Learn Latin

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


Zodiac signs meanings

 
There is a little bit of Latin to be learned from the names of the Zodiac signs. More importantly, one should not always rely upon these names as a source of meaning for the corresponding words. This goes especially for Sagittarius, Capricord and Aquarius. The traditional translations of these names is more relevant to the depictions of these constellations, rather than to the Latin words and their meanings.

1. Aries (The Ram) - a ram, a battering ram
2. Taurus (The Bull) - a bull, ox
3. Gemini (The Twins) - plural of 'geminus' 'born at the same time', twin, double, similar
4. Cancer (The Crab) -a crab, the South (because this sign of the Zodiac is found at the time of the summer solstice), cancer
5. Leo (The Lion) - a lion
6. Virgo (The Virgin) - a maid, a virgin, a young woman or girl, something pure
7. Libra (The Scale) - a pair of scales, a measure, the Roman pound, balance
8. Scorpio (The Scorpion) - a scorpion
9. Sagittarius (The Centaur) - an archer, a bowman
10. Capricorn (The Sea-goat) - caper-cornu; cf. in Gr. aigokereus, having goat's horns
11. Aquarius (The Pitcher) - relating to water, a water carrier
12. Pisces (The Fish) - plural of 'piscis' 'fish'

Love conquers all -- The imporatance of learning Latin

 
Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 10:34 - Learn Latin Language, Latin Translation, Popular Latin Phrases, Mottos, Slogans
Posted by Administrator
Omnia vincit amor - Love conquers all

In one of the last episodes of the Showtime Original Series 'The Tudors'(Season One) there is a following exchange between, if I recall correctly, Henry VIII and his courtier (I only convey the part that pertains to this discussion):

C. Omnia vincit amor!
H. Ah, yes! Everybody is won by love!

I would not vouchsafe for the precision of the quote, but the gist is there. What's happening? Henry VIII clearly misinterprets the first half of Virgil's famous line from Eclogue 10:

Omnia vincit Amor: et nos cedamus Amori.

Yes, 'Love conquers all' is the correct translation. However, this 'all' is Neuter. Thus the meaning of the phrase is more philosophical: 'Love conquers all things, everything in existence'. Henry interprets it in a very trite sense: 'All people are subject to love'. Sure, he was a real expert in matters of love, but I won't believe that he was not a good enough Latinist to see a very simple grammatical point.

The moral is, it is ok to quote translations of Latin phrases. But one should not modify these translations, because the resulting paraphrase can become untrue to the original!

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More Latin car company names

 
Previously I wrote about Volvo:

http://www.inrebus.com/index.php?entry= ... 118-000634

The funny thing is that company names are so recognizable as such that it takes a special effort to notice their Latin roots. I trust these little snippets of corporate Latin may be useful for teaching Latin. Something along the lines of "see, children, how important Latin is? If you ever start a car company you will need a logo, so you better know your Latin."

Audi - "Hear!".
Fiat - "Let it be!" This one is, of course, reminiscent of Genesis 1.3: Dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux.
Infiniti - Nominal Plural of "infinitus" 'boundless, endless, unlimited'. Technically, this can also be Genetive Sing., but that would not make much sense.
Lotus - "Lotus". This common plant name also means 'washed, clean' and in some cases may be taken to mean 'fashionable, luxurious, fine etc'.
Volvo - "I roll".

See also: Business Names: Never Boring!
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Old Loeb editions online

 
Sunday, January 20, 2008, 14:35 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Learn Latin Language, Latin Translation, Poetry, Literature, Music
Posted by Administrator
Since my very reasonable (in my opinion) suggestion to commemorate Loeb's 500th and 501st volumes by the way of a promotional "500 Loebs for $500" sale fell through...

Early Loebs, with their idiosyncratic translations are indexed on this page:

http://www.edonnelly.com/loebs.html

Keep in mind that there are also links to recently published Loebs, to you need to look closely to find the freebies.
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