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Craig Eliason's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
Latin translations needed
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Non commovebitur donec despiciat inimicos suos.

from Beatrice Warde, intro to Eric Gill's Autobiography

Vanum est vobis ante lucem surgere.

from Gill, preface to same

I'm sure some of you have a more Classical education than I... Thanks in advance!

John Hudson's picture
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Non commovebitur donec despiciat inimicos suos.

This is from Psalm 111 (Catholic reckoning (Psalm 112 in Jewish reckoning): Baetus vir, Vugate text of the Breviarum Romanum). It is the end of verse 8:

...confirmatum est cor eius: non commovebitur donec despiciat inimicos suos.

My monastic diurnal gives this translation of the Latin: '...his heart is strong, he does not fear, whilst he looketh down upon his enemies.'

The Jewish Publication Society Tanakh gives this translation of the Hebrew original: 'His heart is resolute, he is unafraid; in the end he will see the fall of his foes'.
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Vanum est vobis ante lucem surgere.

This is from Psalm 126 (Catholic reckoning (Psalm 127 in Jewish reckoning): Nisi Dominus, Vugate text of the Breviarum Romanum). It is the beginning of verse 2:

Vanum est vobis ante lucem surgere: surgite postquam sederitis, qui manducatis panem doloris. Cum dederit dilectis suis somnum...

My monastic diurnal gives this translation of the Latin: 'It is in vain that you rise early, and late retire to rest, ye who eat the bread of toil. For to His loves ones he giveth it in sleep.'

The Jewish Publication Society Tanakh gives this translation of the Hebrew original: 'In vain do you rise early and stay up late, you who toil for the bread you eat; He provides as much for His loved ones while they sleep'.

Michael Ebert's picture
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Joined: 18 Aug 2004 - 9:18pm
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Boy, John, you seem to know your Latin! Perhaps you could help me by providing a Latin translation of that old adage:

"If it doesn't add, it subtracts."

Thanks in advance,
--Michael.

------------------------------------------------------
// love what you do or do something else. //
Michael Ebert -- graphic designer, jazz saxophonist, horror movie devotee
http://homepage.mac.com/mwebert
mwebert@mac.com
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Tim Daly's picture
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Joined: 11 Sep 2003 - 9:04am
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>Vanum est vobis ante lucem surgere
Slight alternative – It is vanity for you to rise before (day)light.

>non commovebitur donec despiciat inimicos suos
Slight alternative – He/she will not tremble while he/she despises his/her enemies

Since this is Gill the Catholic translations seem most apt.
Tim

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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Michael, sorry I can't help you with that. My Latin is actually pretty limited. I don't know Latin, I just know psalms. :)

I recognised 'non commovebitur donec despiciat inimicos suos' immediately, because it is from one of the psalms of Sunday Vespers (evening prayer) so I've chanted it often. It took me a little while to find 'vanum est vobis ante lucem surgere' though, because I don't regularly pray the office of None.

John Hudson's picture
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Tim, your alternative translations make literal sense of the Latin fragments, but they don't fit the context from which the fragments were quoted by Warde and Gill (both Catholics, who would have been familiar with the Vulgate text of the psalms for much the same reason that I am).

Tim Daly's picture
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Joined: 11 Sep 2003 - 9:04am
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Absolutely John, which is why I said that the Catholic translations were the most apt, I was thinking that looketh down, for example, might be misunderstood because it doesn't necessarily make a modern translation of despicare which should indicate contempt. The trouble is that translation is never an exact art, due to ambiguity and changes in the meanings of words, especially over three languages:)
Tim

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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especially over three languages

Or four languages. St Jerome also referred to the Septuagint Greek text of the Tanakh when producing the Vulgate Latin.

Craig Eliason's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
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Thanks to all for the terrifically helpful responses!

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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If you want to hear someone who is really good at Latin, check this out:

http://62.77.60.84/audio/mp3/00056657.MP3

-- at once hilarious and very impressive.