"James, my dictionary please"

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"James, my dictionary please"

Postby Marcus Pomponius Lupus on Thu May 20, 2004 10:50 pm

Salvete,

Miratus sum quantum hominum Societatis Viae Romanae linguam Ciceronis comprehenderent et quantum quoque se exprimere ista lingua poterent, dunque hoc modo quaero. Spero me non solum futurum esse, quia sic haec collocutio brevissima erit. Ne veritus sis ne Inquisitor Latinus te caperet ! Ille contentus erit, quando videbit te lingua Latina respondisse, et tibi multa dona dabit !

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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Sat May 22, 2004 5:10 am

Non possum. Sorry. Not since about twenty years ago. Maybe after I retire....

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat May 22, 2004 11:52 pm

Hehe, te comprehendo mi Lupe, sine vocabulario :P. Sed Latinum scribere mihi difficilis est. Scio non decorum esse Inquistioni Latino non Latinum scribere posse, sed conaror. Spero scribere sine erroribus :P... Anno futuro, non iam rector collegii Latini ero :).

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Postby Q. C. Locatus Barbatus on Mon May 24, 2004 6:45 pm

Woow! I'm introduced to a whole new sensation! I'm actually understanding what is written here!

Even during my six years of Latin on secondary school I didn't understand a damn' thing about what was going on....

But I suppose it will have something to do with the writers of these sentences...
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Postby Marcus Pomponius Lupus on Mon May 24, 2004 9:14 pm

Salve Locate,

It makes sense that at least all Belgae who had some Latin in secondary school, and possibly many other non-Belgae as well, can understand what I wrote. Those are basically Dutch sentences, translated into Latin (though mostly with the verb at the last place of a sentence, which is "un-dutch-like").

I would love to know how Caesar, Cicero and Tacitus would have expressed these same thoughts in Latin. I have to formulate every thought in Dutch before I can begin to translate it (except for some very simple sentences of course), but they could just write whatever comes to their mind without worrying about grammatical mistakes too much.

And Draco, a good effort, especially considering it's been a while since you last had any Latin. Three mistakes though, inquisitio is a female word, so Latino has to be Latinae. Conari was the right verb to use, but it should be conor instead of conaror and lastly, but it would have really surprised me if you knew this, "spero scribere sine erroribus" should be "spero me scribere sine erroribus", the subject (me) has to be expressed in that type of sentence.

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Postby Q. C. Locatus Barbatus on Mon May 24, 2004 9:19 pm

That shows us how important a language is in our way of reasoning. But that's more a topic for the col phi...
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Postby Marcus Pomponius Lupus on Sun May 30, 2004 6:44 pm

Salve Locate,

scripsisti:

That shows us how important a language is in our way of reasoning. But that's more a topic for the col phi...


Yes, interesting point, I remember this from a course from last year as well, Humbolt (I think) said something to this effect "if you want to experience another culture, then learn another language". I'm not sure about this, maybe because the only other languages I know come from cultures close to my own, and I'm still far from fluent in those languages of course. :wink:

An example I remember was that Eskimo's had several different words for "snow", a lot more than, for example, we have in Dutch. This variety shows a difference in how they look at the world. Another (funny) example was that the langauge of a certain tribe from Brasil I think had different word groups, based on the connotation of words. One of those word groups contained all words related to "danger", the names of poisonous fish were in that group, ....along with the word for "woman" :D

But still, I'm not quite sold on this theory, my thinking doesn't change when I have to write English, French or other languages, but perhaps that's because I'm not fluent enough or because there isn't a real difference in culture.

Perhaps Mencius can relate more to this, you're studying languages from wholly different cultures and you had those courses from professor Willems as well, I was there with you last year ! :wink:

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sun May 30, 2004 7:01 pm

Marcus Pomponius Lupus wrote:And Draco, a good effort, especially considering it's been a while since you last had any Latin. Three mistakes though, inquisitio is a female word, so Latino has to be Latinae. Conari was the right verb to use, but it should be conor instead of conaror and lastly, but it would have really surprised me if you knew this, "spero scribere sine erroribus" should be "spero me scribere sine erroribus", the subject (me) has to be expressed in that type of sentence.


Well, I had to squeeze out the sentences, lol. However, I must say that my active knowledge of Latin has always been better than Greek. I'm not sure why. It seems like the Latin grammar forever got stamped into my brain (albeit not flawless)... I owe that to Tante Turbo, heh. Still, thanks for the corrections.

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sun May 30, 2004 7:07 pm

Salve Lupe,

Marcus Pomponius Lupus wrote:But still, I'm not quite sold on this theory, my thinking doesn't change when I have to write English, French or other languages, but perhaps that's because I'm not fluent enough or because there isn't a real difference in culture.


Neither am I, actually. I do not think that structurally radically different languages give their native speakers an equally radically different outlook on life. In fact, many philosophies across the globe testify, in my eyes, that there are more resemblances than differences. If we consider that the three dominant monotheist religions of the world are spread across so many different countries and languages, the difference, if there is one, can't be that great.

Linguistic proximity can be a valid argument, but it's immediately rendered impotent if we look at the fact that both Finland, Estonia and Hungary (with languages that are from the Uralic group) belong to the European cultural and political space without notably more problems than the other cultures and countries.

Optime vale,
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Postby Curio Agelastus on Mon May 31, 2004 4:10 am

Salve Draco,

I understand why you say that Finnish and Hungarian (Magyar) are Uralic, but what is the Uralic origin of Estonian?

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Mon May 31, 2004 11:30 am

Salve Curio!

As I remember from my Finnish course (yes, I've taken Finnish this year!), Uralic languages split into two main branches. In the thickest branch, there is the subbranch of the Finnic languages and to these belong Sami, Finnish (Suomea) and Estonian. These three are much more closely linked than they are to Hungarian. There are also linguists who claim the Uralic and Altaic languages (such as Turkish) are related. This may be but I know too little about Altaic languages to make claims about this. The only thing I know is that both Turkish and Finnish have vocal harmony (meaning that front and back vowels can never occur in the same word - unless it is a composition).

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