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"Latin phrases; have I gotten these right?" Topic

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218 hits since 25 Apr 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Parzival25 Apr 2017 10:39 a.m. PST

Working on some phrases for my current novel. Here's what I've come up with, and what I intend for them to mean:

Scribimus futurum nostrum, non astra. "We write our future, not the stars."

Scripserimus futurum nostrum in astra. "We have (hopefully) written our future in the stars." (I chose subjunctive case for the hint of doubt.)

Fidam futura mea ad astra. "I will trust my future to the stars."
(Wasn't sure about the gender to use in the accusative case here. The writer is a woman, so I went with feminine. Perhaps that is an error?)

Fidam futura nostra ad astra. "I will trust our future to the stars."
(Not sure what gender to choose for future in this example, so I went with neuter. The context is that the future could be universal, as "all our future," or at least of a communal group "the future of us all.")

It has been many, many years since high school Latin, and the above may be an atrocious muddle. If so, whack me with the virtual ruler, quote Python, and correct me.

For the record, in context "future" is both an expression of literal future, that is "time and events to come" and metaphorical future, as in "hope." I intend for both these meanings to be present in these phrases, or at least capable of being inferred.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2017 10:45 a.m. PST

In your first case: is astra nominative or accusative? It's been more than 40 years, but it seems that the nominative is required.

Ok. Never mind.

Parzival25 Apr 2017 11:12 a.m. PST

Yeah, I was safe on that question! grin
Of course with all the mottoes about "going to the stars" out there, it was pretty easy to know that "astra" was the correct form to use in almost all the above phrases.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2017 11:43 a.m. PST

You can always go the 40K or Harry Potter route and just make it up, ignoring all grammar.

Parzival25 Apr 2017 1:11 p.m. PST

Since the differences among the various tenses and number are actually plot points, no, I can't.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2017 1:21 p.m. PST

Sister Alma and Sister St Joseph would have been proud of you.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Apr 2017 9:57 p.m. PST

I have been rewatching some Harry Potter movies recently and the bad Latin in those spells was driving me, um, loco!

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