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I think there's a WLC situation here

Posted by Alex on November 09, 2001

In Reply to: Re: Latin Translation posted by R. Berg on November 09, 2001

: : : : : Does anyone know how to translate "Break a Leg" into latin?

: : : : Crurem adflictas.

: : : : A note:
: : : : Adflicto is Latin for "I break".
: : : : Adflictas is Latin for "You break".
: : : : Both are present tense.
: : : : But your phrase is a future tense command and I am not 100% sure that adflictas is correct.
: : : : I suggest you surf on over to http://www.latin.fsbusiness.co.uk/ to confirm my translation.

: : : crus, cruris is neuter and hence the accusative singular is just 'crus' not 'crurem'.
: : : frango, ere is a better verb for 'break'.
: : : You are quite right - the phrase is a command of sorts, but the future is not used for this in Latin - you need either the imperative voice or a present subjunctive.

: : : so either - 'crus frangeas' (present subjunctive I think - havent got a Primer with me)
: : : or 'crus frange' (could be wrong there about imperative singular, plural would be 'frangite' perhaps)

: : "Crus" is neuter, 3rd declension and you are correct--the accusative singular of "crus" is "crus"--very good.

: : I do not agree with you on your choice of "frango".
: : "Frango" suggests more of a shattering or a splintering or breaking into little pieces as in ice or pottery.

: : "Adflicto" has more of a "damage" or "break" nuance to it. "Adflicto" could also mean "to injure" or "to weaken" which I think goes with the expression more than "frango".

: : There is a verb "effringo" which has a "break open" sense to it as in making an omelette.

: : ===============
: : Bellaque matribus detestata.
: : The war, hated by mothers.
: : (Horace, Carmina)

: ================

: A leg CAN shatter rather than merely fracture. It happened to a friend of mine who had a bad fall.

Words Liable to be Confused:
adflicto,are, - agitate, harrass (afflict)
adfligo, -fligere, flixi, -flictum - dash, knock down, weaken

in any case frango seems conceptually pleasing from a modern day perspective at least, given that its supine is 'fractum', whence derives our word for bone breakings 'fracture'.
of course this is no proof of the original use...