Disputatio Vicipaediae:Translatio lemmatis

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English translations[fontem recensere]

Ok, I wrote this as I did because of Iacobus' and my discussion at Disputatio:Tunicula candida. Iacobus raises an interesting point, that English is certainly the lingua franca of our age, and therefore we might want to translate our lemmata into English as well.

I have always been kind of against this, as I haven't wanted the breadth and reach of English to extend even further than it already has. But, alas, Iacobus has made me question myself. What do others think? --Ioscius (disp) 05:48, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

I'm kind of thinking that if an English interwiki exists, we should not also translate it into English. I realize this begs the point: why translate it at all? Well, we're all polyglots by nature here . . . Guess I'll just go to bed and wait for input . . . --Ioscius (disp) 06:17, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
As the new day dawns, mi Iosci ... I am against giving English glosses (unless English is specially relevant). I do a lot of place name entries, as you know. For France, for example, I give the standard French name (adding the local name in Occitan, Basque, Breton etc. if these languages are used locally). I see three reasons for giving these: 1. what local people call their town is relevant to an article about it; 2. the standard name may help the reader to pin down what place it is -- because, even where the Latin name is relatively fixed, these are not part of everyone's vocabulary; 3. there may well be historical links between these names and the Latin name, and these links are also relevant. I see two reasons for not giving an English name (where English is not a local language): 1. it isn't directly relevant, as the local name is; 2. the lingua franca for readers of Vicipaedia is Latin -- that's why Vicipaedia exists.
I think the same practice makes sense for non-place-name articles. Give the "original" name (the local one, if that concept makes sense, or the name as originally invented, if that concept makes sense). Again, these belong for three reasons: 1. the original name of a concept is directly relevant to an article about it; 2. it may help an unfamiliar reader to pin down the concept, and 3. to understand the source of its Latin name. There's no reason then to add the English name, because Latin is our lingua franca.
And if in browsing Vicipaedia I encounter an English gloss that I think is unwanted, I always take it out! But I don't think I've ever taken out a Samoan one. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 07:33, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Basically I follow Andrew and Iacobus' argumentation on page Disputatio:Tunicula candida: Perhaps three glosses might have strong claims to appear parenthetically near the start of articles: (1) in the language of origin; (2) in English, the world's lingua franca; and (3) temporarily in a language of interest to the author, to be cut when an article in a parallel wiki shall have been set up, at which time the link to that wiki would serve the same function. The first two might be useful in attracting the attention of bots that add interwiki links.
ad 1) To have translations in the language of origin (which might be a bit political sometimes) is good; even if there is an interwiki link, it is good to have the information in the article, because bots could change the interwiki link.
ad 2) I would not generally add a translation and not generally an English translation, but we should have a translation if it might not be clear about what the article tells. This is sometimes true for short articles or articles which do not have any interwiki links yet or if the article tells about things which the Romans did not know.
ad 3) If someone adds a temporary translation, it should be clear that this is a temporary entry. Or better, see below, the information should be put into a footnote.
There will be cases, where we have different opinions whether a translation should be included. For those situations I'd propose to use the <ref>...</ref> notation. Generally I'd like to have the translations rather in footnotes than in brackets after the lemma, except were we really want a translation after the lemma. So we could avoid this Is-this-a-Latin-Wikipedia?-argument and people who want guess what the autor wanted to explain are not disappointed when they see the translation/solution directly after the lemma. So I think we should have limiting rules what should be put in brackets after the lemma but we should be very liberal with tranlations in footnotes (<ref>...</ref>) and even encourage people to use footnotes. --Rolandus 07:44, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I think that's a very good policy; but I do think (for place names in particular) that a standard local name should go in the first sentence (on the grounds that what local people call their town is relevant to the subject). Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 10:04, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
... [a moment later:] similarly in biographical articles. A person's own name for him/herself is relevant to the biography! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 10:06, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I agree with some of you. I really can't believe that Vicipedia is a latin-english dictionary. This is an ENCYCLOPEDIA. In my opinion, we can't use the English words to explain something. If there is a new concept the romans didn't have, we can explain it in latin (where's the problem??). there is few exception where we can use english: (i) if the original name is in english (for a rank, a place, a town, a location, a name, ...), (ii) if we, in all languages, use currently the english words (e.g. for viruses (Beet Necrotic Yellow Virus, even in french), for computers elements, ...) and that's all. Moreover, I agree with Andrew Dalby when he tells our lingua franca is latin. sothat, i'd like the english words go after the latin words and between brackets. -- Thoma D. 10:59, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I quite agree with everybody, except in regard to footnotes (which many readers hate) and to etymology, also an important feature, akin to Thoma's "a rank, a place, a town, a location, a name." For example, we should have articles on the currencies of the world, and one might start like this:
Tala (Anglice: dollar) est nummus Samoanus, ex centum sene (Anglice: cents) constans. . . .
It's already in the en: wiki, though defined less efficiently:
"The tala is the currency of Samoa. It is divided into 100 sene. The names are Samoan equivalents of the English dollar and cent."
Our German cousins put a different spin on the etymology:
"Ein Tala ist unterteilt in 100 Sene. Es gibt Münzen zu 1,2,5,10,20 und 50 Sene, sowie 1 Tala. Banknoten sind im Umlauf zu 2,5,10,20,50 und 100 Tala. Der Name kommt vom deutschen Begriff Taler, der durch die deutschen Kolonialherren hierhergebracht wurde."
(It makes a more reasonable case to argue that tala came from English dollar, granting that that word in turn came from German thaler.) Our French friends prove rather chary about granting space for any Germanic etymologies:
"Le tala est la monnaie officielle de Samoa. Son code international ISO 4217 est WST."
Oh well. IacobusAmor 12:39, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Of course, "dollar" comes from Grk thaleros.... What to do?! =] --Ioscius (disp) 15:26, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Run, don't walk, to tell the Merriam-Webster people, not to mention the Oxford English Dictionary people—all of whom agree that our dollar goes back to the thal in Joachimsthal, the location of the mines from which the first thalers were made. That thal (vel tal) of course is German for 'valley'. What's your Greek source?! IacobusAmor 15:42, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Errr, ummm, well, ahhh, chalk that one up to I haven't had any coffee, today? (not that I ever do =]) --Ioscius (disp) 15:47, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
If you want to tell the word Tala is coming from dollar or german word thal, you must have some references. So, have a look in german article and ask for references. Compare the references you'll find and choose the best choice. -- Thoma D. 07:04, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Footnotes [or ...][fontem recensere]

It seems that there are some cases - it even seems that they can be explicitly enumeranted - where we surely want translations. So they should be in brackets after the lemma or mentioned in the flow of text or ... at least these translations shall be prominently mentioned, as I understand. Using footnotes was my suggestion (only) for those cases where a part of us would not want to have the translation in the text (and might wish to delete it). Footnotes do not disrupt the reading if you simply skip them but they are annoying if you have to look into each of them ... which might be the reason why "many readers" (me too) hate them. But for disputed translations and temporary translations they could be suitable ... and the authors get used to using footnotes for providing sources. --Rolandus 13:28, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

[I wrote this before reading Rolandus's comment above:] My neighbours ("our French friends") have perhaps accepted the case I'm about to put here. Very likely there is doubt whether the word came to Samoan from English or German. So a good etymological note has to mention both, and thus we come back to the rationale for footnotes, because there is a tendency for the first sentence to get too complicated. Present company excepted, not everybody is interested in multilingual equivalents. So I wonder whether we should do one of two things: either put linguistic stuff in a footnote, or put it in a separate linguistic sentence/paragraph/section; in either case, exclude non-Latin stuff from the first sentence. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:39, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Re "Very likely there is doubt whether the word came to Samoan from English or German."—Any reasonable doubt should be nearly indistinguishable from zero, despite German pride in the German-colonial theory ("der durch die deutschen Kolonialherren hierhergebracht wurde"), which of course ignores the existence of the colony of American—not German!—Samoa (which an important missionary in an anthropological journal in 1916 acknowledged was the principal source of linguistic innovation in the language), the numbers & prestige of English & Scottish—not German!—Protestant missionaries, traders, and settlers in the former German Samoa, and the fact that surviving Samoan borrowings from German are practically nil, whereas Samoan borrowings from English number many, many hundreds, and there are probably more borrowings even from French, because the earliest Roman Catholic missionaries, even in German Samoa, were from France, and kept their diocesan records in French; e.g., simā (French: ciment), sutana (French: soutane), violē (French: violet). Indeed, there are more borrowings from Latin than from German; e.g., auro (aurum), kalasia (gratia), koluse (crux). Even in German colonial days, the governor was the kōvana (the linguistically informed dictionary of 1966 attributes this to English: governor, to not German Statthalter vel [French!] Gouverneur). The standard dictionary of 1911 lists "some foreign words in use among the natives": none of them comes from German, and the term at issue here is specifically attributed to English: "Talā eng. dollar." I rest my case! IacobusAmor 14:36, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
OK, OK, I am persuaded! Now that the Tour de France is over, I look forward to reading your forthcoming article on Samoan ...
Wait! There's more! Consider that: (1) the German currency during German colonial days was the mark (a term that has left no linguistic residue in Samoan); (2) the currencies prevalent in the German colony were the pound sterling and the U.S. dollar; and (3) hence, prices were locally quoted in dollars & pounds, not marks (and certainly not thalers), as an eyewitness account of the German colony shows (boldface added): "Ich liess sofort mein Gepäck aus dem Tivoli in einem Karren herüberholen, was zwei Dollars, gleich acht Mark kostete, und aus Freude über die hübsche Unterkunft nach meinem Irrfahrten im Bismarckarchipel und Neuguinea leerte ich auf der kühlen Veranda eine Flasche Heidsieck Monopol, die ein Pfund Sterling gleich zwanzig Mark vierzig Pfennig kostete. Man kann schon aus diesen wenigen Preisangaben ersehen, dass das Leben in Apia keineswegs besonders wohlfeil sein kann, und das ist es auch nicht. Es wird in allgemeinen Verkehr wohl ebensogut die deutsche Reichsmark wie der englische Schilling angenommen, aber die gangbarste Münze war 1900 der amerikanische, der allmighty Dollar. . . . Die kleinste Münze ist das englische silberne Dreipencestück gleich fünfundzwanzig Pfennig" (Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg, Samoa Bismarckarchipel und Neuguinea, Leipzig, 1902, p. 216). That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?—in the German colony, "die gangbarste Münze war 1900 der amerikanische, der allmighty Dollar." On this point, the German wiki is Just Plain Wrong, and we shouldn't, even by suggesting that the evidence is equivocal, perpetuate its error. That's not to deny that dollar reflects Dutch or Low German daler, which in turn reflects German Thaler (vel Taler)—but that's a different issue. IacobusAmor 15:33, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Dans ce cas, mi Iacobe, debemus Vicipaediam Theodiscam corrigere, nicht wahr? Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:47, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
But this doesn't affect my thought that our first sentences are perhaps sometimes too complicated and linguistic. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:20, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Tibi consentio! IacobusAmor 15:33, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
"Now that the Tour de France is over, I look forward to reading your forthcoming. . . ."—Not till I get rid of three weeks' worth of work that has piled up! The interesting/annoying thing about the TdF is that each stage is broadcast twice here in the USA, and in different formats: live in the mornings, with commentary by Phil Liggett & Paul Sherwen, and on tape in the evenings, with most of the same pictures but commentary by (Americans) Al Trautwig & Bob Roll (plus new interviews & such). Watching both broadcasts was informative, though I usually managed to catch the live ones only out of the corner of my eye (except for the finishes). Roll, a former racer (like Sherwen), managed to liken certain racers to Icarus, to Tantalus, and to various other characters from Classical culture. One wonders why he's not writing here! IacobusAmor 16:09, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Non liquet[fontem recensere]

Si lemma est verbum peregrinum ac indeclinabile, opportet dare IPA:
Portmanteau (per IPA pronuntiatur: /pɔːtˈmæntəʊ/ RP, /pɔːrtˈmæntoʊ/ US) . . .

Quid dicimus hic? Aut

  1. Verbum utendum est Latine. Sed si sic, cur pronuntiationes Britannicam et Americanam damus? Latinizator Hispanus debet quem pronuntiationem adoptare? aut ...
  2. Verbum est et manet Anglicum. Si sic, cur non id dicimus? et cur pro hoc uno verbo peregrino duas pronuntiationes damus, pronuntiatione carente pro permultis aliis verbis? aut ...
  3. Verbum est et manet Francogallicum. Si sic, cur malam orthographiam et malam pronuntiationem damus? aut ...
  4. Nescio quid! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:39, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Recte admones, Andrea... sine me respondere:
  1. Nulla ratione...
  2. Est quasi Anglicum, at recte:
  3. Est certe Francogallicum, demus rectam prununtiationem.
  4. Certe scis aliquid =]
--Ioscius (disp) 15:49, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

typographia[fontem recensere]

For the second example, linguists' standard style is more efficient, and I'd therefore recommend it, not least because it puts the gloss in the nominative (mens, not mentem):
Psychologia (Graece: ψυχή [psyche] 'mens' + λογία [logia] 'studium'). . . .
As for me, I don't see any good reason for a Latin encyclopedia to transliterate Greek:
Psychologia (Graece: ψυχή 'mens' + λογία 'studium'). . . .
Tibetan maybe, Mandarin maybe, but Greek? Granted: the current Merriam-Webster collegiate dictionaries use only transliterated forms, but I grew up using my (inherited) aunt's Webster's high-school dictionary of 1932, whose etymologies use only the Greek letters. IacobusAmor 12:59, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
N.B.: A standard typographical distinction: single quotes for glosses, double quotes for quotations. IacobusAmor 13:04, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Awesome, I've never been exactly sure what to do about that, in terms of typography. I will do it this way, from now on.
Then you might want to adjust the example in the article. IacobusAmor 01:37, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I already had, I thought . . . --Ioscius (disp) 05:26, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
As for translitting Greek, I'm certainly tempted to agree with you: any self-respecting Latinist should be, at least in some small part, a Hellenist as well (and at the freaking minimum should understand the script). But I worry that we might seem, like noster Avitus, a bit superbi. What do others think about translitting Greek?--Ioscius

(disp) 17:15, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

I guess we should do it. People learn Latin by all sorts of methods and for all sorts of reasons; Greek is an obvious adjunct to some, but not to all. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 17:50, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Fiat translitteratio!--Ioscius (disp) 18:07, 30 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Wiki-pedantic issues[fontem recensere]

Re: translitteratio, I'm a bit against it, but maybe Andrew is right. So, fiat translitteratio, but that opens a couple of issues: First, imo the transliteration should be more accurate than the classic one, and rather not in italics; besides, I like better the transliterations given in the English and French wikipages: [psukhē]. Second, brackets. As phonetic representations, the IPA forms should definitely be in brackets. That is a linguistic convention that must be followed. That should be no problem, for basically IPA, too, is a transliteration (of sound).

Well, for Greek, isn't it a bit better to translit the way the Romans did it? ψυχή definitely gets translitterated psyche in Roman orthography. In fact, I'm certain we have a Translitteratio Linguae Graecae...--Ioscius (disp) 00:57, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Well, I don't know. The Roman transliterations were sometimes rather incoherent, e.g. μυτακισμός was rendered now mytacismus now moetacismus, &c. If our policy is to translit "alla Romana", we should say it. Personally, I'm for "scientific" transliteration. That would be more in line with using IPA and things. --Neander 02:00, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Well, yes, I'm thinking that Translitteratio linguae Graecae basically says that, especially translitterating ancient Greek, we are doing it the Roman way. This makes as much sense to me as saying "Latin students should be expected to know ancient Greek script". I'm never against a bit of IPA, which I feel is even more of a scientific system.--Ioscius (disp) 05:23, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Re: Latin. Let me point out that propositum est means 'it has been proposed', not 'it is proposed' (which is proponitur); that's an awfully typical case of English interference in Latin. But may I suggest a totally re-written text for the first passage (as to grammar, I've used hortative subjunctive):

Lemma, si aliena lingua vulgo scribitur, Latine convertatur. Subinde parenthesibus inseratur notitia linguae et lemmatis originalis nexibus instructa. Nexu lemmatis indicetur commentatio rei in Vicipaedia aliena scripta.
Sure, sure... I wrote it at 0200ish, after a few beers, I was just trying to jot down thoughts, not construct a Ciceronian oration =] Muta quae velis.--Ioscius (disp) 01:03, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

Re: Greek analysis of Psychologia: ψυχή is rather 'anima' ("soul") than 'mens' ("mind"), which is rather νοῦς (thus, German Seelenkunde is more accurate than Engl. study of mind); and λογία is almost a non-word; if it's something, it's late spelling of λογεία 'eleemosyna' or 'stips'. I know ψυχή+λογία is the usual analysis in various encyclopedias, but let's not copy those who copy ... hmm... ignorantes; again, English and French pages fare better. --Neander 00:48, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)

The Merriam-Webster dictionaries derive English -logy thus: "ME -logie, fr. OF, fr. L. -logia, fr. Gk, fr. logos word." That's a chain of Old French -logie < Latin -logia < Greek -logia < Greek logos. The Oxford English Dictionary also refers to λογία, not λογεία. ¶ The OED does not transliterate Greek—and if I'm remembering rightly, it doesn't transliterate Hebrew & Arabic either. IacobusAmor 01:35, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
[On that last sentence:] Well, I love the OED as I love a rich aunt, but late 19th/early 20th century etymologies were written for comparative philologists and to save all possible space. We have a different audience and different constraints. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 07:04, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
"The Oxford English Dictionary also refers to λογία, not λογεία." Of course not: λογεία means alms; some late documents write λογία meaning alms. There's no simplex word λογία meaning study or something. The point is that Greek uses the -ία suffix to make abstract compound nouns. --Neander 02:18, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Then a reasonable solution could be to spell it -λογία (with a hyphen, showing it isn't a word), and maybe to gloss it 'ad studium pertinens' or something else that shows it doesn't strictly mean 'study'. IacobusAmor 03:09, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
Oh yeah, at least that'd be a step in right direction. (But λόγος doesn't mean study; its semantic field is tolerably coextensive with latin ratio 'reason; account', though the 'speech' dimension isn't covered by ratio ...). --Neander 03:40, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)
I just copied from Psychologia, please make the appropriate changes there, as well.--Ioscius (disp) 01:04, 31 Iulii 2007 (UTC)