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Kitty27
11-01-2010, 12:20 AM
I am searching for a good source for Latin to English translations. So far,I am completely confused about the proper way to say "eternal darkness".

I've found five or six translations and don't know which one is correct.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Ariella
11-02-2010, 01:15 AM
Eternal darkness would be tenebrae aeternae.

Latin can be challenging to translate. As in French and Spanish, the adjectives have endings that have to agree with the gender of the nouns they modify, but in Latin, the nouns also have case endings that change according to what role the noun plays in the sentence, so the adjectives have to agree with both the gender and the case. Then there are the verbs, which have five regular conjugations, compared to the three you find in French and Spanish. The rules of syntax are also looser than in English. All this tends to muddle computerized translations, so your most reliable option is to just learn Latin. (Easier said than done, I know.)

Having said that, the online Lewis and Short dictionary (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/resolveform?redirect=true&lang=Latin) is a reliable tool for Classical Latin-to-English translations. You can also do English-to-Latin searches on this page (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/definitionlookup?redirect=true&lang=Latin). This glossary (http://comp.uark.edu/%7Emreynold/recint1.htm) is handy when you're dealing with medieval Latin, and this lexicon (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/institutions_connected/latinitas/documents/rc_latinitas_20040601_lexicon_it.html) from the Vatican can be helpful when you're trying to figure out how to translate more modern words like nylon, umbrella or laser.

Google also recently introduced a Latin translator (http://translate.google.com/?sl=la&tl=en#la%7Cen%7C). It's surprisingly good, for an automatic translator, but sometimes hilariously wrong.

Lhun
11-02-2010, 03:05 AM
Should be Aeternalis tenebrae i think, if it's just the two words out of context, you wouldn't use a declined form of the adjective. (obviously not of the noun either)

Short of learning latin, as suggested, or asking someone who did, babelfish is the most you'll get. For all languages, really. But with the internet, it shouldn't be hard to find enough people to translate a few things, as long as you're not asking for whole books.

Kitty27
11-02-2010, 03:54 AM
Eternal darkness would be tenebrae aeternae.

Latin can be challenging to translate. As in French and Spanish, the adjectives have endings that have to agree with the gender of the nouns they modify, but in Latin, the nouns also have case endings that change according to what role the noun plays in the sentence, so the adjectives have to agree with both the gender and the case. Then there are the verbs, which have five regular conjugations, compared to the three you find in French and Spanish. The rules of syntax are also looser than in English. All this tends to muddle computerized translations, so your most reliable option is to just learn Latin. (Easier said than done, I know.)

Having said that, the online Lewis and Short dictionary (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/resolveform?redirect=true&lang=Latin) is a reliable tool for Classical Latin-to-English translations. You can also do English-to-Latin searches on this page (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/definitionlookup?redirect=true&lang=Latin). This glossary (http://comp.uark.edu/%7Emreynold/recint1.htm) is handy when you're dealing with medieval Latin, and this lexicon (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/institutions_connected/latinitas/documents/rc_latinitas_20040601_lexicon_it.html) from the Vatican can be helpful when you're trying to figure out how to translate more modern words like nylon, umbrella or laser.

Google also recently introduced a Latin translator (http://translate.google.com/?sl=la&tl=en#la%7Cen%7C). It's surprisingly good, for an automatic translator, but sometimes hilariously wrong.

Learn latin? That is beyond my meager abilities,lol. Thank you for helping. Now I have something to work with. I was completely lost!

Kitty27
11-02-2010, 04:08 AM
Should be Aeternitalis tenebrae i think, if it's just the two words out of context, you wouldn't use a declined form of the adjective. (obviously not of the noun either)

Short of learning latin, as suggested, or asking someone who did, babelfish is the most you'll get. For all languages, really. But with the internet, it shouldn't be hard to find enough people to translate a few things, as long as you're not asking for whole books.


I'll try babelfish. Thank you for helping!

Lhun
11-02-2010, 04:15 AM
Good luck with that. ;) But it should work well enough for single words.
Not my self-correction in the previous post, the adjective of aeternitas is aeternalis not aeternitalis as is misspelled at first.

IceCreamEmpress
11-02-2010, 04:46 AM
I would suggest that "nox perpetua" or "nox aeterna" are better than any of the suggestions made so far.

"Tenebrae" means "shadows" and connotes the fall of night, not full darkness.

Lhun
11-02-2010, 05:26 AM
I would suggest that "nox perpetua" or "nox aeterna" are better than any of the suggestions made so far.

"Tenebrae" means "shadows" and connotes the fall of night, not full darkness.Well, it's the most literal translation. I'd pick tenebrae because it means literally "darkness" while "nox" means "night", i.e. you wouldn't use "nox" in reference to darkness caused by anything but night (say, darkness inside a cavern). "Shadow" would better translated as "umbra".
"Perpetua" is an interesting choice, though it translates to "persistent" without necessarily referring to something that persists forever.
"Caligo" would be another possibility (instead of tenebrae), which translates as darkness or fog, smoke etc.
What the best translation is depends on the context of this "eternal darkness".

Rufus Coppertop
11-02-2010, 08:11 AM
If aeternalis is a legitimate hijacking by the third declension of a first and second declension adjective, it is so rare that it does not appear in any of the four Latin dictionaries I have. I'm waiting on a copy of the Oxford and I'm practically holding my breath to see whether it appears there or not.

There are instances of Roman poets changing the declensions for metrical purposes and aeternalis does appear on an online translator known as Whittaker's Words. I suppose that means that it becomes legit if someone decides to use it and someone else can understand it and it works grammatically!

My advice would be to go with nox aeterna or tenebrae aeternae. Both nox and tenebrae can mean darkness in its simpler meaning, not just night.

I'm assuming you want to use it as an isolated phrase in an English language sentence. If you need to decline it in any way, PM me and I'll give you a hand.

e.g. - of eternal night = noctis aeternae or tenebrarum aeternarum.

Lhun
11-02-2010, 08:30 AM
If aeternalis is a legitimate hijacking by the third declension of a first and second declension adjective, it is so rare that it does not appear in any of the four Latin dictionaries I have.

The adjective for eternity is aeternus -a -um. If coupled with a masculine noun, it takes the form, aeternus, with a feminine noun, aeterna, and with a neuter noun, aeternum.Not a hijacking, my dictionary simply gives the adjective as aeternalis -e. Third declension iirc (i didn't learn latin as latin<->english so i'm used to calling it consonant declension)

You're right about the plural, so it should actually be aeternales (if used with tenebrae).

Latin can be a bit complicated for those who haven't studied the grammar.Heh, understatement much? Not to mention that even those that study it usually only learn to translate from latin into another language, not to translate into latin. Much easier too if you ask me, since you don't need to remember all the little details you just automatically put into sentence structure in languages with stringent syntax.

Rufus Coppertop
11-02-2010, 09:31 AM
Not a hijacking, my dictionary simply gives the adjective as aeternalis -e. Third declension iirc (i didn't learn latin as latin<->english so i'm used to calling it consonant declension)

You're absolutely right!

Aeternalis is indeed in the Oxford. I'm glad this came up because it prompted me to check out an online copy and now I'm off to abebooks.com to locate a hard copy.


those that study it usually only learn to translate from latin into another language, not to translate into latin.Non cognoscunt quo ioco egerent. Tempus emere novum thesaurum verborum est. Quattuor quod iam habeo sugunt! Illa non amo.

shaldna
11-02-2010, 03:02 PM
Heh, understatement much? Not to mention that even those that study it usually only learn to translate from latin into another language, not to translate into latin. Much easier too if you ask me, since you don't need to remember all the little details you just automatically put into sentence structure in languages with stringent syntax.


When I was at school we were taught latin to english and english to latin, from a very young age. Once you get your head around it, it's just like learning any other language.

Rufus Coppertop
11-02-2010, 03:31 PM
And not just that, but it's fun.

Kitty27
11-02-2010, 04:42 PM
My head hurts,LOL!


Thank you all for taking the time to reply and help me. I have no skill with languages. But I MUST have a Latin title for my book. I am obsessed with it!

GeorgeK
11-02-2010, 06:51 PM
In order to properly translate, one needs to know the context because as has already been shown, there are many possible translations. Without context all we can do is transliterate, which is not the same.

Lhun
11-02-2010, 08:03 PM
You're absolutely right!Can't really take credit for that, since i couldn't come up with a translation without checking a dictionary first. ;)

Non cognoscunt quo ioco egerent. Tempus emere novum thesaurum verborum est. Quattuor quod iam habeo sugunt! Illa non amo.Hey, not everyone is in it for the linguistic fun. :tongue When i said "most people" i absolutely did include myself in that most. I only need latin to read (mostly medieval philosophers), so not practising to translate into latin isn't laziness (well not just) so much as i just wouldn't have any use for that. I think that's also the reason why schools (at least where i live) don't even bother with teaching translation in that direction, since even of the students who actually continue to need it in university and on, the vast majority will only ever need to read latin.

Rufus Coppertop
11-04-2010, 04:45 AM
At uni, one of the lecturers advised us to play with the language. She said we should all spend a bit of time writing prose in Latin. I was already doing a bit of it. Once you know the grammar and the syntax, once you can translate from Latin, you can translate into Latin automatically.

What medieval philosophers have you read? I think I must be something of a philistine, myself. Even though I have Avicenna, Averroes and Macrobius, I'm reading Harrius Potter et Camera Secretorum.