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Old 2020-02-26, 07:33   #1
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Default Lingua Latina sive in alia verba, " the Latin language"

[ewm: Split off from my Latin-phrasing comment here.]

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Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
So from now, one can discuss, say, "a set of largely overlapping regional outbreaks", but the dreaded P-word is verba non grata.
Prope est, sed fumigans non lignum unum.

"verbum non gratum".

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2020-03-15 at 17:38 Reason: Added thread-branching note.
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Old 2020-02-26, 13:55   #2
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Prope est, sed fumigans non lignum unum.

"verbum non gratum".
Prope est, sed fumigans non lignum unum.

Yeesh. This ranks right up (down) there with "illegetimi non carborundum" in its pretentiousness.

At worst, "verba non grata" is a grammatical gender error. I note that the analogous phrase persona non grata is singular. But persona is grammatically feminine, while verbum is grammatically neuter.

However, the apparent attempt at a literal translation into Latin of "close but no cigar" is much more seriously defective. For one thing, close but no cigar is an idiom. And like the above fake Latin phrase, the Latin "translation" is anachronistic. Cigars, and their being offered as prizes, were unknown when and where Latin was actually spoken.

I would recommend an actual Latin idiomatic phrase whose meaning is similar to "close but no cigar." I'm sure there are some, but I don't know any offhand. I imagine there is something like "good effort," "tried hard but failed," "ran well but got no laurels," or "fought well in the arena but died."
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Old 2020-02-26, 17:35   #3
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However, the apparent attempt at a literal translation into Latin of "close but no cigar" is much more seriously defective. For one thing, close but no cigar is an idiom. And like the above fake Latin phrase, the Latin "translation" is anachronistic."
Of course it is! My translation was very much tongue in cheek.

Nonetheless, Latin is still a living tongue, despite what you may have been taught, and new words and phrases are being invented all the time so that users of the language can refer to present-day concepts. Try wandering over to https://la.wikipedia.org some time. In particular, note that if I had been serious, I would have used the word "sigarum".

Sic biscuitus disintegrat.
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Old 2020-02-26, 19:20   #4
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Of course it is! My translation was very much tongue in cheek.

Nonetheless, Latin is still a living tongue, despite what you may have been taught, and new words and phrases are being invented all the time so that users of the language can refer to present-day concepts. Try wandering over to https://la.wikipedia.org some time. In particular, note that if I had been serious, I would have used the word "sigarum".

Sic biscuitus disintegrat.
Further evidence that Latin is still in use and adapting to the modern world. The Ecaenia ceremony at Oxford where honorary degrees are conferred still uses Latin to explain why a candidate is worthy. Here is a snippet from 2016.

Haec etiam praevidit quibus modis eae fistulae, simul levissimae et validissimae, vim electricam transmissurae essent lumenque vel iacturae vel abditurae. Iam in machinis electronicis construendis adhibentur, sperantque docti se eis ad radios solis in cellulis condendos esse usuros.

Note the presence of "carbon nanotubes", "conduct electricity", "electronic devices" and "solar cells".

Some years back I read an oration in which (a slight modification of) L'Oreal's advertising slogan "because you're worth it" was translated literally in one of the Public Orator's speeches. Unfortunately I have been unable to find it on-line so that I could quote it verbatim.
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Old 2020-02-26, 19:37   #5
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Our university diplomas in Leiden are still written in Latin, even for degrees with modern names.
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Old 2020-02-26, 22:15   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
My translation was very much tongue in cheek.
Well, alrighty, then!


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Further evidence that Latin is still in use and adapting to the modern world. The Ecaenia ceremony at Oxford where honorary degrees are conferred still uses Latin to explain why a candidate is worthy.
<snip>
Uh-huh. Pretending to take this seriously...

It seems to me that the use of Latin in a ceremony conferring honorary degrees is less about "adapting to the modern world" and more about maintaining a tradition. Not that I have any problem with that, I think it has a quaint charm.

If Oxford still awards degrees which require a thesis and defense in Latin, I imagine those degrees are restricted to explicitly Latin-language subjects like Latin literature.

I am saddened at the abandonment of Latin in school curricula.

Latin used to be the lingua franca of learning. Isaac Newton invented physics in Latin! These days, though, apart from the names of things already given in Latin (anatomical terms come to mind), the main use of Latin in science seems to be in the naming of species.

Quomodo ceciderunt robusti

The fact that Latin has never been widely read by common people since the advent of the printing press, also has a certain historical significance. The Catholic Church used a Latin translation of the Bible. It forbad the Bible being translated into vernacular. This was precisely to prevent people from being able to read it for themselves.

In 1408, England made the translation of any part of the Bible into English a capital offense. Undeterred, William Tyndale translated the New Testament into English, and was working on the Old Testament when he was arrested. On October 6, 1536, he was executed as a heretic. He was strangled (but apparently not quite to death), then burned at the stake.
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Old 2020-02-27, 05:47   #7
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The Catholic Church used a Latin translation of the Bible. It forbad the Bible being translated into vernacular. This was precisely to prevent people from being able to read it for themselves.
The Vulgate was designed for precisely the opposite reason: so that the common people, who spoke Latin, could understand the Bible (which was Greek and Aramaic/Hebrew). But over the long centuries it continued to be used even as languages diverged further and further from Latin and into the various daughter languages. (I don't doubt that solidifying clerical control over medieval northern/western Europe also played a part in the long use of that translation, but without context it's a little hard to make sense of that.)
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Old 2020-02-27, 07:33   #8
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The Vulgate was designed for precisely the opposite reason: so that the common people, who spoke Latin, could understand the Bible (which was Greek and Aramaic/Hebrew).
The clue is in the name, if you know your Latin or can recognize words derived from it.

Vulgar, me?

Latin, complete with neologisms, is still in daily use in the upper heirarchies of the Roman Catholic church, especially in the Vatican. Nuntii Latini was broadcast from Finland for 30 years, but shut down last year. I have already pointed you to the Latin Wikipedia site. There are numerous other spoken Latin resources on the net, which is why the Finnish radio station ceased its brodcasts. Typing "spoken latin resources" into a search engine will find them for you.
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Old 2020-02-27, 07:36   #9
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Quote:
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If Oxford still awards degrees which require a thesis and defense in Latin, I imagine those degrees are restricted to explicitly Latin-language subjects like Latin literature.
I am only just young enough to escape the requirement that all matriculands to Oxford be educated to O Level or the equivalent in Latin. A Latin paper was part of the entrance examination.
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Old 2020-02-27, 09:15   #10
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Quomodo ceciderunt robusti
Komodo dragon's cecum is robust. Yeah, because he eats all kind of things, including the bones...
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Old 2020-02-27, 12:11   #11
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Quote:
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I am saddened at the abandonment of Latin in school curricula.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
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