Oratio obliqua

Quasus

Civis Illustris
Wouldn't mechanically moving from indirect speech to direct speech be difficult because some of the infinitives would stay infinitives, and some of the accusatives would stay accusatives, and only by understanding what the sentence means, including their context, would allow you to accomplish the task?
Of course. Other pitfalls are possible, too. It might be fun to try and write a rule-based computer program to do the conversion. However, here's one limitation it won't be able to overcome without really understanding the text: whether to keep the subjunctive mood or to turn it into indicative.
 

Symposion

Active Member
Beginner here:

Wouldn't mechanically moving from indirect speech to direct speech be difficult because some of the infinitives would stay infinitives, and some of the accusatives would stay accusatives, and only by understanding what the sentence means, including their context, would allow you to accomplish the task?

(Indeed, I think I have seen a number of posts on this board by newbies like me confused by the ambiguities of indirect speech)

Such an exercise would.....be a clever way....for a teacher to test genuine comprehension.
Exactly what I have been thinking. This is why I did think that this was difficult.
 

Symposion

Active Member
Hi @Symposion, Tacitus is among the most difficult ancient authors. Even after working their way through a textbook, most people need lots of practice before they can read his works. In your case, it seems that you are trying to read Tacitus without even knowing the basics. For example, you write:

What is the sentence above supposed to mean? As Quasus wrote, it's gibberish. If you need to understand Tacitus to do your homework, then you need to familiarise yourself with basic grammar concepts first. Pick a textbook that works for you, e.g. Wheelock's Latin, go through it chapter by chapter, doing all the exercises, try reading Caesar, and then Tacitus.
I can easily read AcI structures and if my job would have to translate the text it would have been an easier task and even to create an Indirect sentence is more easier but to translate Oratio obliqua to Oratio recta made me confused.
 

Symposion

Active Member
Hi @Symposion, Tacitus is among the most difficult ancient authors. Even after working their way through a textbook, most people need lots of practice before they can read his works. In your case, it seems that you are trying to read Tacitus without even knowing the basics. For example, you write:

What is the sentence above supposed to mean? As Quasus wrote, it's gibberish. If you need to understand Tacitus to do your homework, then you need to familiarise yourself with basic grammar concepts first. Pick a textbook that works for you, e.g. Wheelock's Latin, go through it chapter by chapter, doing all the exercises, try reading Caesar, and then Tacitus.
I have studied Latin grammar but Oratio obliqua has not been dealt with much previously.
 

Symposion

Active Member
Hi @Symposion, Tacitus is among the most difficult ancient authors. Even after working their way through a textbook, most people need lots of practice before they can read his works. In your case, it seems that you are trying to read Tacitus without even knowing the basics. For example, you write:

What is the sentence above supposed to mean? As Quasus wrote, it's gibberish. If you need to understand Tacitus to do your homework, then you need to familiarise yourself with basic grammar concepts first. Pick a textbook that works for you, e.g. Wheelock's Latin, go through it chapter by chapter, doing all the exercises, try reading Caesar, and then Tacitus.
I have read Ceasar and his Latin is now quite easy for me to read even without a translation.
 

Quasus

Civis Illustris
Exactly what I have been thinking. This is why I did think that this was difficult.
If you're serious, I'm appalled.

if my job would have to translate the text it would have been an easier task
That would be a good starting point for this exercise. It's a pity you refused to. However, I suspect than by translation you again may understand mechanical substitution of words without properly understanding the source (and most likely, the target). This would result in gibberish worse than that of Google Translator.
 

Bestiola

Moderatrix
Staff member
I have read Ceasar and his Latin is now quite easy for me to read even without a translation.
That's fascinating since in Caesar some authors (Nordling) counted 191 oratio obliqua vs 21 oratio recta. That work is full of indirect speeches and I'd really be interested in seeing your translation.
 

Symposion

Active Member
Wow! I got the answers and we will deal with this topic tomorrow at class. The teacher wrote an overall comment to students in Finnish. I post a translation of it here in English:

"Since indirect presentation is a rather difficult subject and has not been taught in grammar courses in undergraduate studies, I decided that this assignment cannot calculate anyone’s course grade; that is, I count the scores for this assignment as a course grade only if they exceed the average of the scores the student has obtained for other assignments."

In other words I and several others at this course did have a hard time doing this homework it seems. Otherwise the teacher would of course include this in the overall grade for the course.
 

Symposion

Active Member
That's fascinating since in Caesar some authors (Nordling) counted 191 oratio obliqua vs 21 oratio recta. That work is full of indirect speeches and I'd really be interested in seeing your translation.
As I wrote AcI is not the problem. The problem is to understand to change Oratio obliqua to oratio recta.
 

Bestiola

Moderatrix
Staff member
Why do you not want to discuss Latin with me but bully me that I am crap?
Why didn't you want to discuss it with Quasus who actually wanted to help you? You're crapy at Latin by your own admission.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
As I wrote AcI is not the problem. The problem is to understand to change Oratio obliqua to oratio recta.
But the thing is I (and others, it seems) can't see how you can come up with utter gibberish in oratio recta if you understand the oratio obliqua. I can see how you can get a few details wrong (like whether a verb should stay in the subjunctive or not) even if you get the gist of the oratio obliqua, but if you can't come up with anything that makes even the slightest bit of sense, I'm inclined to think it can only mean that you simply don't understand what you're reading.
 

Symposion

Active Member
I have not really been into it because my interest starts in the 6th century (500s) and I want to learn Ecclesiastical Latin. Maybe I should stop this conflict inside myself and start to grasp Classical Latin.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Sure, the basics first before you attempt any later Latin.
 

rothbard

Aedilis
Staff member
I have not really been into it because my interest starts in the 6th century (500s) and I want to learn Ecclesiastical Latin. Maybe I should stop this conflict inside myself and start to grasp Classical Latin.
There is only one Latin, since at least the time of Cicero.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
While there are some differences between classical and ecclesiastical or medieval Latin, it is misleading to speak of them as if they were virtually two different languages. Most of the grammar and vocabulary are the same. If you know classical Latin, you'll be able to read medieval Latin without trouble. You'll learn the grammar differences as you go, and these are few. You'll come across some non-classical words; look them up in a medieval Latin dictionary. The biggest difference, perhaps, is in style (things like word order), and even then it largely depends on authors. Now, you will come across some medieval documents where many classical grammar rules are being broken... but you can take that as simply bad Latin.
 
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