Good teaching tools for translation?

AlbaRules
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Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby AlbaRules » 2011-02-11, 1:03

I am a tutor to kids in my high school (NHS requirement). His main problem is translation. Are there any good guides to this? I don't mean like a guide for declensions, conjugations, etc., but like explaining how to translate and find word order in Lingua Latina.

For example, he has trouble comparing English to Latin sentences. English grammar is "Subject verb object" while Latin is "Subject object verb". Are there any guides to help show the comparisons between the two?

Also, he has trouble finding the verbs in the sentences. One sentence was "De Gallia rogäs ac de nobis cognoscëre cupis." To him (a beginner whose freshman teacher taught them less than he told the sophmore teacher they learned) "rogäs" looked like a noun. I told him it is just experience, but is it? Is there a way for someone less experienced to realize that?

Gratia, auxilium omnis amplexibo.

P.S. I am a little out of practice with English to Latin translation, so forgive any errors I made in my last line :)
Currently learning English (native but always learning), Gaidhlig and Lingua Latina (Scientia linguae trimus est)
Far more interested in Scottish Gaelic though as I have least experience with it. Would love to learn Welsh and Ancient Greek though will get to later.

KingHarvest
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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby KingHarvest » 2011-02-11, 1:59

Saying that Latin is subject object verb isn't particularly helpful. Latin can and does arrange word order anyway it wishes on a regular basis. After lots and lots of reading you'll begin to get a sense for natural Latin word order, but it's far too complex and nuanced to really explain in generalities for someone who is just beginning. The best advice is to memorize your endings and to be well aware of whether a particular ending can be found in both nouns/adjectives and verbs.
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AlbaRules
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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby AlbaRules » 2011-02-11, 2:04

KingHarvest wrote:Saying that Latin is subject object verb isn't particularly helpful. Latin can and does arrange word order anyway it wishes on a regular basis. After lots and lots of reading you'll begin to get a sense for natural Latin word order, but it's far too complex and nuanced to really explain in generalities for someone who is just beginning. The best advice is to memorize your endings and to be well aware of whether a particular ending can be found in both nouns/adjectives and verbs.


I am aware that it is not ALWAYS subject object verb. And it changes. But at his level of Latin (Latin I) the book isn't changing it off of the subject object verb, and he's having a tough enough time trying to figure out orders of sentences as it is and I don't want to get ahead of him.

There are sentences like "Puerem videsne in rivo, Marce?" but at his level it would just be more like "Marce, puerem in rivo videsne?", you get what I'm saying?
Currently learning English (native but always learning), Gaidhlig and Lingua Latina (Scientia linguae trimus est)
Far more interested in Scottish Gaelic though as I have least experience with it. Would love to learn Welsh and Ancient Greek though will get to later.

KingHarvest
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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby KingHarvest » 2011-02-11, 2:09

"Puerem videsne in rivo, Marce?"


If there are sentences like this in the book, he's never going to learn Latin. Is this a direct quotation?
Most men are rather stupid, and most of those who are not stupid are, consequently, rather vain.
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AlbaRules
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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby AlbaRules » 2011-02-11, 2:15

KingHarvest wrote:
"Puerem videsne in rivo, Marce?"


If there are sentences like this in the book, he's never going to learn Latin. Is this a direct quotation?


Not really. More like a rough English-Latin translation as an example. As I said, I haven't don't English to Latin translation as a serious part of my Latin courses since 8th grade (or did I forget to say that?). Mostly we focus on Latin to English, which is a lot easier in my opinion.

But my point was that Latin has a lot of different sentence types but the only ones IN the book are subject object verb, and that's what I want to teach so he doesn't get too confused and has a basis in class.
Currently learning English (native but always learning), Gaidhlig and Lingua Latina (Scientia linguae trimus est)
Far more interested in Scottish Gaelic though as I have least experience with it. Would love to learn Welsh and Ancient Greek though will get to later.

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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby KingHarvest » 2011-02-11, 2:22

Well, if that is the only sentence structure found in the book, then what's the problem? Just look at the last word in each clause and you should probably have the main verb.

I don't think that's a particularly constructive way to teach Latin (beyond maybe the first couple chapters of a book), it's just going to screw you over as soon as you run into real Latin, but we can only deal with the things the way they're dealt to us.

Anyway again, trying to hand a beginner hard and fast rules about Latin word order and syntax isn't going to be helpful.

Anyway, your sentence should be puerumne vides in rivo, Marce.
Most men are rather stupid, and most of those who are not stupid are, consequently, rather vain.
-A.E. Housman

AlbaRules
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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby AlbaRules » 2011-02-11, 2:25

KingHarvest wrote:Well, if that is the only sentence structure found in the book, then what's the problem? Just look at the last word in each clause and you should probably have the main verb.

I don't think that's a particularly constructive way to teach Latin (beyond maybe the first couple chapters of a book), it's just going to screw you over as soon as you run into real Latin, but we can only deal with the things the way they're dealt to us.

Anyway again, trying to hand a beginner hard and fast rules about Latin word order and syntax isn't going to be helpful.

Anyway, your sentence should be puerumne vides in rivo, Marce.


Thank you on the correction. Did I really put the "e" in Puer? That's what rushing does I guess.

But the problem lies in the fact that he can't always find the verb. As I said before, in the direct quote:

De Gallias rogas ac de nobis cognoscere cupis.
He immediately thought rogas was a noun because of where it was placed, and that is what I need help explaining.
Currently learning English (native but always learning), Gaidhlig and Lingua Latina (Scientia linguae trimus est)
Far more interested in Scottish Gaelic though as I have least experience with it. Would love to learn Welsh and Ancient Greek though will get to later.

AlbaRules
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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby AlbaRules » 2011-02-11, 2:32

Forgot to say that the highest he probably will get to is Latin II and MAYBE Latin III, so he won't be with super hard, classical Latin for a long while, if ever.
Currently learning English (native but always learning), Gaidhlig and Lingua Latina (Scientia linguae trimus est)
Far more interested in Scottish Gaelic though as I have least experience with it. Would love to learn Welsh and Ancient Greek though will get to later.

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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby KingHarvest » 2011-02-11, 2:36

Well, you're probably stressing too much sentence rather than main clause.
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AlbaRules
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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby AlbaRules » 2011-02-11, 2:43

What do you mean? Like separating the clauses?

One sentence was
Ulixes ad insulam Aeoli, deos ventorum, navigavit.


I told him to just translate the words not in commas first: Ulixes ad insulam Aeoli navigavit. Then add the words in commas after, so it would be: Ulixes sailed to the island of Aeolus, deos ventorum-->Ulixes sailed to the island of Aeolus, the god of the winds.

So is that how I should teach or is that wrong?
Currently learning English (native but always learning), Gaidhlig and Lingua Latina (Scientia linguae trimus est)
Far more interested in Scottish Gaelic though as I have least experience with it. Would love to learn Welsh and Ancient Greek though will get to later.

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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby KingHarvest » 2011-02-11, 3:03

Yes, that's more or less what I mean (though is not particularly good Latin, but you obviously can't be faulted for that). It sounds like maybe he is focusing too much on someone saying that the last word in a sentence in Latin is the verb, so in the case of rogas, since it is not the absolute last word in the sentence, it must be a noun. You should stress more that when people say that the word order is SOV, that they mean this is the order in a main clause, so if there are sentences with two main clauses then he hast to look for the verb in each main clause.
Most men are rather stupid, and most of those who are not stupid are, consequently, rather vain.
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AlbaRules
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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby AlbaRules » 2011-02-11, 3:14

I tried that, but I don't exactly know how to phrase that. I told him that there are different conjunctions. "-que" is used for nouns meaning "A Bque"="A and B" and "ac" and "et" and "sed", etc. are used for clauses (or verbs as well). "So look for those clause-separating words and use those as foundation points to find the verbs." Is that a good way to put it?

So, let's back to the sentence "De Gallias rogas ac de nobis cognoscere cupis". I told him that ac words to separate the different verbs, but he isn't exactly the best language student. Is that the right way to go?

Actually, the entire class's average is around 75 (I heard), teacher is WAY too fast for them the students say.
Currently learning English (native but always learning), Gaidhlig and Lingua Latina (Scientia linguae trimus est)
Far more interested in Scottish Gaelic though as I have least experience with it. Would love to learn Welsh and Ancient Greek though will get to later.

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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby KingHarvest » 2011-02-11, 3:42

No, et, ac/atque, and -que can all be used to separate either just words or entire clauses. They indicate various very nuanced differences in emphasis that would be pointless to try to convey to someone just beginning (sed, however, will always separate two clauses).

Have you tried explaining to him what a main clause is?

You should probably explain to him that if he isn't sure (and even if he is), he should always be prepared to look up a word as both a noun and a verb. Even people who have been doing Latin for years will make a mistake sometimes and realize that a word is not the type the originally thought it was.
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Bernard
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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby Bernard » 2011-02-11, 17:16

For God's sake, why are you not given correct Latin sentences?

De Gallia (de + abl.; not acc. Gallias) rogas etc.

Ulixes ad insulam Aeoli, dei ventorum etc. (dei is apposition to Aeoli [genet. sg.], therefore dei; not deos [acc. pl. :shock:]).

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Re: Good teaching tools for translation?

Postby AlbaRules » 2011-02-11, 18:32

@King Harvest, I told him that but in his readings "-que" was used for 2+ nouns and all the other conjunctions were for clauses (independent, dependent, etc.).

He seems to understand the English part of it, but it's the Latin that he is not comprehending.

Bernard wrote:For God's sake, why are you not given correct Latin sentences?

De Gallia (de + abl.; not acc. Gallias) rogas etc.

Ulixes ad insulam Aeoli, dei ventorum etc. (dei is apposition to Aeoli [genet. sg.], therefore dei; not deos [acc. pl. :shock:]).


Don't shoot the messenger. But the teacher isn't helping.

btw the Galias was my typo. It is Gallia in the book.
Currently learning English (native but always learning), Gaidhlig and Lingua Latina (Scientia linguae trimus est)
Far more interested in Scottish Gaelic though as I have least experience with it. Would love to learn Welsh and Ancient Greek though will get to later.


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