Translating Latin

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Translating Latin

Post  Ethan Ramey on Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:24 am

So I've been trying to find the meaning of "Rector per Divinus Manus," and the closest I've found is "guide very divine hand." Of course, we all know how crude online translators are. I was just curious as to the source and translation of the phrase.
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Re: Translating Latin

Post  Seth Ruggeri on Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:58 pm

I used an online dictionary to develop the title, although at this point I couldn't begin to tell you were I dredged it up. The phrase is supposed to translate "Guided by the Divine Hand" however not being an expert on the language in the least, I may have very well done a poor job. Pearse, being a student of everyone's favorite dead language, can shed some light on how accurately I translated the phrase.

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Re: Translating Latin

Post  Mr. Pearse on Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:20 pm

Yeah...I was curious about that. It's hard to represent, but right now it says something along the lines of "teacher through divine hand" with the grammar all funky.

"ductus manu divina" means "having been led by the divine hand," and is likely technically closest to what you want.

However, consider:

"dictus lege dei" which means "ordained by the will of God."

Let me know if you want any more translations. This was a good distraction.
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Re: Translating Latin

Post  Seth Ruggeri on Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:25 pm

Thanks for the help Pearse. I think I'm going to go with "dictus lege dei" as the title. Out of curiosity, how does Latin handle things like capitalization? Would I still capitalize things like titles?

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Re: Translating Latin

Post  Mr. Pearse on Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:22 pm

Technically no capitalization and no punctuation of any sort. In ancient times, a thought was either contained by a given line or distinguished by syntax. Since there's also no fixed word order in Latin, "sentences" were distinguished by sticking the most important bits (verbs, subjects, proper nouns) on the end and everything else in the middle. Hence correct word endings are absolutely crucial to the language, and hence why your title was bothering me a little bit. Cool

Short answer: capitalize nothing or everything.

It's also worth noting that I've been using my dictionary extensively for this, so don't think I'm doing it off the top of my head. The great thing about Latin, though, is that it takes three or four accelerated semesters just to learn how to use a damn dictionary.
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