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Posted Tue May 13th, 2008 10:51am Post subject: Latin Translation????? Help is immediately needed
Please help.

I have posted this requested several times but I cannot ever remember where I have posted this and how to get my replies.

You might see this as somewhat of a challenge, I really need the help of Stephen Fry or associates. The sentance "To love you is to receive a glimpse of heaven" - no this is not how I feel about you but a line I am needing to be translated into latin. My partners and I are to take the plunge into marriage in november and we would like this to be engraved onto our wedding bands (outerside) Ahhhhh (I hear you cry)
If anybody can help I would be thrilled to bits. is my email address. Please help.

Thank you in advance. And happy belated bday to Stephen Fry (I'm rubbish with Birthday greetings)


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Posted Tue May 13th, 2008 9:51pm Post subject: Latin Translation????? Help is immediately needed
Haha! You're in luck. It was total fluke I was trawling these boards. I was looking for another link to Stephen Fry's speech on Broadcasting. Fantastic piece of rhetoric.

Anyway, here's a few basic, preliminary attempts, since I'm about to go to bed. I just thought I'd post them up now in case anybody can find any obvious mistakes or a better word order, or point out embarassing flaws in my grammar and syntax.

te amante exaltavi ad sidera
(by loving you I have been raised to the stars)

te amante exaltavi ad stellas

te amante exaltavi ad astra

te amans specto partem caeli
(loving you I look upon a part of heaven)

I not really happy with those. For those who know latin I'm not sure about the case of the present participle (amans) or even if a present participle is the right thing. Also I'm not sure if combining the pres. part. with a verb in the perfect tense is correct.

Sidera/stellas/astra all mean 'stars' so pick whichever you prefer.

With the second, more accurate version, the words 'partem' and 'specto' are particularly unpoetic, so I'll look out for better ones. Prose comp was never a strength of mine but I love a challenge.

I'll try to improve on these tomorrow. If there is no response by the end of tomorrow I'll e-mail you my efforts.

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Posted Wed May 14th, 2008 9:20am Post subject: Latin Translation????? Help is immediately needed
Thank you, You are my hero. Look forward to hearing from you later. I think I posted this too you earlier but sent this as a private message instead of a public one.

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Posted Wed May 14th, 2008 10:10pm Post subject: Latin Translation????? Help is immediately needed
Okey-Dokey. I'm back as promised. Here's take two:

te amare paulum adspectum caeli recipere
(to love you is to receive a small sight [i.e. glimpse] of heaven)

I'll provide an explanation of the grammar and syntax just so anybody else reading this can double-check my work. Also, if you post this somewhere else other latinists can have an idea of what I'm doing.

My previous attempts using the present participle aren't good because they fail to capture the meaning that the two things (loving and catching a glimpse of heaven) are being asserted as one and the same.

I've used the infinitive (amare - 'to love') as an indeclinable neuter noun (cf. Kennedy's Latin Primer section 365). The word order at the moment is fairly standard with the genitive (caeli - 'of heaven') following the accusative (paulum - 'small', adspectum 'sight') and the second infinitive at the end, but these can be rearranged since poetry allows a more flexible word order. The latin verb 'est' ( - 'is') has been omitted, and must be understood, as is often the case in poetic sentences.

I struggled to find the most suitable meaning for 'glimpse'. At the moment 'paulum adspectum' is the best I could come up with. But the jury is still out on that one. I could have sworn I came across a better word somewhere in Propertius or the Eclogues but for the life of me I can't remember it, I'll have to check later. I'm afraid the Roman's didn't have a word for glimpse, at least as far as I know. Latin may be a very precise, metrically pleasing language, but English has a richer, more flexible vocabulary.

Regarding alternative versions, here are a few words you might want to use in place of the others:

small: paulum/parvum parvulum-very small
sight: adspectum/aspectum/visum
receive: recipere/percipere/accipere

These words are not without their nuances. Recipere carries with it a sense of receiving for oneself, percipere a sense of receiving with one's own senses (i.e. sight, understanding) and accipere a sense of receiving passively. The nuances present in the other words are negligible I'd say.

Regarding word order you might prefer this:

te amare paulum caeli adspectum recipere.

But apart from that I wouldn't recommend rearranging the words. It just wouldn't feel right.

Well that's all for today. Sorry for the amount of detail, but I'm sure that this means a lot to you, and I want to get it 100% right because this is one mistake that I don't want weighing on my conscience.

Now, what you need to do is do your very best to get my work double-checked by someone. I may be a classicist, but I'm also a human being and at the moment it's quite likely I've made a mistake, like I have with my first attempt. In the meantime, I'll see if I can improve it a little more and with any luck next time will be my final version.

If you absolutely can't find anyone else to check my work, don't worry. I can get it checked by one of my fellow students (I'm a classicist at Oxford), but I'd rather not bother them with this unless there's no other choice. Also, you didn't tell me if you liked the other 'raised to the stars' version.

I'll get back to you with a final version in a day or two. I hope that's okay. If you manage to get my work reviewed by someone else, let me know.

You're more than welcome. It's a nice feeling to finally use my learning to benefit someone else, and who says Latin's a dead language?

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Posted Thu May 15th, 2008 9:27am Post subject: Latin Translation????? Help is immediately needed
Wow, thank you.

Regarding the other suggestions that you made "receive the stars" etc, although these were lovely suggestions me and my partner have been writing quotes and poetry down for a little over a year now and the one that has really stood out was this one. It really sums up how we feel (you probably think thats really corny). We are both overwhelmed by your kindness, helping us in this way when I'm sure you have so much on what with your studies so once again we both really thank you for taking the time out to do this. To be honest it has taken me 6 months to find you and we don't have another 6 months to find someone to proof read this, that is why I posted it on a Stephen Fry forum because I figured that someone would want to take on this challenge.

Its times like this when I wish I had taken more interest in Latin, I live in quite an ordianary area shall I say and Latin was never something that was offered, still nevermind, and thanks again.

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