Friday, January 5, 2007

Fractured Phrases and Red Faces

Lost fandom sometimes leads us to strange, strange places. Here’s a little exchange from the Couch about... Latin, of all things. And of course, it starts with Shoegirl, who can’t seem to shake that pesky need to seem smarter than everybody else by spouting random Latin phrases.

"Some of ya'll know I love most things Latin. SPQR!!
Here is a beautiful latin saying that embodies Jate as well as Jaters.
In fide ambulabimus, in fide inter nos amabimus, in fide semper vivemus --
English translation: In faith we walk, in faith we love, and in faith we will live forever more.

I believe!


Then Majandra responded with:
"Who does these translations for you? My 8 years of Latin back in school might be tricking me but I don't think this translation is entirely correct. AFAIR "bi" is the ending for future tense, so it should be "we will walk" and "we will love" whereas "vivemus" doesn't look future tense to me... but it's a different conjugation and my last Latin lesson is 12 years ago...

But don't worry about it. I've read a lot of bad Latin translation lately."

Shoegirl chose to sidestep the pesky questions about verb tense and replied with:
"Scratches head at this post....
Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.
LOL. I like all things Latin, but like you, it has been a while since I was in Latin class and participating in translation competition.
It was afterall, the thought that counts, not the proper verb tense....

I Believe. Fide et Amore


So some people in togas are plotting against her, and her Latin grammar is a little rusty. Alrighty.

And then Dezdemona popped up on the Fishelage to tell us that the quote was actually someone's personalized wedding vows:

We couldn’t help but laugh at that. Naughty Shoegirl, borrowing people’s wedding vows without so much as an acknowledgement, much less a thank you. We thought that would be the end of it but once again, Jaters are the gift that keeps on giving.

It turns out Majandra lurks at the Fishelage. There’s no other way to account for this post:
"Of course it's the thought that counts! It's just the teacher in me that likes things to be correct. And I do feel sorry for the poor girl and her wedding vow. If her fiance is really the Latin geek as she said, he was probably cringing through the whole thing. LOL! ("Mi Amor" is definitely NOT Latin! LOL!)

Okay... back to Jate? Who needs Latin when we have Jate, right?"

We’re perplexed at why Majandra didn’t just send Shoegirl a friendly PM to let her know she’d been outed for plagiarizing the initial quote, perhaps adding a suggestion that she include a citation of source with the quote. Instead, she chose to muddle things up by mentioning a “wedding vow” not even previously referred to on the Couch. And to our further amusement, despite her self-acknowledged poor memory of Latin grammar, she ended her post with a flouncing “neener-neener, that translator’s stoopid anyway”.

Jaters just can’t help themselves, can they? Here’s a helpful hint to Majandra, “Mi” in “Mi amor” is the vocative case of meus. In other words, the quote is correct and you look silly. And as for the verb tense, the translator must be a romantic. She took the liberty of putting the two first phrases of the vow into the future tense so as to be symmetrical with the last part. It's more poetic that way. And while we're at it, Shoegirl's "Fide et amore" is incorrect. I think she's trying for "Faith and love", which would be "Fides et amor". But hey, thanks for giving us a bunch of chuckles over Latin, of all things.
Sane, paululum linguae latinae dico. Id legi modo hic modo illic. vero, latine loqui non est difficilissimum. Lingua speciem involutam praebet, sed sat cito eam comprehendes. Atque memento, nulli adsunt Romanorum qui locutionem tuam corrigant.

Translation: Sure, I speak a little Latin. I picked it up here and there. Really, Latin isn't all that hard. It looks like a tricky language, but you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly. And remember, there aren't any Romans around to correct your pronunciation.

You don't need to know a lot of Latin to have fun with it. Here's a list of phrases you might find handy when you want to impress some of your shallower friends, but remember not to overdo it. You wouldn't want to look pretentious, would you?

Die dulci fruimini.
- Have a nice day.

Braccae tuae aperiuntur.
- Your fly is open.

Cave canem.
- Beware of dog.

Perscriptio in manibus tabellariorum est.
- The check is in the mail.

Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum. .
- Garbage in, garbage out.

Non erravi perniciose! .
- I did not commit a fatal error!

Sona si latine loqueris.
- Honk if you speak Latin.

Cur non isti mictum ex occasione?
- Why didn't you go when you had the chance?

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.
- Thank you for not smoking.

Quomodo cogis comas tuas sic videri?
- How do you get your hair to do that?

Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
- Would I lie to you?

Canis meus id comedit.
- My dog ate it.

Age. Fac ut gaudeam.
- Go ahead. Make my day.

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
- How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Observa quo vadis, cinaede!
- Watch where you're going, you jerk!

Apudne te vel me?
- Your place or mine?

Nullo modo.
- No way.

Ita erat quando hic adveni.
- It was that way when I got here.

Nonne macescis?
- Have you lost weight?

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.
- I can't hear you. I have a banana in my ear.

Non erravi perniciose!
- I brake for animals!

Lege atque lacrima.
- Read ‘em and weep.

Nihil declaro.
- I have nothing to declare.

Id quot circumiret, circumveniat.
- What goes around, comes around.

In dentibus anticis frustum magnum spiniciae habes.
- You have a big piece of spinach in your front teeth.

Balaenae nobis conservandae sunt.
- Save the whales.

Te capiam, cunicule sceleste!
- I'll get you, you wascally wabbit!

Noli inferre se in agmen!
- No cutting in!

Hodie adsit, cras absit.
- Here today, gone tomorrow.

Diabolus fecit, ut id facerem!
- The devil made me do it!

Pistrix! Pistrix!
- Shark! Shark!

Uno viso, omnia visa sunt.
- Seen one, seem ‘em all.

Si fallatis officium, quaestor infitias eat se quicquam scire de factis vestris.
- If you fail, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your activities.

Caveat depascor.
- Browser beware!

Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.
- It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

Cum homine de cane debeo congredi.
- I've got to see a man about a dog.

Me transmitte sursum, Caledoni!
- Beam me up, Scotty!

Labra lege ...
- Read my lips ...

Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est.
- The designated hitter rule has got to go.

Neutiquam erro.
- I am not lost.

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.
- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Quidquid excusatio prandium pro.
- Any excuse for lunch.

Jate? Fors fortis!
- Jate? Fat chance!

Re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert.
- Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant!
- May barbarians invade your personal space!

Quantum in ura hora imputas?
- You charge how much an hour?

Volo comparare nonnulla tegumembra.
- I'd like to buy some condoms.

Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere.
- I think that Elvis is still alive.

Note: Most of the above quotes are from “Latin for All Occasions”, by Henry Beard, with a few from assorted websites and one original thrown in for good measure.

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