i have a block in my schedule at school that’s designated to help my multi-faceted language teacher, (latin prose & french V) grade papers and prepare lesson plans. while that may sound productive i generally don’t do any of that & instead complete homework assignments as well as writing short pieces of fiction and or poems.
today, was one of the days, that i didn’t do anything other than the selfish sorts of action. i listened to him ramble about the perfect past participle, and observed him avoiding my questions about scribo, scribere, scripti, scriptum. he drew me a diagram that had little to do with what i was asking, and somehow the verb scribo turned into ago, the methods of accomplishing that, I don’t know, but he lost me early on during his rant.
my professor looked up a few minutes before the block ended, i discerned a disgusted expression painted upon his visage. he muttered and grumbled a few nothings, and then said he was appalled. thus began the reading of a latin translation regarding Iupiter and Europa. For the purpose of future humor, I photocopied the piece of ripped parchment, and here’s how it reads:
“europe is a girl pulchra. europian upon tyro, insula upon phoenicia, habitat. agenor is the king phoeniciae, and europe is daughter. europa when friendship tyris public games. Female friend europae girl being loved and europa is friendship amat. and so Iuppiter is god. god iuppiter upon Heaven to have frequently. at that time earth welcome. But Europa is fainthearted. And so Iuppiter himself upon taurum beautiful transformat. Europa taurum novel by day spectat. Female friend Europae are fainthearted. Anyone is taurus? Taurus when girl and friendship public games. Europa when tauro public games. Now taurus is not novel girl not is fainthearted. Taurus now is male friend. Taurus girl upon to wipe he carries. Now Europam upon to wipe he carries. Taurus when girl upon to wipe fugitive and girl to island Chalk he carries. God and girl upon island to have frequently. Island is upon earth nova. Earth nova is now address Europa. Poet Ovidius Fable about Europa and tauro to make known.”
That was just about the most upsetting translation of Ovid I have ever read. I too, am appalled at the arrogance of people. However, this does make me laugh- every time I go over it. There are words that remain in LATIN! And, yes, I adore lingua latina, but, if one keeps the word, pulchra in a translation, that just makes me furious. PULCHRA? words in English like pulchritude have the root. Shees. I just… I’m saddened yet humored by this nonsense.