Language Learners' Library

Hei @bugcat, we already got coronavirus.
If you want to kill us definitively, please, use a gun instead.
We will suffer less than translate it into Japanese. :joy: :green_heart:

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Hey now, in the time period this story is set you would have been using hentaigana – think yourself lucky :stuck_out_tongue:

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You know that they are in the unicode? Someone more crazy than me can try… good luck.
Now I stop for a while, I have to prepare some home-made mask for me and relatives.
Here is becoming a mess guys…

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Mūnicipium māne cessī.
(I left town in the morning.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
mūnicipium noun acc. sg. town
māne adverb (early) in the morning
cessī verb cēdō p. fp. s. I left

In viā in boreān prīmus īvī.
(First I walked down the road, going north.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
in grammatical on
viā noun via abl. sg. (on the) road
boreān noun boreas acc. sg. north
prīmus adverb firstly
īvī verb p. fp. s. I went

Fluvius meus iter compescit.
(A river blocked my path.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
fluvius noun fluvius nom. sg. river
meus possessive meus fp. s. my
iter noun iter acc. sg. path
compescit verb compescō tp. sg. it blocked

Gateleiam dedī utī pontem trānsiī.
(I paid a toll to cross the bridge.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
gateleiam noun gateleia acc sg. toll
dedī verb p. fp. s. I paid
utī grammatical so that
pontem noun pōns acc. sg. bridge
trānsiī verb trānseō p. fp. s. I crossed

Ultrā fluvium, iter agrōs perdūctus sum.
(On the other side, a path led through some fields.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
ultrā preposition across
fluvium noun fluvius acc. sg. river
iter noun iter nom. sg. path
agrōs noun ager acc. pl. fields
perdūctus sum verb perdūctō p. fp. s. passive I was led

In merīdiem, sub lignum quiēvī.
(At noon, I rested under a tree.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
in grammatical during this time
merīdiem noun merīdiēs acc. sg. noon
sub preposition under
lignum noun lignum acc. sg. tree
quiēvī verb quiescō p. fp. s. I rested

Postmodo iter resūmpsī.
(A short while later I resumed my journey.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
postmodo grammatical (shortly) later
iter noun iter acc. sg. journey
resūmpsī verb resūmō p. fp. s. I resumed

Clīvum in ōram dēscendī.
(I descended a slope, going towards the coast.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
clīvum noun clīvus acc. sg. slope
in grammatical indicating direction
ōram noun ōra acc. sg. coast
dēscendī verb dēscendō p. fp. s. I descended

Meus dēstinātiō fuit mūnicipium parvum portūs.
(My destination was a small harbour town.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
meus possessive fp. s. my
dēstinātiō noun dēstinātiō nom. sg. destination
fuit copula sum tp. s. was
mūnicipium noun mūnicipium acc. sg. town
parvum adjective parvus m. s. small
portūs noun portus gen. sg. port

Fuit vesperum cum pervēnī, itaque in tabernam quiēvī.
(It was evening when I arrived, so I spent the night at an inn.)

Explanation
Word Class Root Inflection Meaning
fuit noun sum p. fp. s. was
vesperum noun vesper acc. sg. evening
cum grammatical when
pervēnī verb pervēnīō p. fp. s. arrived
itaque grammatical so
in grammatical in
tabernam noun taberna acc. sg. inn
quiēvī verb quiescō p. fp. s. I slept

I T ’ S D O N E

This is the first time I’ve actually wept whilst trying to find the right version of “was”. Well played, Latin.

Summary

Click on the gear

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I’ll post my version here. It took me well over an hour to look up what I needed to know. Sometimes I maybe didn’t quite understand the english nuances (or the latin ones). Bugcat’s postmodo iter resumpsi and clivum in oram descendi are both very good. Maybe there are errors in these two, but at first glance, they look very good.
The choice of imperfect and perfect depends on the habituality of the verbal action. The last sentence was kinda hard, as there are in english two main- and one subordinate clause. Greek, for example, has ways to make just one clause with a participle “arriving” and an adjective “a evening-y one”. I usually work more with greek grammar, so I never know exactly what is considered “good style” for latin.

I left town in the morning

Ante lucem ex oppido discessi.
before light-acc-sg-fem out town-abl.sg.ntr depart-1.sg.-Ind-act-perfect

First, I walked down the road, going north

Primum viam ad aquilonem pertinentem inibam.
at-first road-acc.sg.f. to North-acc.sg.m belong-ParticiplePresentActive.acc…sg.f. walk.down-1.sg.Ind.act.imperfect.

A river blocked my path

Flumine iter meum impedibatur
River-abl.-sg-n. path-nom.-sg.-n POSSESSIVE-1.person-sg.-nom.-sg.-n hinder-3.-sg.-Ind.-pass.-imperfect

I paid a toll to cross the bridge

portorium dedi pro pontem transgrediendum
toll-acc.-sg.-n give-1.-sg.-Ind.-act.-perfect for bridge-acc.-sg.-m cross-Gerundivum-acc.-sg.-m (I’m not really sure about my choice of word here)

On the other side, a path led through some fields

trans flumen per campos aliquos ibatur
beyond river-acc.-sg.-n through field-acc.-pl.-m some-acc.-pl.-m go-3.-sg.-Ind.-pass.-imperfect

At noon, I rested under a tree

meridiano sub arbore quievi
midday-abl.-sg.-n under tree-abl.-sg.-f rest.-1.-sg.-Ind.-act.-perfect

A short while later, I resumed my journey

paulo post iterum in viam me dedi
little-abl.sg.n after again in road-acc.-sg.-f REFLEXIVE-1.sg.-acc give-1.-sg.-Ind.-act.-Perfect

I descended a slope, going towards the coast

colle declivi degressi, ora maritima petens
Hill-abl.-sg.-f downward-slanting.-abl.-sg.-f. descend-1.-sg.-Ind.-act.-perfect coast-acc.-pl.-n marine-acc.-pl.-n seek-Participle.Present.active-nom.-sg.-m

My destination was a small harbor town

Oppidulum cum portu petebam.
Little.town-acc.sg.n with harbor-abl.sg.m have.as.destination-1.person.sg.Ind.act.imperfect

It was evening when I arrived, so I spent the night at an inn

advesperascebat cum oppidulum ingrederem, itaque in deversorio pernoctavi.
become.evening-3.sg.Ind.act.imperfect when come.in-1.sg.Subj.act.imperfect little.town-acc.sg.n, so in inn-abl.sg.n. spend.the.night-1.sg.ind.act.perfect.

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I’m gonna save looking at this for later :3

Russian is easy, very similar to Czech :slightly_smiling_face:

Japanese, with my original mistakes corrected:

I left town in the morning

朝に町を出た。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
あさ morning
particle indicates time of action
まち town
particle indicates point of departure
出る でる to leave past tense 出た

Grammar
を is often used to denote the direct object of the sentence. However, it has other functions as well, one of which is to denote the point of departure, which is what it does here (and has to, since 出る is an intransitive verb)

First I walked down the road, going north

My first try: 最初は北の方の道を歩いた。
Corrected: 最初は北の方へ向かう道を歩いた。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
最初 さいしょ First
particle marks the topic, pronounced as わ
きた north
particle indicates dependency between two terms
ほう direction
particle marks direction, without goal, pronounced as え
向かう むかう to be headed towards
みち road
particle indicates transition through a location
歩く あるく to walk

Grammar
は marks the topic of the sentence, which is “first”. The thing we’re talking about is what I did first. Note that this is an excellent example of how the topic need not be the subject of the sentence.

北の方 is the “direction of north”, and thus I thought I’d say 北の方の道, being “the road of the direction of north”. However, this turned out to be a bit weird. Instead we can use 向かう from yesterday’s sentence: the road is headed towards the north direction, in other words, 道が北の方へ向かう. Of course this is a full sentence, and we want to make 道 a term instead, so we can make a subordinate clause by putting 北の方へ向かう in front of 道, “the going-towards-north-direction road”.

を once again does not mark the direct object here, but instead marks an area or location that is being traversed, in this case the road.

A river blocked my path

My first try: 川が阻止した。
Corrected: 川で塞がれていた。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
かわ river
particle here denotes the subject
阻止 そし obstruction
する to do makes a verb out of 阻止, past tense: した
particle here denotes the location of the action
塞ぐ ふさぐ to obstruct passive 塞がれる + progressive: いた

Grammar
At first I thought it would be the river 川 that obstructs 阻止する, but although it’s close, it is unnatural to say it this way. Instead we can say that we are being obstructed at the river (川で). To be obstructed is the passive form of to obstruct, hence we have the -られる passive inclension of the verb, which gives 塞がれる. This in turn was a continuing thing that happened, so we make the -て form of that to get 塞がれて and add いる. Now the whole thing happened in the past, so it finally becomes 塞がれていた.

I paid a toll to cross the bridge

橋を渡るために通行料金を払った。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
はし bridge
particle indicates transition through an area
渡る わたる to cross, to go across
ために in order to
通行料金 つうこうりょうきん (road) toll 通行 is passage, 料金 is fee
particle marks the direct object
払う はらう to pay past tense 払った

Grammar
橋を渡る is a subordinate clause that clarifies which ため (purpose) is meant: the purpose of crossing a bridge.

On the other side, a path led through some fields

My first try: 向こうで小道が野原を通じた。
Corrected: 向こうで野原へ続く小道があった。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
向こう むこう opposite side
particle denotes the location where the action takes place
小道 こみち small road, path
野原 のはら field
通じる つうじる to flow, to pass through past tense 通じた
particle denotes the direction the action is towards
続く つづく to lead towards
particle denotes object of existence with the verb ある
ある to be, to exist past tense あった

Grammar
The verb 通じる was wrong, it is used for water flowing through something, but not for roads leading through fields. Instead it should be done with another subordinate clause: 野原へ続く means to lead towards fields (but not with the fields being the goal, just the direction) and clarifies the word 小道, path. So 野原へ続く小道 is the path that leads through the fields.

At noon, I rested under a tree

昼は木の下で休んだ。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
ひる noon, midday
particle marks te topic
tree
particle indicates dependency between terms
した under, down
particle denotes the location the action takes place
休む やすむ to rest past tense 休んだ

Grammar
The topic of the sentence is what I was doing at noon, thus 昼 has a topic marker. It could also have に as a particle to denote at which time something took place, and it can even have both: 昼には木の下で休んだ。

木の下 is the underside of a tree. I just found out it is an archaism, according to jisho.org, and that it should be 樹下 (じゅか) instead.

休 is interesting as a kanji: it consists of a person and a tree, with the historical glyphs depicting a person leaning against a tree. Very topical.

A short while later I resumed my journey

My first try: 少しの間の後に旅を続けた。
Corrected: 少し後にまた旅を続けた。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
少し すこし a little
particle indicates dependency between terms
あいだ interval (of space or time)
あと after
particle denotes at which time the action took place
たび journey
particle marks the direct object
続ける つづける to continue (something) past tense 続けた
また again

Grammar

I first thought I had to translate “while” as 間 as well, and say something like 少しの間の後 “after a small interval of time”, but it turns out simply stating 少し後 “a little afterwards” is correct.

Since the context is not just continuing the journey, but resuming it after a break, this should be clarified by adding the word また.

I descended a slope, going towards the coast

My first try: 海岸の方に坂を下った。
Corrected: 海岸の方へ坂を下った。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
海岸 かいがん coast
particle indicates dependency between terms
ほう direction
particle denotes the direction of the action, specifically the purposeful goal
さか hill, slope
particle indicates transition through a location
下る くだる to descend past tense 下った

Grammar
It should be へ instead of に, since the coast is not the goal of the journey: we go towards the coast, but not to the coast with the coast as a goal.

Once again を is used to mark the traversal of an area. 下る is intransitive, and means “to go down”. The thing that is traversed is the slope.

My destination was a small harbour town

My first try: 終点は小さい港の街だった。
Corrected: 目的地は小さい港の街だった。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
終点 しゅうてん destination
particle marks the topic of the sentence
小さい ちいさい small い-adjective
みなと harbour
particle indicates dependency between terms
まち town
“to be” (declarative) technically not completely a verb, but close enough to have a past tense だった
目的地 もくてきち destination

Grammar
終点 was the wrong word, it should have been 目的地 instead.

The kanji 街 and 町 both mean town. 町 is used more in the administrative sense of the word, while 街 is more the ‘emotional’ sense. An idyllic town would be a 街 while your hometown would be a 町. Both are used a lot in placenames as well.

It was evening when I arrived, so I spent the night at an inn

My first try: 夕方に着いて旅館で泊まった。
Corrected: 夕方に着いて旅館に泊まった。

Vocab

Word Reading Meaning Grammar
夕方 ゆうがた evening
に (first time) particle denotes at which time the action took place
着く つく to arrive -て form 着いて
旅館 りょかん ryokan, Japanese inn
に (second time) particle denotes at which location the action took place
particle denotes at which location the action took place
泊まる とまる to stay past tense 泊まった

Grammar
The -て form of 着く breaks the sentence up into two parts. Usually a sentence “sentence1 + verb1-て + sentence2 + verb2” has the meaning “sentence1, and then sentence2”. In this case “I arrived at the evening, and then stayed at an inn”.

Staying at an inn should take the particle で instead of に. I’m not really sure why exactly…

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Preposition practice, anyone?

  • The cat is in the box.
  • The cat is on top of the box.
  • The cat is underneath the box.
  • The cat is in front of the box.
  • The cat is behind the box
  • The cat is next to the box

I Fēlēs est in cistam.
II Fēlēs est in cistam.
III Fēlēs est sub cistam.
IV Fēlēs est ante cistam.
V Fēlēs est post cistam.
VI Fēlēs est juxta cistam.

image

FIFY :slight_smile:

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Vocab Mini-Workout: the Sea
(aka. indulging the Japanese)

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In japan they’re all just called food.

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I squālus, -ī (m.)
II batia (?), -ae (f.)
III anguīlla, -ae (f.)
IV cancer, -rī (m.)
V cammarus, -ī (m.)

VI delphīnus, -ī (m.)
VII cētus, -ī (m.)
VIII pulmō marīnus, pulmōnēs marīnī (m.)
IX sardīna, -ae (f.)

What I think I’ve learnt from comparing our translations (apart from that I messed up loads of cases):

discedo is the root for leave rather than the much more ambiguous cedo.
When describing leaving a place, I need ex.

When describing travelling along a road, I need ad rather than in, and I don’t need eo.
When using primus I need ineo.

impedio is more nuanced to blocking and compesco to confining.

When describing paying a toll, I should use pro as though a service was being bought.

I don’t understand your construction aliquos ibatur.

arbor instead of lignum. Basic.

oppidulum, the diminutive, is more natural than using parva.
Using peto (I make for) is more natural than using the noun destinatio.

Using advesperascit (evening approaches) is more natural than using the noun vesper.
deversorius has more of a connotation of a place you would stay as opposed to taberna?
pernocto (I spend the night) is more expressive than quiesco (I rest, sleep)

I get the feeling that natural Latin relies more heavily on verbs than English.

Here’s a game: can you find any English word that starts with V that doesn’t originate in Latin? I can’t think of any.

vacca => vaccine
varix => varicose
velum => velum
vendere => vend
vilis => vile
vilaticus => village
vindemia => vintage
vinea => vine
virginem => virgin
vorax => voracious

Ah, found it! vole from Norse vǫllr is the exception!

My sister found me a second exception, van from Persian kârvân.

discedo is the root for leave rather than the much more ambiguous cedo .
When describing leaving a place, I need ex .

discedo a / de / e loco aliquo means “go away from some place”. excedo or egredior (e) lovo aliquo “to leave a place” is maybe better. decedere would imply leaving the place forever. Look up the proper section in the Phrasebook I linked. In connex with leaving places, you aaaaalways use de, a/ab or e/ex with ablative. Ablative is the case of origin and separation, (sometimes location) remember that.

When describing travelling along a road, I need ad rather than in , and I don’t need eo .
When using primus I need ineo .

The most usual way to say ‘I travel’ is iter facio. I feel like the english ‘to travel along a road’ has a degree of metaphorical concreteness that’s kinda un-latin. ad is the preposition for destinations. There’s no connection between primum and ineo. Primum means ‘at first’, viam ineo is “to take on a road”. in se dare works for “to set out on a journey”.

Edit: as one can see by the -an, borean is a greek word and should be reserved for poetry.

I don’t understand your construction aliquos ibatur .

per campos aliquos ibatur is ‘one goes through some fields’. ibatur is a passive form ‘it got went’. When the english said ‘the path goes’ I was a bit uncomfortable, because, as a general rule Latin does not like abstract nouns to be a clause’s subject. Maybe it’s still good style if a ‘path’ does something like go around through fields. For the same reason I iuxtaposed ‘a river blocked my path’ with ‘my path was blocked by a river’, which is probably wrong. A river is less abstract than a path, so it may be the better choice for the subject. But these are nuances.

arbor instead of lignum . Basic.

Lignum is kinda alright, too. Sometimes, lignum can also be a gallow or cross, so the thought of resting under a ‘wood’ beside a roman road is a bit gruesome. Think of Spartacus.

Using advesperascit ( evening approaches ) is more natural than using the noun vesper .
deversorius has more of a connotation of a place you would stay as opposed to taberna ?
pernocto ( I spend the night ) is more expressive than quiesco ( I rest, sleep )

A deversorium is the kind of inn you would find along the roads, specialised in accomodating travellers, messengers, tradesmen and the like.

I get the feeling that natural Latin relies more heavily on verbs than English.

Yes, verbs all the way.

in is used with the ablative if it means location and accusativ if motion. Feles in cistam est is wrong, in cistâ est is correct. The cat goes into a box is feles in cistam it. Same with sub. Nevermind the position of the verb. It’s really no matter. Strangely enough, ante and iuxta always have accusative, even for location.

Edit: even more edits.

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And can you think of a modern english word not derived from greek, where y is a vowel?

Edit: I’ll also give you an excersise from the textbook I instruct my pupils with, because your CNG-congruence is really off-world. Copy this text into your notebook and mark with colour which words belong together by congruence of case, number and gender:

  1. Apud Cinnam magnus clamor est. 2. Gripus enim clamat: “Ego mercator honestus sum. Et quid servi sunt? Nihil! 3. Per Romam currunt, nihil agunt dominos suos non audiunt. 4. Cuncti servi homines mali sunt.” 5. Sed unus ex hospitibus claris Gripum reprehendit: 6. " Quantus clamor est hic! Tace! Tu homo es, non deus. Tu ceteris hospitibus clamore tuo iam satis molestus fuisti!"
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Grrr! I forgot about the ablative of location! (in the cat translations)

Also, sylvan. Easy :stuck_out_tongue: