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order of words- beginning latin

 
 
Reply Sat 22 Apr, 2017 12:17 pm
sum nauta, vs. nauta sum. My book says both translate to "I am a sailor". Why doesn't the second phrase say "A sailor I am"? Either translation in english means the same thing, but the effect is not. If you were writing poetry in english, you may use one phrase or the other for effect or rhyme. Did the Romans not do the same?, and say "nauta sum" to turn "i am a sailor" to "a sailor i am"?
 
Blickers
 
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Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 11:57 am
@simpson1,
We have a Latin scholar on the forum named George. I suggest you go to his profile page, click the button to send a private message, and if past experience is any gauge, he will give you the answer.

George's Profile Page
simpson1
 
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Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 12:49 pm
@Blickers,
thank you. I sent my question to George.
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George
 
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Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 06:11 pm
Well, you're exactly right. The normal order of words is subject-object-verb,
but for emphasis (and sometimes for clarity) it is not uncommon to change
that order.
ossobucotemp
 
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Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 06:17 pm
@George,
Hey, I remembered that. It's been a lot of years since my latin student time.
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simpson1
 
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Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 10:21 am
@George,
ok, well then would the correct translation of "nauta sum" be "A sailor i am."?, or is the author correct that both "nauta sum" and "sum nauta" translate as "I am a sailor"?
this is probably way to picky for beginning latin, but i was just curious. Why would it be written differently if it meant the same and was meant to be spoken the same?
I think the author is trying to establish the form of subjects and direct objects. We just covered "predicate nominative" has the same form as the subject, but other direct objects have a designated ending based on the person, singular or plural.
Knowing the normal order is subject-object-verb is a help, thanks. Then agricola poeta est has to mean "the farmer is a poet" and not "the poet is a farmer."
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simpson1
 
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Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 10:38 am
@George,
ok, well then would the correct translation of "nauta sum" be "A sailor i am."?, or is the author correct that both "nauta sum" and "sum nauta" translate as "I am a sailor"?
this is probably way to picky for beginning latin, but i was just curious. Why would a sentence be written differently, if it was meant to be read, and spoken, the same? If you think the author is just trying to keep it simple for my level I won't be offended. In more advanced latin, would nauta sum be translated as "A sailor i am"?

We just covered a "predicate nominative".
With a predicate nominative; Knowing the normal order; subject-object-verb is a help, thanks. Then agricola poeta est has to mean "the farmer is a poet" and not "the poet is a farmer."
George
 
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2017 08:19 am
@simpson1,
A translation is often also an interpretation. Does the original seem to
stress the word "sailor"? As translator, do you thing the English "A sailor I
am" puts the same stress on "sailor"? If so, then that is a good translation.
It isn't always about word-for-word correspondence.
simpson1
 
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2017 12:50 pm
@George,
to me "a sailor i am" stresses I, "I am a sailor" stresses sailor, and it is hard for me to know what the author meant, unless by the word order, that is for just a one sentence interpretation .
If what I am hearing (from you) is correct, the correct interpretation may depend on the context of the sentence (in the paragraph)?
This is a beginner text, and I suspect the author is mixing the wording so we (I) will focus on the word endings and practice what is subject, direct object, verb , with proper person, and singular or plural.
I've also noticed there can be a significant difference in supplying "the" or "a" before a word. Nauta scaphas numerat. "the sailor is counting boats", vs. "the sailor is counting the boats." the first implies he is counting boats as they come into sight, the second implies there are a large number of boats in view he is trying to count.
When i get further along, does the word order (or some other clue) in the sentence help with knowing what the author meant? is it the context that supplies the clue? or is it just a best guess interpretation that can vary between translators? [i have basically no experience with foreign languages, and for all i know french or Spanish may have these same problems.]
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simpson1
 
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2017 09:18 pm
@George,
I remembered now in the book it says ego is used to emphasis I, so Nauta ego sum would mean (to me) "a sailor I am", nauta sum, or sum nauta could both mean "i am a sailor". I suspect with other nouns one would have to judge their emphasis?
George
 
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Reply Mon 1 May, 2017 07:11 am
@simpson1,
Yes, but bear in mind that word order is far less important in Latin and
pronouns used as subjects are more often understood than expressed.
simpson1
 
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Reply Tue 2 May, 2017 05:26 am
@George,
I'm glad to hear you say that. Translating a sentence is challenging enough without being misled by an expectation of word order.
It seems each sentence is a new puzzle, and the only real clues are the word endings.
The book just introduced the 5 cases of nouns, with 3 out of 10 endings being ae. It took some time before the dative and genitive (ae ending) made sense.
I'm sure we must have had this in high school Latin, but i don't remember it.
George
 
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Reply Tue 2 May, 2017 05:55 am
@simpson1,
simpson1 wrote:
. . . It seems each sentence is a new puzzle, and the only real clues are the
word endings . . .
That's a good way to put it!
simpson1
 
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Reply Fri 5 May, 2017 10:46 am
@George,
I found this example of what you were saying about word order - it is one of my exercises.
Insulam videre non possumus. "We are not able to see the island."
I imagine sentences could get more backwards than this, (maybe if it were longer).
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