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Translation into Latin?

Discussion in 'Research' started by Ireth, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I want to create a creed for the MC's family in my main WIP, to serve as a representation of the primary theme of teamwork working better than self-reliance. I want to translate the phrase "Where I fail, we triumph" into Latin, and I'm not sure I trust Google's answer, "ubi non nos vincere". Can someone give me a better translation? I do want to keep the root vinc- in the translation, to parallel the name of the MC's father, Vincent.
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    You are right to be skeptical. There is no verb in there for "fail" and "conquer" is in the infinitive. But I'm not sure "where" is going to be the right adverb here. What's meant is "in the cases in which I fail" or the circumstances when I fail. Where carries a strong sense of place in Latin, so "ubi" is just not quite right even though it's a correct translation of "where". Perhaps "when I fail, we triumph"? Or, "if I fail, we triumph"? Or "despite my failure, we triumph"? That last one's pretty clumsy but at least it communicates the contrary condition.

    Anyway, "vincimus" (accent on first syllable) is your conquer verb. Now, Quora gives this translation with a nice disccussion:
    delinquo ergo supero
    which is "I fail therefore I conquer"
    https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-say-I-fail-therefore-I-succeed-in-latin
    So you can easily make that
    delinquo ergo vincimus

    But Latin is a subtle language. Take a look at the comments in the above link for a sense of the (rather bewildering) choices.

    Semper ubi sub ubi!
     
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  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Thanks, Skip! I agree that "when" would work much better than "where". Google gives me "cum defeceritis, ut vinceret" for a translation of "when I fail, we conquer". How much better is that?
     
  4. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Ick. Defecare is a perfectly good verb, meaning somewhere in the neighborhood of "to fall short of" something. Deficit comes to us by way of that verb. But failure seems to need something stronger. My Latin's awfully rusty, though. Hoping someone else chimes in.

    But geez, can't these services conjugate? Defeceritis is second person, not first, and vinceret is third person, not second. So it's something like If you had failed, then he succeeded. Doesn't even make sense. Coupled with the cum...ut construction, it's more like When you had failed, therefore he succeeded. Makes even less sense.

    The people called Romanes they go the house.
    (I saw that movie in the theater while I was taking Latin; laughed until I cried)
     
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  5. Scribe Lord

    Scribe Lord Minstrel

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    I have long since given up hope that this joke will ever die... :)

    I suppose the reason Google Translate will always remain a language teacher's worst nightmare is because it can't think in the language like a human can. All it can do is try to individually toss in one word for another.

    Anyways, it has been a while since I touched Latin, but wouldn't something like this work better:

    'Alone I fail, together we conquer!'
    Er...
    'Solus delinquo, una vincimus!'
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  6. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    *whoosh*

    That is the sound of the joke going over my head. ^^;

    Sounds good to me, except for the "una". I think "coniunctum" (or whatever is the right form) might be better.
     
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Semper ubi sub ubi
    Semper = always
    ubi = where
    sub = under
    thus, always where under where (always wear underwear)

    These are the sort of weak Latin jokes swapped among students. A common one is carpe diem = fish of the day. There are numerous variations of this. Another is cogito ergo spud = I think therefore I yam

    My own favorite is Fiat lux = turn your headlights on!
    One has to know, of course, that Fiat is a brand of Italian car. This joke was more obscure thirty years ago.

    I had better stop now.
     
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