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2 Latin inscriptions I tried to create from English...

Posted by David Harlow on October 04, 2001

In Reply to: posted by Barney Scott on October 03, 2001

Thank you for your assistance! Your comments all make sense to me, especially the idea of getting
professional assistance. I might try the Foreign Languages Dept. at a nearby university too...
Thanks again to both you and Bruce Kahl.

David Harlow

: : : I am creating my own artwork (for an audio CD) which borrows a lot from a style typical of
: : : the title pages of some 18th century english novels I've read by authors like Fielding and
: : : Richardson, Anyhow, 2 years of highschool latin and much more than 2 years time since
: : : passed hasn't enabled me to create my own Latin inscriptions with confidence! If anyone
: : : would like to comment on or assist me with my preliminary results below (be kind), I'd really
: : : appreciate the help. Thank you.

: OK, I'll have a go:
: : : English: But for the pursuit of Love, I'd fall prey to Death.
: : : Latin: Sin non consectatio de Amor, fieri praeda de Mors.
: I don't know if 'sin non' is OK here; 'sin' means 'however', ie is a conjunction. I think what we want is a preposition; perhaps 'without', ie 'absque', which takes the ablative.
: The use of 'de' is, I think, a later, vernacular thing in Latin - I was always taught to use the genitive case, which would be 'amoris' and 'mortis'.
: We need the 1st person singular for 'I', and I think we need the subjunctive to give the meaning 'would' to 'fieri'.
: The 'correct' word order should have the verb at the end, but there are many reasons, which I never really understood, which might allow you to change it.
: So:
: Absque consectatione mortis, praeda mortis fiam.

: : : English: While the fickle masses sleep, we come out to play.
: : : Latin: Cum mobile vulgus dormiunt, convenimus ludere.
: Not much to change here: I don't know if the Romans used 'vulgus' = 'The people' in the plural or not, as we say 'the masses', but we ought to be consistent in using singular or plural nouns and verbs, so:
: Cum mobilis vulgus dormit, ludere convenimus.
: or:
: Cum mobiles vulgi dormiunt, ludere convenimus.
: The first one is probably safer (the singular), since 'vulgus' is sometimes neuter, sometimes masculine, apparently; but either way, 'mobilis' would be correct for the singular, while neuter plural would be 'mobilia'.

: I'd second Bruce's suggestion of a professional translation if you want it to be really correct.

: : I wouldn't go near those 2 with the proverbial 10-foot pole.

: : There is a fellow named Barney who shows up here from time to time. He knows his stuff and he may be able to help you but that future pluperfect and vocative stuff is way way beyond me.

: : I used to know a Brother Michael from Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, NY who could help you but he was about 71 years old in 1962.

: : Here is a link to a very inexpensive commercial translation service:
: :

: : Fortuna Bona!