Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

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Ast A. Moore
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Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Ast A. Moore » 2012-06-04, 8:08

Hi,

This is a really quick one. I need help translating “monkey trap” into Latin. Any ideas? A friend of mine proposed fovea ob simius, but that sounds plain wrong to me.

The phrase “monkey trap” is to be understood literally (i.e. the actual contraption with a narrow opening and a banana inside), not figuratively.

A “mousetrap” is muscipulam (mus + decipula ?), maybe a “monkey trap” is something like simicipulam?

Any help will be appreciated.

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Bernard
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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Bernard » 2012-06-06, 10:44

instrumentum ad capiendas simias (ad capiendos simios)
Ast A. Moore wrote:...... A friend of mine proposed fovea ob simius, but that sounds plain wrong to me...
Absolutely wrong, indeed.
The phrase “monkey trap” is to be understood literally (i.e. the actual contraption with a narrow opening and a banana inside), ...
Well, something like that:
instrumentum ad capiendas simias (ad capiendos simios).
Cicero (classical Latin) uses simia, ae fem., not simius, i m. (cf. e.g. div. 1, 76).

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Ast A. Moore » 2012-06-06, 11:19

Thank so much, Bernard!

Instrumentum ad capiendas simias is a little too long, I’m afraid. Is there a way to make it sound more “colloquial,” as it were? Something like “monkey catcher” or “monkey snare”? Maybe by analogy with similar contraptions used to catch other animals (bigger than a mouse)? Are there any references to such devices in classical Latin text (for example, text about hunting, etc.)?

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Bernard
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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Bernard » 2012-06-06, 14:25

Hi!
Good heavens, I feel really challenged :lol: ..., but now to be serious: There are minor Latin poems concerning huntsmanship, esp. those of Grattius, Nemesianus, Oppianus (cf. Minor Latin Poets, ed. by J.W. and A. M. Duff, The Loeb Classical Library nr. 284), but the ancient hunters chiefly used nets, pits, lime-twigs &c., mostly supported by dogs.
The words decipula, ae f. resp. decipulum, i n. ("a device serving to deceive, trap, snare", OLD; cf. Lewis&Short: "a snare, gin, trap") seem to be really apt expressions.
But how to solve the problem 'monkey trap'? My proposal for uniting these two words is
"decipula simiarum";
wherein 'simiarum' is a so-called genetivus objectivus according to the accusative object 'simias' used in the phrase 'decipere simias', i. e. to deceive monkeys).
And now, what's your opinion?

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Ast A. Moore » 2012-06-06, 15:52

Bernard,

An interesting bit of trivia on hunting.

I think decipula simiarum is perfect! Thank you very much! So, essentially we have “a *deceptor of monkeys,” right? (Naturally, the word “deceptor” doesn’t exist in English.)

I’m translating a screenplay, and one of the characters is a “learned” man. At one point he demonstrates how a monkey trap works, and in an attempt to throw some weight around, refers to it in Latin. You know the rest. The author of the original text tried to translate it into Latin, and I immediately knew that it was way off.

Again, thank you so very much!

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby linguoboy » 2012-09-29, 3:31

I'm working on a Latin motto for my father. He wants "Stubbornness to the point of stupidity" and so far what I've managed to come up with is Contumacia stultitiae tenus. Thoughts?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Bernard » 2012-09-29, 15:46

Stubbornness to the point of stupidity
Hi linguoboy!
Contumacia stultitiae tenus] grammatically correct, indeed, but I would like you to consider the following annotations:

stupidity] As the very opposite of prudentia the noun stultitia (foolishness, silliness &c.) appears to be the right word; but you may also use stupiditas (insensibility, dullness). Cf. Lewis&Short s.v. stupiditas. (No hair-splitting please!)

stultitiae tenus] You will pretty often find ablative (esp. sing.) + tenus > stultitiā tenus / stupiditate tenus. Cf. Lewis&Short s.v. tenus.

to the point of] Both “stubbornness” and “stupidity” are abstract nouns connected with one another by “to the point of”. In such a context St. Augustine used usque ad + accusative in order to relate amor to contemptus (de civitate Dei 14.28):
amor sui usque ad contemptum Dei, … amor Dei usque ad contemptum sui,
i.e. the love of self, even to the contempt of God; ... the love of God, even to the contempt of self.
That’s why IMMHO usque ad ranks before tenus.

Summing up I would like to propose to you the following translations:

Contumacia usque ad stultitiam / Contumacia usque ad stupiditatem.

Now it’s up to you to take a decision.

:)

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby linguoboy » 2012-09-29, 20:46

Bernard wrote:Summing up I would like to propose to you the following translations:

Contumacia usque ad stultitiam / Contumacia usque ad stupiditatem.

Now it’s up to you to take a decision.

Actually, I think the decision is Dad's. Many thanks, Bernard!
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby linguoboy » 2013-01-02, 17:37

Thanks again for your help, Bernard. We made Dad a pillow with this slogan on it and it was a real hit. (If I ever get a picture of it myself, I'll post it.)

Afterwards we were talking about it and teasing my brother-in-law that his family motto should be "More clever than a hamster" since he outsmarted the boys' pet, which had managed to hide in the basement for three days until he bagged it. I came up with "CALLIDIOR CRICETO". Thoughts?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Bernard » 2013-01-02, 19:33

linguoboy wrote: "CALLIDIOR CRICETO"...
Placet, amice. :yep: (i.e. affinis tuus "callidior criceto" est.)

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-01-08, 5:51

How would you say, "To teach someone to do something" in Latin? For instance, "I teach a man to read."
Last edited by Dormouse559 on 2013-01-08, 23:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Bernard » 2013-01-08, 9:05

Salve, amice!
To teach someone to do something] docere aliquem facere aliquid.
I teach a man to read.] Doceo hominem legere.
Cf. http://artflx.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.3:2359.lewisandshort, "With acc. pers. and inf."

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-01-08, 9:19

Benigne! :) Thank you for the help, Bernard.
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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-01-11, 10:38

I've got a new question (Quaestionem novam habeo [?]). How do you translate "to watch someone/something do something", as in "I watch the children play"? Would it be, "Specio pueros ludere"?
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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Bernard » 2013-01-29, 18:05

Dormouse559 wrote:I've got a new question (Quaestionem novam habeo [?]). How do you translate "to watch someone/something do something", as in "I watch the children play"? Would it be, "Specio* pueros ludere"?
Serius quam decuit venio, ignosce, amice!
I've got a new question] > Nova mihi afferenda est quaestio...
to watch someone do something]
either
a) accusativus cum participio: videre (conspicere, conspicari ...) aliquem aliquid facientem: I watch the children play > video pueros ludentes (i. e. ... how the children are playing: ludus puerorum primo loco ponitur);
or
b) accusativus cum infinitivo: videre (conspicere, conspicari ...) aliquam aliquid facere: > I watch the children play > video pueros ludere (i.e.... that the children are playing: nihil aliud nisi merum factum "that").
Vale.

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* specio] parum placet, verbum enim est archaicum, abhorret a consuetudine sermonis Latini, quo utebantur Caesar et Cicero.

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby linguoboy » 2013-03-28, 15:53

Okay, I've gotten another request: "Every blow shall be returned."

What I've come up with: Omnis ictus remittetur. I'm a little concerned, however, that this is ambiguous, since in patristic literature remitto seems to be used chiefly with the meaning of "forgive".
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Bernard » 2013-03-29, 9:21

Every blow shall be returned.
Salve, linguoboy!

Equidem haec velim proponere, quae oro te benevole perpendas:

1) Ictus ictu pensabitur (vel pensatur).

pensabitur] tempus futurum quod vocatur ‘gnomicum’, sed mihi quidem placet etiam tempus praesens ‘gnomicum’ pensatur. Sententia enim videtur esse quae (ut ius talionis) in omnes partes valet. Cf. Lewis&Short s. v. penso.

2) Omnis ictus retaliabitur (vel retaliatur).

Cf. Lewis&Short s. v. retalio. Gell. 20, 1, 16*.

3) Nescio an uti quoque nobis liceat modo gerundivo vel etiam modo coniunctivo:

Ictus ictu pensandus est. / Ictus ictu pensetur.

Omnis ictus retaliandus est. / Omnis ictus retalietur.

Tu quid sentis, amice?
_________________________________________________________________________________
*
“Quid si membrum" inquit "alteri inprudens ruperit? Quod enim per inprudentiam factum est, retaliari per inprudentiam debet. Ictus quippe fortuitus et consultus non cadunt sub eiusdem talionis similitudinem. Quonam igitur modo inprudentem poterit imitari, qui in exsequenda talione non licentiae ius habet, sed inprudentiae?

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Noves » 2013-04-14, 22:26

For these kinds of things I like to put 'trap' first and then 'for monkeys' next. So like decipulum simiis.

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby Bernard » 2013-04-15, 9:43

Noves wrote:...decipulum simiis.
Salve, amice!
Such a combination of a noun with a dative deviates from correct classical Latin usage.
If you want to express to what end the trap is constructed (“for monkeys”), it is e.g. better to use either the following somewhat complicated construction surrounding the information about the purpose of the trap by the noun and a participle: decipula ad simias capiendas confecta, or a simple genitive (cf. http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/genitive.html): decipula (decipulum) simiarum (simiorum).
:)

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Re: Help Translate a Phrase into Latin

Postby linguoboy » 2015-01-31, 1:46

I asked my husband what he wants for an epitaph and he said, "He lived, he died. Just four words." I pointed out that in Latin, it would be only two. But which two? "Vixit, perivit"?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


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