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TrickyFiction
04-15-2010, 10:30 PM
I'm having trouble writing a couple lines in Latin, as I don't know the language, and I haven't been able to find anyone who does among my circle of friends. I don't trust computer translators to get the grammar right, so I was hoping I might find someone here who knows Latin reasonably well. The speaker in the story is supposed to be fluent, so I definitely want to get it right. Would any of you be willing/able to assist?

Fallen
04-15-2010, 10:59 PM
I think there's a couple of people on here that do. You can pass the lines via pm me to me if you want. To be honest, it's always good to get two or three eyes on it to make sure it's right.

Although i know latin, though, it's very rare i use it in my writing. Are you writing a period novel?

PeterL
04-15-2010, 11:04 PM
Post it, and include context, because there usually are several ways to say the same thing in Latin.

Spring
04-15-2010, 11:16 PM
I'll see if I can help. I have my Master's in teaching Latin and Classics. PM me if you'd like.

GeorgeK
04-15-2010, 11:33 PM
I was 3 credits shy of a masters in Latin when I left for med school. They changed the course schedule and it became an "either or", scenario. It's been a few decades, but post it. As has already been said, include context. It makes a difference.

TrickyFiction
04-15-2010, 11:42 PM
Thanks so much for your offers! The context is this:

A Roman man is dying and speaking what, at first, sounds like nonsense. He says something like, "Let this moon return home," or something similar. The exact wording is less important than what I need it to mean. One person, another native speaker, should be able to misinterpret it as delirium. He says the dying man thinks he can command the moon when to rise and set. A second person, not a native speaker, believes there's more to it and asks the dying man, "Where does the moon live?" or something like that (this is the second Latin line I need). It turns out, the old man is speaking in code, telling a boy whose given name means "born of the moon" to go back to his birthplace.

OneWriter
04-15-2010, 11:49 PM
Domum redi, Luna = come (imperative) back home, Moon

would that work?

I think the other would be:

Ubi vivit Luna?

but please check.

ETA: OK, I wasn't sure if the verb vivir could be used in the sense of "live in a place", but I checked and found this from Cicero: In qua urbe vivimus? which means "in what city do we live?" so it should be fine.

GeorgeK
04-16-2010, 12:50 AM
Like I said it's been a few decades. The problem that I see off the bat is that English speakers without knowledge of certain other languages, including Latin, don't understand genders to nouns. They also don't understand the absense in Latin for the article, "the". It simply doesn't exist. A Boy is obviously masculine, wheras the moon is feminine. Hense, if he's addressing the boy, then "moon" should be put into the masculine. That perhaps is why the native speaker would be confused and assume that it was delrium. It also linguistically suggests the connection between the moon and the boy.

I suggest, but will defer to others with more recent schooling and larger dictionairies,

"Lunus ad domum referreas" or Moon (in the masculine) may you (or you may, or might you) return home.

or maybe, "Lunus itinerem ad domum facite," or Moon, make the journey home.

"Ubi Lunus vivit?" Where does Moon live?

TrickyFiction
04-16-2010, 01:04 AM
Domum redi, Luna = come (imperative) back home, Moon

would that work?

It might. Can that also mean "Go back home," or does it usually just mean "Come back home"?

TrickyFiction
04-16-2010, 01:09 AM
Like I said it's been a few decades. The problem that I see off the bat is that English speakers without knowledge of certain other languages, including Latin, don't understand genders to nouns. They also don't understand the absense in Latin for the article, "the". It simply doesn't exist. A Boy is obviously masculine, wheras the moon is feminine. Hense, if he's addressing the boy, then "moon" should be put into the masculine. That perhaps is why the native speaker would be confused and assume that it was delrium. It also linguistically suggests the connection between the moon and the boy.

I suggest, but will defer to others with more recent schooling and larger dictionairies,

"Lunus ad domum referreas" or Moon (in the masculine) may you (or you may, or might you) return home.

or maybe, "Lunus itinerem ad domum facite," or Moon, make the journey home.

"Ubi Lunus vivit?" Where does Moon live?

This is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. Thank you so much! You're right that I didn't even think of the masculine vs. feminine noun, and as someone who studied French (albeit ages ago) I ought to have remembered that.

GeorgeK
04-16-2010, 01:19 AM
Now I'm trying to remember, Facite is probably plural. Singular imperative might be "itinerem ad domum faci". Like I said it's been a few decades. I'll try to look it up, but I have to find the old grammar books first.

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 01:24 AM
why do you use Lunus? I have Luna, Lunae, first declination...

if they are going to say "lunus" as you suggest, then they won't be thinking of the Moon, they will be thinking of something else... But you are right in the sense that Luna, as a name, would be a feminine name; but the boy's name is "born of the moon", so the full name should be something like "natus ex luna" -- the masculine would be in "natus" because that's the part that refers to the boy; Luna is a feminine name and it should be used the right way if you are meaning the Earth's satellite, or at least that's what I thought the OP wanted the misunderstanding to be (between the dying man and the others).

And yes, domum redi means return home, the preposition (ad) can be omitted.
It's the most commonly used with that meaning, just google domum redit (present) or domum rediit (past).
The verb, redire, is irregular, and if you are looking for "may he return home", it should (please check!) be "domum redeat".

GeorgeK
04-16-2010, 01:35 AM
why do you use Lunus? I have Luna, Lunae, first declination...
.

But this is a proper name for a boy, not The moon as one would normally interpret it. Romans were rather particular about a lot of things and liked to change declensions when there were notable changes in expected genders. For example, one of Julius Caesar's official titles was "Queen of Bythinia" using regina instead of rex. In the cleaned up schoolboy's edition of Roman History we were told that it was simply a typo. When I got to grad school we got to see the more complete and not so clean versions of a lot of things. That's when we were told that, no, it wasn't a typo. It was that he had an affair with the king of Bythinia and liked to be on the receiving end. His troops thought it was so hilarious that they sent the title back to Rome and it stuck.

By using the second declension masculine, it would mark this as a proper name and add to the confusion that a native speaker would have, but someone with Latin as a second language might likely miss and therefore ask a concrete question to what the other Roman would regard as delirium.

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 01:45 AM
but then it would no longer carry the meaning of born of the moon, nor would lunus mean the moon...

you can't just change gender and expect the word to have the same meaning, in fact, there are words that have different meanings in different genders, like animus (spirit) and anima (soul).

TrickyFiction
04-16-2010, 01:54 AM
I should be more specific--sorry. The scene I described takes place in a dream, which is being invaded and interpreted by the questioner/non-native speaker. The physical moon represents the boy in the dream (because of his name), which is why the dying man uses the word "moon" when he means to refer to the boy. He is not meant to be calling the boy by name, but definitely referring to him. It's supposed to be cryptic and weird, but carry meaning too. I may have made a bit of a problem for myself, though I hope that's not the case.

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 02:09 AM
If you use the word natus then there won't be any confusion on the gender...
and it woudl be acceptable that a dying man omits the word natus and only says luna, triggering the misunderstanding.

If I understand your dilemma...

Spring
04-16-2010, 04:00 AM
HI all -
I'll be on for longer tomorrow and will weigh in more then.
Some quick thoughts:
The command for return (I think the verb redire is fine) should be in the Jussive Subjunctive. Let him (the moon)...

And I'm not sure what I think of the masculine v feminine issue you're bringing up. Hmmm...There are a slew of masculine words--almost exclusively male jobs--which are designated in the first declension (a mostly feminine declension). Words like pirate, farmer, scribe, charioteer, etc. So I could see that there could indeed be this feminine name on a boy (Caligula? That's a feminine ending for that dude). I don't know.

Must run. I'll check in tomorrow with some Latin! :)

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 04:41 AM
HI all -
I'll be on for longer tomorrow and will weigh in more then.
Some quick thoughts:
The command for return (I think the verb redire is fine) should be in the Jussive Subjunctive. Let him (the moon)...

And I'm not sure what I think of the masculine v feminine issue you're bringing up. Hmmm...There are a slew of masculine words--almost exclusively male jobs--which are designated in the first declension (a mostly feminine declension). Words like pirate, farmer, scribe, charioteer, etc. So I could see that there could indeed be this feminine name on a boy (Caligula? That's a feminine ending for that dude). I don't know.

Must run. I'll check in tomorrow with some Latin! :)

No, a command will use the imperative, as in my first translation: domum redi. However, depending on what the OP means, a subjunctive would be just fine -- though, they are both "exhortations", there's a fine shade between the two, and the imperative is usually stronger.

As for the name, you bring up an excellent point. In Italian we still have many masculine names that end in -a (Andrea, Nicola, etc). However, Caligula, like you point out, is masculine, while Luna is feminine. So, for example, you would say, Caligula albus est BUT Luna alba est, which is where the caveat arises.

If I understand the problem right though, the meaning of the boy's name is not just "Moon", it is "born of the moon", which could be something like Natus ex Luna and natus here would definitely be masculine. It could also be Filius Lunae as in son of the moon, where filius is again, masculine.

TrickyFiction
04-16-2010, 05:58 AM
If I understand the problem right though, the meaning is not just "Moon", it is "born of the moon", which could be something like Natus ex Luna and Nat's here would definitely be masculine. It could also be Filius Lunae as in son of the moon, where filius is again, masculine.

In this case, I'm not sure saying "born of the moon" would work, as it is an actual, physical moon the interpreters are dealing with in the dream. Also, the misinterpretation that the dying man is delirious and thinks himself capable of commanding the moon when to set would not work with that wording. But your post is making me wonder whether it would be better to change "home" to "birthplace" in order to draw that connection a little better.

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 06:41 AM
it's not fillies, it's FILIUS, I don't know why it came up that way in your quote...

TrickyFiction
04-16-2010, 06:46 AM
it's not fillies, it's FILIUS, I don't know why it came up that way in your quote...

Fixed it. It's possible the spell-check goblin got to it. Sometimes that happens to me and I don't even notice.

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 07:11 AM
Thanks! :)

So then maybe you could use locus natalis for birthplace.
In your original query:
Locum tuum natalis redi == return to your place of birth.

GeorgeK
04-16-2010, 07:38 AM
HI all -
I'll be on for longer tomorrow and will weigh in more then.
Some quick thoughts:
The command for return (I think the verb redire is fine) should be in the Jussive Subjunctive. Let him (the moon)...

And I'm not sure what I think of the masculine v feminine issue you're bringing up. Hmmm...There are a slew of masculine words--almost exclusively male jobs--which are designated in the first declension (a mostly feminine declension). Words like pirate, farmer, scribe, charioteer, etc. So I could see that there could indeed be this feminine name on a boy (Caligula? That's a feminine ending for that dude). I don't know.

Must run. I'll check in tomorrow with some Latin! :)

True, although caligula was his nickname. His real name was Gaius. He got the nickname in Germany where his dad was stationed as the commanding general. He'd prance around in his little army uniform as a boy and the toops thought it was cute that this little tyke even had military boots or caliga, the diminutive of which was caligula. That said, it doesn't refute you at all since that too is a feminine first declension noun.

Spring
04-16-2010, 03:16 PM
Again, I would use the Jussive Subjunctive. It makes the most sense for what you're trying to say, in my humble opinion.

Redeat Luna domum.

The other sentence could read quite well as a previous poster stated: Ubi luna vivit? Or you could do: Ubi luna habitat? That means more like Where does the moon dwell. Not quite the same, but similar.

Good luck.
I'll let the others continue with the shades of gray and all the possibilities. Enjoy!

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 05:01 PM
They are both correct, but if you use the imperative you are giving a "strict" command, as for example a dominus to his servant, he wouldn't use the subjunctive, he'd use the imperative; if however you want to be more formal and give an exhortation rather than a command, then you use the subjunctive. See the difference?

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 05:02 PM
T That said, it doesn't refute you at all since that too is a feminine first declension noun.

It's a first declension but it's MASCULINE not feminine.
Any adjective referring to Gaius Caligula would end in -us not -a!

Rufus Coppertop
04-16-2010, 05:33 PM
Thanks so much for your offers! The context is this:

A Roman man is dying and speaking what, at first, sounds like nonsense. He says something like, "Let this moon return home," or something similar. The exact wording is less important than what I need it to mean. One person, another native speaker, should be able to misinterpret it as delirium. He says the dying man thinks he can command the moon when to rise and set. A second person, not a native speaker, believes there's more to it and asks the dying man, "Where does the moon live?" or something like that (this is the second Latin line I need). It turns out, the old man is speaking in code, telling a boy whose given name means "born of the moon" to go back to his birthplace.

haec luna domum redeat! - This moon, to home may it return!

Lunaris is an adjective meaning "of the moon" and adjectives can be used as nouns. EG - dives = "wealthy" (plural) or can mean "the rich".

i domum lunaris! - Go home, Of-the-Moon!

ubi est loco quo luna incolit - where is the place in which the moon dwells?

in caelo! stultus esne, vel aliquid? - in the sky! Are you stupid, or something?

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 05:37 PM
Lunaris!! Brilliant idea! :)

Rufus Coppertop
04-16-2010, 05:40 PM
Now I'm trying to remember, Facite is probably plural. Singular imperative might be "itinerem ad domum faci". Like I said it's been a few decades. I'll try to look it up, but I have to find the old grammar books first.

Facite is definitely a plural imperative. The singular imperative is absolutely, completely and certainly "fac". Not "faci".

There are several verbs with weird imperatives. Dic for dicere, duc for ducere, fac for facere and fer for ferre.

itinerem domum fac means, "make the journey home!"

Domus is one of the nouns that does not take the preposition "ad' in the accusative case.

It's the same in English. We say, "go home," rather than "go to home".

Rufus Coppertop
04-16-2010, 05:41 PM
Lunaris!! Brilliant idea! :)

Gratias tibi do.

Rufus Coppertop
04-16-2010, 05:45 PM
It's a first declension but it's MASCULINE not feminine.
Any adjective referring to Gaius Caligula would end in -us not -a!

Oh bugger!

That means we can't call him Caligula Imperatrix Magnissima!

Ita Sperabam ut possimus 'imperatrix magnissima' eum dicere! :rant:

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 05:46 PM
I don't know about Imperatrix, as I didn't know the Regina story GeorgeK mentioned in another post, and those are titles and titles are tricky, but any adjective --- sheesh, ferox comes to mind for Caligula, which has both feminine and masculine the same, let's see.... how about bellifer? would you say Gaius Caligula bellifera????

Oh, BTW, Imperatrix in there is not an adjective... I was talking about adjectives!!! ;)

Ah, it was a tricky question!! So yes, you can certainly "imperatrix magnissima" eum dicere, you can call him whatever you want in fact, names, that is. Adjectives, those should be masculine. Unless you refer to a homonym lady.

Rufus Coppertop
04-16-2010, 06:05 PM
I don't know about Imperatrix, as I didn't know the Regina story GeorgeK mentioned in another post, and those are titles and titles are tricky, but any adjective --- sheesh, ferox comes to mind for Caligula, which has both feminine and masculine the same, let's see.... how about bellifer? would you say Gaius Caligula bellifera????

Bellifera?

Something about a beast? Wild? It would certainly fit.



Oh, BTW, Imperatrix in there is not an adjective... I was talking about adjectives!!! ;)

Yes you were. Magnissima however is a superlative adjective.

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 06:34 PM
Yes you were. Magnissima however is a superlative adjective.

Yes, and it refers to Imperatrix, not to Caligula. (my point, your serve!!!! :D)
And you used it correctly elsewhere, you said "eum", accusative masculine, you didn't use feminine for a reason...

changing gender in name-calling is fine, it's part of the fun; however, when you refer to Caligula, you rightfully used masculine.

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 07:10 PM
Bellifera?

Something about a beast? Wild? It would certainly fit.



bellifer = war-maker: From bellum (“‘war’”) + ferō (“‘bring, carry’”).

And no, if by Caligula you mean the guy, it wouldn't fit, you would say Caligula bellifer est.

Another example:

Postquam coniuratione legatorum senatorumque Caligula necatus est.

Rufus Coppertop
04-16-2010, 08:58 PM
bellifer = war-maker: From bellum (“‘war’”) + ferō (“‘bring, carry’”).

And no, if by Caligula you mean the guy, it wouldn't fit, you would say Caligula bellifer est.

Initially, I thought it might be a compound meaning war-bringer. I've made a list of compounds of eo and sum and have come across sagittifer (carrying arrows as I'm sure you know) in Ovid I think.

What threw me is I'm pretty sure he never actually led an army to war. He was going to invade Britain but ended up having his army collect all the seashells on the beach.

He should have been called Gaius Conchifer.

I was thinking you had conflated bellum with ferus (wild) and were playing with a feminine ending, hence a instead of us. I was making a joke with the feminine imperatrix magnissima instead of the masculine imperator magnissismus and assumed you were carrying that on.



Another example:

Postquam coniuratione legatorum senatorumque Caligula necatus est.

After the conspiracy of the leaders and senators, Caligula was killed.



senatores legatique coniuraverunt Caligulam necare.

decretum est a senatores legatique ut Caligula necaretur.

senatores et legati decreverunt ut Caligulam necandum esset?

Should Caligula and the gerundive be in the accusative here as an object of what the senators and legates decided?

Or should it be nominative Caligula necandus as a subject of its own clause?

OneWriter
04-16-2010, 09:17 PM
Tricky question returned... :D

I couldn't remember what he did except being killed, so that was the first adjective that came to mind, it was just an example, didn't mean to be historically correct.

I think it should be "ut Caligula necandus esset"... or fuerit??
The accusative would go in what we used to call "preposizione infinitiva", as in:
Senatores legatique coniuraverunt Caligulam necandum esse.

OK, now you're really pushing my cerebrum... it's about to shut down...

Joke or not, your sentence was correct! Fun!

Haec conversātiō iucunda fuit.

Rufus Coppertop
04-16-2010, 09:28 PM
Haec conversātiō iucunda fuit.

fuit sic.:)

TrickyFiction
04-17-2010, 12:00 AM
Thanks so much to everyone who helped. I feel much better about this passage now. The inclusion of, at least, a little Latin was important to me. And it looks like you're all having some fun with it, too. I wanted to learn Latin so badly when I was supposed to choose a language, but the school I attended didn't offer it. I'm envious of you all. :)

Rufus Coppertop
04-17-2010, 07:57 AM
Thanks so much to everyone who helped. I feel much better about this passage now. The inclusion of, at least, a little Latin was important to me. And it looks like you're all having some fun with it, too. I wanted to learn Latin so badly when I was supposed to choose a language, but the school I attended didn't offer it. I'm envious of you all. :)

A few years ago, I was envious of anyone who could read or write Latin. Studying Latin had been a dream of mine for some years.

If your situation allows it, why not go to uni as a mature age student? Or, buy a copy of "Wheelock's Latin" and a dictionary.

This website ( http://www.textkit.com/ ) has copious resources an excellent forum (hic locum retis excellentissimum forum habet) and a specific section for those using "Wheelock's Latin".

It's a huge project, but if you tackle it a bit at a time, then day by day, you'll find yourself getting better at it.

It gets to a stage where you find yourself reading Harrius Potter et Camera Secretorum or Caesar, or the Vulgate and you get through half a page without needing the dictionary.

Then of course, you need the dictionary for most of the next paragraph. Presumably, after a while, you don't need it at all.

OneWriter
04-17-2010, 07:06 PM
Harrius Potter et Camera Secretorum????? You've got to be kidding me!!!!

OR you could have been raised in Italy and gone to a Liceum where they shoved down your throat hours and hours of grammatical and logical analysis (without which, frankly, you can't understand Latin) and five years of translations, so that by the fifth year you translate Livius, Cicero, Tacitus, Plinius and all these guys, and by the end of it you take your final examination, go home, and toss dictionary and books into a cardboard box that you swear you'll never open again in your life....

Save, ten years later, find yourself spending hours in a cubicle running C-codes and R-codes, and letting your mind be challenged by new Latin questions on a public forum and finding that nostalgically intriguing....

We all have our own quirks, I guess... :)

ETA: You got me curious, so I had to check it out: they even have Le Petite Prince in Latin and Seuss' Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit!!! Wow...

TrickyFiction
04-17-2010, 11:38 PM
I like the idea of using the imperative, as was suggested, because the boy is the slave of the dying man. I think that makes sense. I also thought using "lunaris" might add another layer of misunderstanding to the situation, which is good. Here's what I have:


Observer: "i domum luna." What does it mean?

Native Speaker: It's nonsense. He is delusional. He believes he can tell the moon when to rise and set.

Interpreter: I don't think so. He said, "i domum lunaris." He's telling those of the moon to go home. … Ubi lunaris habitat?

Have I made any errors here? Does this work?

Thank you all again for helping. I have one more question. I noticed many of you did not capitalize the Latin at all. Is this because in Latin there is no capitalization? Should I, in that case, not capitalize the Latin in the text? Would it be different depending on the time period? This scene takes place in a first century setting.

OneWriter
04-17-2010, 11:48 PM
This is sort of splitting hairs here (feel free not to listen to me -- :) ), but I would write ī instead of i. Also, my suggestion would be that when the interpreter repeats the sentence, make him say, "ī domum lunares", in other words he hears "lunares" instead of "lunaris", which would justify his translation (lunares is the vocative plural).
HTH

TrickyFiction
04-18-2010, 01:34 AM
This is sort of splitting hairs here (feel free not to listen to me -- :) ), but I would write ī instead of i. Also, my suggestion would be that when the interpreter repeats the sentence, make him say, "ī domum lunares", in other words he hears "lunares" instead of "lunaris", which would justify his translation (lunares is the vocative plural).
HTH

Would the translation, "He's telling someone 'of the moon' to go home," be more appropriate for using "lunaris"? I'd like my translator to have heard the man correctly.

OneWriter
04-18-2010, 02:55 AM
I think so... BTW, when the man speaks, he'd use the word lunaris as a first name, so you would capitalize, ie Lunaris. When the interpreter repeats the sentence, he doesn't understand it's a name, correct? then you no longer capitalize; my only dubium (sorry, couldn't resist) is that usually when something is omitted (as in this case: what's the adjective lunaris referring to?), the adjective is in neutrum plural and the omitted is "things", as in the famous verba volant, scripta manent; so in this case I'm not sure how the guy would interpret it, I think your translation works (someone of the moon), and I guess at this point we're really splitting hairs...

GeorgeK
04-19-2010, 03:02 PM
It's a first declension but it's MASCULINE not feminine.
Any adjective referring to Gaius Caligula would end in -us not -a!

except that I was referring to the boots, not the man and caliga is feminine

OneWriter
04-20-2010, 05:26 AM
My apologies for misunderstanding, GeorgeK.

Anyways, TrickyFiction, I just realized something: that yes, you can use an adjective like "lunaris" as a pronoun, which would be how you were translating it, "someone of the moon", because that's how you would translate maior and minor in the saying "ubi maior minor cessat."

So I think you're good... :)