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Seeker, come to me, and be my eyes when I cannot see.

Latin translation: Indagator, veni ad me esque oculi mei cum videre non possum

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:Seeker, come to me, and be my eyes when I cannot see.
Latin translation:Indagator, veni ad me esque oculi mei cum videre non possum
Entered by: Joseph Brazauskas
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11:48 Mar 5, 2007
English to Latin translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: Seeker, come to me, and be my eyes when I cannot see.
Looking for a Latin translation of a phrase that a magical summoner of creatures may call to a 'seeing-eye monster' called a seeker.
Sarah
Indagator, veni ad me esque oculi mei cum videre non possum
Explanation:
'Indagator' means 'one who tracks down' (as a hunter does). It is the single Latin word which is closest in meaning to 'seeker'. But a phrase such as 'o tu qui quaeris' ('o you who seek') would sound more natural.

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Note added at 10 hrs (2007-03-05 22:27:14 GMT)
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One might, rather than say 'es oculi mei', 'be my eyes', which is present imperative, the normal way of expressing a command in colloquial Latin of the classical period, adopt Olga's suggestion and say instead 'sis oculi mei', '(may you) be my eyes'.

As she points out, this would be an instance of the so-called 'subiunctivus hortativus', which is one example of a type of independent verbal constructions known as 'optative subjunctives' that express a wish. When employed in the third person present tense, singular or plural, and in the first person plural, it is the normal way of expressing a command in these persons, standing in for the corresponding forms of the imperative which are wanting in Latin. The hortatory subjunctive is likewise, when preceded by the negative particle 'ne', regularly used in the perfect tense in all persons and numbers to express a negative command.

In the second person, however, the hortatory subjunctive is mostly confined to the singular, and its subject, excepting only in the comic dramatists, such as Plautus, Terence, and Caecilius Statius, most of whom antedate the classical period, is always indefinite and imaginary, much like the English use of the indefinite4 pronoun 'one' with the third person present indicative, by which corresponding grammatical construction it is often conveniently rendered.

For the hortatory subjunctive, cf., e.g., Gildersleeve & Lodge, 'Latin Grammar', p. 173; C. E. Bennet, 'Latin Grammar', p. 177.



'Sis oculi mei' is, therefore, a viable alternative translation if you want to stress that the seeker whom you are addressing is not a specific individual known to you, while 'es oculi mei' ought to be employed when the person addressed is definitely known to your acquaintance, as indeed must be the case here, since 'indagator' is unquestionably vocative.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2007-03-05 22:35:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The enclitic '-que', meaning 'and', expresses a closer logical and grammatical linkage between the action and state expressed by 'veni' and 'es' (or 'sis') respectively than would 'et', which also means 'and', but does not emphasise either clause, while 'atque' ('and, and also') would stress the clause or clauses which followed it.
Selected response from:

Joseph Brazauskas
United States
Grading comment
Thanks, you really went out of your way to give me a good answer!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +2Indagator, veni ad me esque oculi mei cum videre non possum
Joseph Brazauskas


  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
seeker, come to me, and be my eyes when i cannot see.
Indagator, veni ad me esque oculi mei cum videre non possum


Explanation:
'Indagator' means 'one who tracks down' (as a hunter does). It is the single Latin word which is closest in meaning to 'seeker'. But a phrase such as 'o tu qui quaeris' ('o you who seek') would sound more natural.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2007-03-05 22:27:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

One might, rather than say 'es oculi mei', 'be my eyes', which is present imperative, the normal way of expressing a command in colloquial Latin of the classical period, adopt Olga's suggestion and say instead 'sis oculi mei', '(may you) be my eyes'.

As she points out, this would be an instance of the so-called 'subiunctivus hortativus', which is one example of a type of independent verbal constructions known as 'optative subjunctives' that express a wish. When employed in the third person present tense, singular or plural, and in the first person plural, it is the normal way of expressing a command in these persons, standing in for the corresponding forms of the imperative which are wanting in Latin. The hortatory subjunctive is likewise, when preceded by the negative particle 'ne', regularly used in the perfect tense in all persons and numbers to express a negative command.

In the second person, however, the hortatory subjunctive is mostly confined to the singular, and its subject, excepting only in the comic dramatists, such as Plautus, Terence, and Caecilius Statius, most of whom antedate the classical period, is always indefinite and imaginary, much like the English use of the indefinite4 pronoun 'one' with the third person present indicative, by which corresponding grammatical construction it is often conveniently rendered.

For the hortatory subjunctive, cf., e.g., Gildersleeve & Lodge, 'Latin Grammar', p. 173; C. E. Bennet, 'Latin Grammar', p. 177.



'Sis oculi mei' is, therefore, a viable alternative translation if you want to stress that the seeker whom you are addressing is not a specific individual known to you, while 'es oculi mei' ought to be employed when the person addressed is definitely known to your acquaintance, as indeed must be the case here, since 'indagator' is unquestionably vocative.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2007-03-05 22:35:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The enclitic '-que', meaning 'and', expresses a closer logical and grammatical linkage between the action and state expressed by 'veni' and 'es' (or 'sis') respectively than would 'et', which also means 'and', but does not emphasise either clause, while 'atque' ('and, and also') would stress the clause or clauses which followed it.

Joseph Brazauskas
United States
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 72
Grading comment
Thanks, you really went out of your way to give me a good answer!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
1 hr
  -> Many thanks, Vicky.

agree  Olga Cartlidge: Tua ratio disserendi de argumento tuo me convincit, doctissime Collega. (Itaque vides: non sempre me iacto quasi Nemesis tua essem :-)) // Sis oculi mei. Be my eyes - Coniunctivus Hortativus.//
7 hrs
  -> Salve, tu quae te iactare velles quasi mea esses Nemesis. Vide, si placet, adnotationes meas quae supra scriptae sunt.
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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
PRO (3): BrigitteHilgner, Markus Grauer, Joseph Brazauskas


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Changes made by editors
Mar 5, 2007 - Changes made by Joseph Brazauskas:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO


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