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Monday, December 09, 2013

The Scholar's Edition

RG kicks it SERIOUS old school style:
Habitabilis facta et condita anno MMDCCCX, Ryshalan mundus insignis in regione Kantillona prope extremos fines Dominationis Terranei Maioris celeriter fiebat. Propter locum pollentiorem ipsa saepissime oppugnata victaque erat dum, anno MMCMXXXV, facta sit mundus liber a Pronavarcho Classis Beze Davenant, imperatore Classis XXIo Imperii, qui erat primus Dux Ryshalanis. Post Seditionem Machinarum Divinarum anno MMCMXCIX et natum Unitatis, Ryshalan primum destinatum victorum administratorum et nationalum et mundanorum fiebat. Quartus Dux, arbitrans haec crebra proelia infinitum numerum exsulum opulentorum creatura, primus morem Asyli praebendi instituit.

- “Annales Ducum Ryshalanis” scripti a Thucidean Marcel
QUANTUM MORTIS: The Scholar's Edition. It's certain to be a classic in the mode of De Bello Gallico.

We already ran into one major translation issue. The primary Latin endearment used in the sense that we English-speakers use "baby" is cara. If you've read the book, then you can probably see the problem there. But, as it happens, RG managed to resolve the issue in an exquisitely appropriate manner worthy of William Weaver himself.

This is a very high tone blog, you see. Don't forget to keep your pinky out while you're reading.

In not-entirely-unrelated news, the QM hardcovers are at the printers and should be shipping this week to the preorders. Thanks very much for your support!

Labels:

55 Comments:

Anonymous Josh December 09, 2013 3:33 PM  

Hot damn.

That is sexy.

Blogger Bernard Brandt December 09, 2013 3:40 PM  

I-ay eak-spay atin-lay oo-tay. Of-ay ay-ay ort-say.

Anonymous Steve Rzasa December 09, 2013 3:53 PM  

I, for one, am hoping beyond hope for a Polish edition.

Anonymous YIH December 09, 2013 3:54 PM  

Thought I'd pass along a few highlights from yesterday's blizzard bowls.
Also someone mentioned that they ducked out of the Deadskins game during halftime, and about 60,000 others did as well.

Blogger JCclimber December 09, 2013 3:54 PM  

Vox, was Cara's name deliberate? A mirror to Baby? It's not like you can plead ignorance of Latin, although perhaps Steve could make the case...

Anonymous Krul December 09, 2013 4:04 PM  

Estne liber tuus bonus? Volo liber tuus, sed numerus pecuniorum meum parvus est.

Anonymous Salt December 09, 2013 4:06 PM  

The Pope would probably get a kick out of it.

Anonymous VD December 09, 2013 4:11 PM  

Volo liber tuus, sed numerus pecuniorum meum parvus est.

I don't think I could price my ebooks much cheaper than I do. And, as it happens, I give away three of them regularly.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 09, 2013 4:14 PM  

only native speakers need apply, eh?

Anonymous Krul December 09, 2013 4:16 PM  

Paenitet, quaesitum meum non gravis est, sed modo usu Latine.

Anonymous VD December 09, 2013 4:18 PM  

only native speakers need apply, eh?

RG stands for Regulus Gracchus.

Blogger Bernard Brandt December 09, 2013 4:21 PM  

Krul

Estne liber tuus bonus? Volo liber tuus, sed numerus pecuniorum meum parvus est

Vere, carissime Krul, liber Vocis Dei bonus est. Et pecuniae necessa est emere librum eium vilum.

Anonymous Krul December 09, 2013 4:34 PM  

Me laeta, Bernard Brandt, quia pretium parvum est. Emo liber latina.

Anonymous Eliska December 09, 2013 5:26 PM  

Cogito, quaeres dicere "De Bello Gallico".

Anonymous joe doakes December 09, 2013 5:27 PM  

Weirdly, I read "shipping this week to the preorders" as "shipping this week to the predators" and it still made sense. I guess I have a twisted opinion of The Dread Ilk.

Anonymous Shagrat's Friend December 09, 2013 5:29 PM  

Whoa, people, enough with the bad Latin! Just because you took a few years of Latin back in high school and have some vague recollection of it does not mean that you actually write competent Latin.

And if anybody wants to say, "Hey, Shag, where do you get off criticizing anybody's Latinity?" allow me to indulge in a bit of what I think is derided in these parts as "credentialism." To wit, your old friend Shag has a doctorate in Classical Philology, which I also think is derided in these parts as a "worthless" field of study. I suppose it may be "worthless" in some people's estimation, but not when it comes to writing Latin or evaluation other people's compositions.

So, Dreadful Ilksters, I regret to have to inform you that it's "pinkies at ease" time, since that Latin translation is pretty bad, and most certainly not worthy of being put in the same sentence as Caesar's *Bellum Gallicum*. There are a fair number of grammatical errors in it, and regardless of that, it doesn't sound like Latin at all. It's just English turned mechanically into Latin words without any regard for Latin idiom or sentence structure. Considering that we recently got a post on how a translation should be true to the target language and not stick mechanically to the original, it's a bit much to have that feeble effort touted as being comparable to the work of one of the best Latin stylists ever.

Since Blogger comments get balky if you put in too many characters, I'll append the translation back into English of the Latin in the next post.

Anonymous Shagrat's Friend December 09, 2013 5:31 PM  

Here's the Latin converted back into English. I have no idea what the original was, but I expected it didn't sound a lot different from this.

Made habitable and founded in the year 2810, the world of Ryshalan swiftly became renowned in the Kantillon region near the furthest border of the Dominion of Terran Major. Because of its choice location, it had been frequently attacked and conquered until, in the year 2935, the world was made free by Vice Admiral Beze Davenant, Commander of the 21st Fleet of the Empire, who was the first Duke of Ryshalan. After the Revolt of the Divine Machines in the year 2999 and the birth of Unity, Ryshalan became the first candidate of the victorious national and world administrators [no idea what this is supposed to mean]. The Fourth Duke, judging that these frequent battles would create a countless number of wealthy exiles, was the first to institute the custom of granting asylum.

Anonymous Shagrat's Friend December 09, 2013 5:33 PM  

VD: Post the English and if I have time, I'll turn it into something that might actually pass as Latin. You can even specify if you want Caesar, Tacitus or Pliny the Younger. But I make no promises. I'm rather busy right now, but it might be amusing if I can spare the time to make acceptable Latin out of this.

Anonymous Krul December 09, 2013 5:38 PM  

Somehow I doubt VD is going to post his entire book on this blog, Shag.

Et Latin meum bonus est.

Anonymous Marellus December 09, 2013 5:45 PM  

Vox,

O/T, but I think you might like this article.

Blogger JDC December 09, 2013 5:56 PM  

I give away three of them regularly.

And some claim you're not Trinitarian.

Anonymous scoobius dubious December 09, 2013 6:04 PM  

"Latin meum bonus est."

Res ipsa somethingorother.

Anonymous VD December 09, 2013 6:37 PM  

And if anybody wants to say, "Hey, Shag, where do you get off criticizing anybody's Latinity?" allow me to indulge in a bit of what I think is derided in these parts as "credentialism." To wit, your old friend Shag has a doctorate in Classical Philology, which I also think is derided in these parts as a "worthless" field of study. I suppose it may be "worthless" in some people's estimation, but not when it comes to writing Latin or evaluation other people's compositions.

Of course, it's written by a Latin teacher.... You know, those degrees you buy through the mail are just pieces of paper, Shag. They don't magically turn you into a real doctor.

Anonymous The CronoLink December 09, 2013 6:40 PM  

"In not-entirely-unrelated news, the QM hardcovers are at the printers and should be shipping this week to the preorders."

WHAT?! I thought they would be already out by Dec2! Come on, man, my fingers crave that smooth-rough sensation.

Anonymous automatthew December 09, 2013 7:04 PM  

"Of course, it's written by a Latin teacher."

My high school Latin teacher was a woman. In two years, she managed to get us through about one semester's worth of the language. Those were the only two years she taught, to my knowledge.

Anonymous Daniel December 09, 2013 7:23 PM  

Shagrat needs to get a new friend.

OpenID TiClauGermanicus December 09, 2013 7:39 PM  

I wouldn't have thought that a translator's adherence to the source material would be held against him.

Mandelbaum's translation of Dante must horrify you, given how close it is to the Italian.

Anonymous Everybody Is A Critic December 09, 2013 8:10 PM  

This guy rates Mandelbaum #3 below #1 Longfellow.

I liked Sayers because that is the one I studied plus the notes were awesomoso.

Blogger μεθ' ημῶν ο θεος December 09, 2013 8:17 PM  

Most Latin teachers do not know how to actually use Latin. Philologists especially who spend their time mostly writing obscure papers about the gender dynamics and rape culture of Ovid's Metamorphoses and Catullus 16.

But as regards the translation: Macte!

Anonymous bob k. mando December 09, 2013 8:23 PM  

too funny not to share:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ba42Z0lCMAAfkzM.jpg:large

Blogger tz December 09, 2013 8:58 PM  

It should be popular at the Vatican. SciFi encyclicals.

Anonymous automatthew December 09, 2013 8:58 PM  

Neither Latin teachers in general nor philologists in general would I trust for an elegant translation. Ideally, you'd have a pool of Latin writers and Latin readers, and you'd pick a Latin writer who was approved by the Latin readers.

But who reads Latin extensively these days, for edification, let alone pleasure?

Thus Vox must pick a translator he trusts for reasons other than peer review.

Anonymous automatthew December 09, 2013 8:59 PM  

Also, isn't "Shagrat's friend" a euphemism for Snaga, "slave"?

Blogger tz December 09, 2013 9:00 PM  

"Tela Charlotte" is the only other work I know of.that was so translated. Lively prose in a dead language.

Anonymous DC red dogs December 09, 2013 9:59 PM  

seems like a good translation to me, no doubt that it is closer to Tacitus than Caesar or Pliny (the last sentence is an obviously close echo of the first sentence (Habuerunt reges ...) of Tacitus's most famous work). There were no grammatical errors that I could detect, just one or two phrases that I would expect to have the nouns reversed in order (in the first sentence and the second sentence) and I think most Latin writers would have gone for a "grnd." phrase like "ad bellum gerandum venimus" or "ad medelam percipiendam" (we came to wage war (from the Aenieid)and (for the partaking of [thine] healing power) (from the Gelasian sacramentary and the Tridentine liturgy, I think) in the second to last sentence, rather than the apposition structure chosen by this translator, who, in any event, did a better job than I would have and did not calque on the anglisce hardly at all, I think. Just my opinion - but keep in mind there are only a couple dozen people in each generation who really understand Latin, and I am not one of them ....

Anonymous pdxjazzman December 10, 2013 12:49 AM  

I keep coming back - perhaps out of morbid curiosity, but this really is quite an eclectic bunch of blogsters. Sci[Latin]Fi: how freakin' cool is that!

Anonymous VD December 10, 2013 2:59 AM  

There were no grammatical errors that I could detect

You don't mean that Shaggy was BS'ing and attempting to skate by on his "credentials", do you? I am so entirely surprised!

Anonymous The CronoLink December 10, 2013 4:24 AM  

Also, roman numerals? What, is Latin too good for arabic numerals?

Anonymous memmaker December 10, 2013 10:41 AM  

Looking forward to receiving my printed copy. I downloaded the ebook, but I prefer the low-power alternative.

Anonymous Stilicho December 10, 2013 11:20 AM  

PC is an attack on freedom of conscience and a rather obvious and pathetic one at that. Those who fall for it are those without a conscience. They would happily sacrifice you for badthink.

Anonymous dc red dog December 10, 2013 11:36 AM  

in my previous comment, ad bellum gerandum venimus should have been ad bellum gerendum venimus (Caesar) or ad bellandum venimus (Vergilius). My mistake, I was working from memory...

Anonymous Shagrat's Friend December 10, 2013 11:40 PM  

Duh, I don't see no grammatical errors here

Dunning and Kruger, these are my friends the Ilk. Ilk, meet Dunning and Kruger. I think you boys have a lot to talk about!

Of course, it's written by a Latin teacher.... You know, those degrees you buy through the mail are just pieces of paper, Shag. They don't magically turn you into a real doctor.

Now, somebody who's got that shiny membership in Mensa should know better than to jump to an unjustified conclusion, shouldn't they? You have no idea what my qualifications are, do you? Sorry, saying, "But everybody I don't like is a fraud!" doesn't count as evidence. And the fact remains that what I said is entirely true. You're wrong.

As for the lack of grammatical errors, let's actually have a look, shall we?

1) "mundus" is a masculine noun, but it's given feminine agreement.

2) Whoever wrote this doesn't know the difference between the imperfect and the perfect tense ("fiebat" is used several times when the perfect is clearly called for). Also, the use of the pluperfect in the middle is wrong.

3) The form "opulentorum" is wrong (should be "opulentium").

4) I don't know what exactly "primum destinatum" is supposed to mean, but if it means "first destination" that's gibberish (and it certainly makes no sense as it stands).

And anybody who actually thinks that sounds like Caesar manifestly has no idea what they're talking about.

Oh, and speaking of which, anybody who thinks that philologists talk about "gender dynamism and rape culture" has no idea what a philologist is. If you actually did, you know that a philologist would never write about anything of the kind, and anybody who did would never want to be called a philologist.

And for the record, if by "Latin teacher" you mean somebody with an MA who teaches in a secondary school, I'm sorry to disillusion you, but that does not make them qualified to write proper Latin, as this feeble effort indicates.

If anybody who writes or comments on this blog is as smart as they purport to be, it would behoove them to consider what they do and don't know and modulate their opinions accordingly. They only thing worse than an ignorant person is an ignorant person who thinks he's fully qualified. Verbum sapienti, as they say.

Blogger Beau December 10, 2013 11:41 PM  

Whoa, people, enough with the bad Latin!

What!?

calamum quassatum non conteret et linum fumigans non extinguet

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 8:37 AM  

Now, somebody who's got that shiny membership in Mensa should know better than to jump to an unjustified conclusion, shouldn't they? You have no idea what my qualifications are, do you? Sorry, saying, "But everybody I don't like is a fraud!" doesn't count as evidence. And the fact remains that what I said is entirely true. You're wrong.

That may be. Regardless, credentials are not evidence. I have an economics degree. That does not mean that everything I say concerning economics is necessarily correct. An appeal to credentials is a known logical fallacy. You didn't back up what you said before and based on your pissy, negative personality, no one here is inclined to give you the necessary benefit of the doubt.

And for the record, if by "Latin teacher" you mean somebody with an MA who teaches in a secondary school, I'm sorry to disillusion you, but that does not make them qualified to write proper Latin, as this feeble effort indicates.

With advocates like you, Shaggy, no wonder it remains a dead language. I'll be sure to run your "corrections" by a Latinist who is more qualified than you claim to be. Of course, even if you are correct, what is truly feeble is your attempt to piss all over those who are doing something creative. You could just as easily criticize my admittedly feeble translations of Eco. Are you truly going to argue that no one who is not a translation expert should ever translate anything? Or are you just desperate to show off that your Latin is better than someone else's?

Because if your Latin is better, why didn't you simply volunteer to help translate it? Or even to proofread or correct it? I mean, you've clearly had the time to look over it, not once, but twice, already.

Anonymous VD December 11, 2013 9:25 AM  

As for the lack of grammatical errors, let's actually have a look, shall we?

That is an excellent idea. RG has responded to your four criticisms and I will post it all tomorrow.

Blogger Markku December 11, 2013 9:34 AM  

2) Whoever wrote this doesn't know the difference between the imperfect and the perfect tense ("fiebat" is used several times when the perfect is clearly called for). Also, the use of the pluperfect in the middle is wrong.

It's a quote from an imaginary dictionary. The English original starts with "First terraformed and settled in 2810, Rhysalan quickly developed into an important planet in the Kantillon subsector on the periphery of the Greater Terran Ascendancy." Dictionaries tend to describe events in the imperfect. And pluperfect is what you use when you are already describing something in the imperfect, and mention something much earlier than that.

"Primum destinatum" is "primary destination" in the original. (Rhysalan became a primary destination for defeated national and planetary governments)

OpenID TiClauGermanicus December 11, 2013 10:42 AM  

Perhaps optatum destinatum would be better. I can't imagine what else you'd use for "destination".

Anonymous dc red dogs December 11, 2013 11:47 AM  

Latin style allows for words of masculine gender to be grammatically treated as neuter or feminine in certain comic, philosophical, and word-accretion contexts.
Not liking a neologism or a newly coined phrase is not the same as proving a neologism is ungrammatical.
Saxo Grammaticus and Plautus and Augustine all had different views of the interplay of past tenses.
The opulentia/opulentus constellation of words is not the best attested in all its forms of the words one likely meets in Latin, but the rude poster above is welcome to glory in his accurate reading of the dictionary.

Blogger Markku December 11, 2013 12:28 PM  

Rhysalan mundus means "the world Rhysalan" here. So, would the name of the world, or the word "world" itself, determine the gender? I don't know Latin in specific, but the languages I do know would lead me to suspect that it is "Rhysalan" and not "world" that determines it.

Anonymous Shagrat's Friend December 11, 2013 4:53 PM  

"That may be. Regardless, credentials are not evidence."

Oh? Then why did you mention the translator being a "Latin teacher"?

"Of course, even if you are correct"

Oh, not feeling so confident, eh?

"what is truly feeble is your attempt to piss all over those who are doing something creative."

First, "feebleness" isn't a substantive category, is it? Second, I wasn't "pissing over" over anything. I was simply making fun of your own childish delight in it. And it isn't a matter of "creativity." It's a matter of being correct if you're engaging in an intellectual exercise.

"Because if your Latin is better, why didn't you simply volunteer to help translate it?"

As a matter of fact, I did (Dec. 9 @ 5:33pm). I said to give me the English. I can hardly translate a text I don't have, can I?

"Dictionaries tend to describe events in the imperfect."

Only events that are ongoing "states". The passage is clearly narrative, so the steps in a narrative are in the perfect. This is no different from the usage in modern Italian or Spanish.

"And pluperfect is what you use when you are already describing something in the imperfect, and mention something much earlier than that."

Oh, thanks, I never knew! In any event, the events in the pluperfect are clearly another step in the narrative. It's simply English usage that likes to say "the planet had been attacked several times before it was conquered". Not a Latin usage.

"Latin style allows for words of masculine gender to be grammatically treated as neuter or feminine in certain comic, philosophical, and word-accretion contexts."

Making up BS isn't a helpful mode of argument. This is complete nonsense. The noun "mundus" in the context is a perfectly regular form, and the gender is wrong. This isn't some parody of Plautus.

"but the rude poster above is welcome to glory in his accurate reading of the dictionary."

Yeah, this is how you snarkily refer to somebody being right when you're wrong. Oddly enough "accurate reading of the dictionary" is in fact a necessary but not sufficient factor in translating correctly. Then you have to apply that matter in a grammatically accurate manner.

Sorry if accuracy is in such bad odor around here, and all that counts is "feelings". I thought this wasn't a leftist blog. My bad, I guess

" So, would the name of the world, or the word "world" itself, determine the gender? I don't know Latin in specific, but the languages I do know would lead me to suspect that it is "Rhysalan" and not "world" that determines it."

No, it would not. The noun's own gender determines its gender. What you say is tantamount to saying that in the phrase "the man's wife" "wife" masculine because it's possessed by "man." And in what language does a noun phrase take its gender from a possessive? I've never heard of such a thing and would be curious to learn if there is such a language.

You know, I didn't really have any particular desire to get into an argument with you people. I should also point out that you're all arguing about things you don't understand, and it would be better not to. It's pretty funny that Dunning and Kruger turn up in a more recent post here.


Anonymous Shagrat's Friend December 11, 2013 5:35 PM  

"With advocates like you, Shaggy, no wonder it remains a dead language."

An entirely specious statement. First, I haven't advocated anything. Second, Latin is dead because nobody speaks it as their native tongue. Third, my advocacy has nothing to do with the matter.

Ad hominem attacks are simply a sign of desperation when somebody has no substantive argument to make.

As a matter of fact, just the other day a student wrote to me to say, "You have been one of my favorite professors during my undergraduate career—you taught me everything I know about Roman history and Latin grammar!" You shouldn't jump to conclusions about matters about which you have no knowledge.

Blogger Markku December 11, 2013 5:47 PM  

. I said to give me the English.

First terraformed and settled in 2810, Rhysalan quickly developed into an important planet in the Kantillon subsector on the periphery of the Greater Terran Ascendancy. Due to its strategic locale, the planet was a major target of military interest and changed hands several times before eventually establishing itself as an independent planet in 2935 under Fleet Admiral Beze Davenant of the Ascendancy’s 21st Fleet, the first Duke of Rhysalan. Following the God-Machine Rebellion of 2999 that resulted in the birth of the Unity, Rhysalan became a primary destination for defeated national and planetary governments. Realizing the widespread interplanetary conflict offered an unending supply of wealthy refugees, the fourth Duke was the first to institute the practice of providing formal Sanctuary.

—from “A History of the Dukes of Rhysalan” by Thucidean Marcel

Blogger Markku December 11, 2013 5:49 PM  

And it's not an ongoing narrative, it's an imaginary quote that begins a chapter, which is a recurring theme in Vox's books.

The actual story then begins with:

Graven Tower was flying a routine patrol on Skyway 775 nearly a thousand meters above Trans Paradis when the call came in.
“Tower, we have a report of an apparent homicide at One Nine Eight Three Eight Ten North Balustrade,” a voice breathed sensuously in his left ear. It sounded sensuous, anyway, although the breathing wasn’t real. In truth, he was alone in the aerovar, with only his augment and the music blaring from the onboard speakers to keep him company.

Anonymous dc red dog December 11, 2013 9:21 PM  

Shagrats friend, I believe you have established your lack of either fairness or comprehension for all fair people to see. All true scholars know that dictionaries of classical languages are not infallible. You see, languages like Latin are imperfectly attested to. Dictionaries are the beginning of the inquiry, not the court of last resort. Also, your repeated reference to two academic individuals named Dunning and Kruger has nothing to do with any claims made by me, as I did not claim to be an expert in Latin, and expressly disavowed any claim to be one of the few people who truly understand the language. Latin is, at best, my fourth best language, although I have read it recreationally since before most people who post in your juvenile tone were born. To move back to the interesting questions raised by Latin translation, on which I am certain that you are capable of saying interesting things, let me point out that, in my opinion, the English word Rhysalan, combined with the Latin word mundus, may form an accreted five syllable word which can be masculine, feminine, or neuter (one has to overlook the modern convention of placing spaces between most words in the Germanic and other written languages, but that is an easy thing to do if one is not trying to carp but to accurately assess). I mentioned the philosophical or comic alternatives (to accretion) because I thought you might be someone who discussed things in good faith. Should you wish to argue the point further, and in good faith, please tell me (assuming that we are not wasting space on someone else's blog) how you would complete the specific conversation in Latin that begins = Nympha mea agricola est, agricola me... pulchr.... est. Nemorivagus erat tam, nympha erat certe, erat pulchrissim..." "Sane nemorivagus tu... est pulchr..." and how you would translate the phrase "Jenny Wren (or Jennywren) and Farmer Jenny were friends".

Blogger Beau December 11, 2013 9:44 PM  

Kudos to you Vox, and especially RG your translator, on undertaking bringing out a Latin edition of Quantum Mortis. I may be parochial - but I've never heard of publishing a new work of science fiction in Latin before this project. On one level it's an intriguing marketing vehicle; on another, I'm sure RG's work will promote interest in both QM and the Latin language itself. euge

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