hamaxa nostra fracta est, et pueri puellaeque trans montem nulla ludibria habebunt, neque edulium salutare, nisi si nos iuvet.”


Sed Currus Nitidus Novusque fremitu respondit, “Num traham vos? Locomotivus sum Viatoralis. Modo traminem traxi eximium
et grande super montem, cum carris pluribus quam imaginemini umquam. Tramen meum carros dormitorios habebat, cum cubiculis commodis; carrum cenatorium in quo ministri quascumque escas apportant quas esuriones desiderent; carros exedricos in quo homines in artiselliis sedeant et ex fenestris vitreis magnis intuentur. Num ego traham quemquam generis vestri? Haudquaquam!Et vaporans adivit in rotundium, ubi locomotivi colunt quandocumque non occupati sunt.

Quam tristes hamaxula et omnes pupulae et res lusoriae!

Tum macculus exclamavit, “Locomotivus Viatoralis non est unicus in mundo. Huc secundus venit, bellus, magnus, et fortis. Adiutorium rogemus ab eo.”

Macculus lusorius vexillum suum ventilavit, et currus tractorius magnus et fortissubstitit.

“Quaesumus enixe te, currus magne,” clamaverunt cunctae puellae cum paegniis. “Trahe traminem nostrum trans montem. Hamaxa nostra fracta est et pueri boni puellaeque trans montem nulla ludibria habebunt, neque edulium salutare, nisi si nos iuvets.

Sed locomotivus magnus et fortis mugiens respondit: “Locomotivus sum Onerarius. Modo hamaxostichum magnum traxi onustum cum machinis pretiosis super montem. Hae machinae libros diariaque imprimunt ut adulti illa legant. Praestans sum vero locomotivus.Haud quemquam generis vestri traham!” Et locomotivus onerarius indignans in rotundium anhelans adivit.

Hamaxula et cunctae pupulae cum crepundiis tristes fuerunt.

Habete animum bonum!” clamavit macculus lusorius. “Locomotivus Onerarius non est unicus in mundo. Huc alius venit. Vetus fessusque videtur, sed tramen nostrum valde parvum est, forsan iuvare nos quibit.”

Ergo macculus lusorius vexillum suum ventilavit, et currus tractorius squalidus, robiginosus, et vetussubstitit.

Te amabimus, currus comis,” omnes pupulae et crepundia simul clamaverunt. “Trahe traminem nostrum trans montem. Hamaxa nostra fracta est et pueri boni puellaeque trans montem nulla ludibria habebunt, neque edulium salutare, nisi si nos iuves.”

Sed locomotivus robiginosus vetusque gemens respondit: “Fessissumus sum. Dandus requiem mihi est rotis meis lassis. Nequeo traminem trahere etiam parvum sicut vestrorum trans montem. Nequeo. Nequeo. Nequeo.

Et crepans discessit ire in rotundium, et cum crepitibus dixit, “Nequeo. Nequeo. Nequeo.”

Deinde vero hamaxula immensum contristata est, et paene fleturae pupulae et paegnia.
Sed macculus exclamavit, “Huc venit hamaxa alia, parva et caerulea, etiam pauxillula, sed fortasse nos iuvabit.”

Hamaxa laeta cum “sugasug” sono veniebat. Cum conspexerit vexillum macci lusorii, cito substitit.

“Quid est, amici mei?”
comiter rogavit.

“O Hamaxula Caerulea,” clamaverunt pupulae crepundiaque. “Nos trahasnes trans montem? Hamaxa nostra fracta est et pueri boni puellaeque trans montem nulla ludibria habebunt, neque edulium salutare, nisi si nos iuvet. Quaesumus enixe te, Hamaxula Caerulea.

Vegrandis sum,” dixit Hamaxula Caerulea. “Solum adhibeor mutando hamaxostichos in traminario.”

Sed nobis oportet apportari trans montem antequam liberi e somno expergiscuntur,una dixerunt pupulae crepundiaque.

Hamaxa pauxillula suspexit et lacrimas in oculis pupulae vidit. Et de pueris bonis et puellis trans montemcogitabat qui nulla ludibria habebunt, neque edulium salutare, nisi si iuvet.

Ibi dixit, “Queam. Queam. Queam.” Et iugavit se in tramine parvo.

Cum multo tendore trahebat tractabatque, et tractim, pedetemptim, et conctanter tramen motus est.

Maccus in traminem insiluit, et semel pupulae et animalia lusoria subriserunt et ovaverunt.

Cum sonis “Puf puf, sugasuga”, resonabat hamaxula caerulea. “Queam—Queam—Queam—Queam—Queam—Queam—Queam—Queam—Queam.”

Semper sursum ibat, et semper citius hamaxula ascendebat, et denique summum montis pervenerunt.

Infra in valle urbs fuit.

“Evax, evax,” simitu macculus festivus et pupulae et paegnia exclamaverunt. “Pueri boni puellaeque laetabuntur quoniam nos iuvisti, comis hamaxula caerulea.”

Et Hamaxula Caerulea subrisit, et cum descenderet montem aiebat velut, “Sicut credidi, quivi. Quivi. Quivi. Quivi. Quivi.
 

Edmond Dantes

New Member
Hi Toutaric,

Thanks for the interesting translation! Bene scribis, etsi emendanda quaedam sint.

I have a few points:

1) You use 'traminem' as the accusative form of 'tramen' (e.g. 'Trahe traminem nostrum trans montem'). However, since 'tramen' is a neuter noun the accusative should be the same as the nominative: 'tramen' ('Trahe tramen nostrum trans montem').

2) You sometimes slip up with the sequence of tenses, e.g. 'Et de pueris bonis et puellis trans montem cogitabat qui nulla ludibria habebunt, neque edulium salutare, nisi si iuvet.' The future indicative 'habebunt' seems a little off, although I'm not entirely sure what it should be: 'haberent'; 'habituri erat'; 'habituri essent'; rewrite the sentence entirely? Fortasse peritiores me difficultatem hanc solvere possunt.

3) Your translation in general seems to be a little too direct. I've never read The Little Train That Could, but I feel that I could probably reconstruct the English text by reference to your Latin version. The sequence of ideas and division into sentences just doesn't feel like Latin, even though the 'grammar' is okay. Elsewhere, you seem to have looked for a Latin word to directly translate every English word; presumably an English-Latin dictionary was involved. 'artiselliis'; 'tragematis'; 'paegnia' - these words are unknown to me, and to William Whitaker (http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/words.exe). Other words which did come up in the online dictionary appear to be rare neologisms. Your translation contained more unknown words than a book of Ovid or one of Cicero's orations: maybe it would be better to try expressing the ideas of the source text in more common Latin words. Your translation may be less precise this way, but it would be more natural, and more readable.

I'm sorry if I seem overly critical. You did ask for suggestions, after all... It is good to see that you are so interested in the use of Latin for modern texts, and I hope you keep up the good work in future.

--Dantes--




 

Toutaric

New Member
Hi Toutaric,

Thanks for the interesting translation! Bene scribis, etsi emendanda quaedam sint.

I have a few points:

1) You use 'traminem' as the accusative form of 'tramen' (e.g. 'Trahe traminem nostrum trans montem'). However, since 'tramen' is a neuter noun the accusative should be the same as the nominative: 'tramen' ('Trahe tramen nostrum trans montem').

2) You sometimes slip up with the sequence of tenses, e.g. 'Et de pueris bonis et puellis trans montem cogitabat qui nulla ludibria habebunt, neque edulium salutare, nisi si iuvet.' The future indicative 'habebunt' seems a little off, although I'm not entirely sure what it should be: 'haberent'; 'habituri erat'; 'habituri essent'; rewrite the sentence entirely? Fortasse peritiores me difficultatem hanc solvere possunt.

3) Your translation in general seems to be a little too direct. I've never read The Little Train That Could, but I feel that I could probably reconstruct the English text by reference to your Latin version. The sequence of ideas and division into sentences just doesn't feel like Latin, even though the 'grammar' is okay. Elsewhere, you seem to have looked for a Latin word to directly translate every English word; presumably an English-Latin dictionary was involved. 'artiselliis'; 'tragematis'; 'paegnia' - these words are unknown to me, and to William Whitaker (http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/words.exe). Other words which did come up in the online dictionary appear to be rare neologisms. Your translation contained more unknown words than a book of Ovid or one of Cicero's orations: maybe it would be better to try expressing the ideas of the source text in more common Latin words. Your translation may be less precise this way, but it would be more natural, and more readable.

I'm sorry if I seem overly critical. You did ask for suggestions, after all... It is good to see that you are so interested in the use of Latin for modern texts, and I hope you keep up the good work in future.

--Dantes--
Many thanks! Your correction on point 1 sticks out like a sore thumb to me now. After all, it is the engines that are depicted as living beings in the story, not the trains they pull. Points 2 and 3 present greater challenges to me. Most of my Latin reading is of medieval and more recent texts, which use neologisms perhaps too freely. I don't remember which came from where, but I started learning Latin via Rosetta Stone. I think that's where I picked up "paegnium", meaning "plaything". I could be mistaken, though; it may have come from an Usborn book. "Tragemata" has an entry in vicipaedia, and means "dessert", but I consider it a placeholder until I can come with something--anything, really--to represent the phrase "lollypops for after meal treats". I've no idea what to call a lollypop. "Bellarium impalatum rotaforme"? Dunno. I probably should spend some more time with the classical authors in order to get a better feel for their stylistic and philological habits. Maybe something appropriate will turn up. This has given me some material to think about.

Oh, and I apologize for taking so long to respond to your comment; this thread lay fallow for some time, and I just figured it must not be of interest. I'm glad I checked back!
 
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