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est quod me velis

English translation: incomplete sentence

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01:54 Feb 25, 2006
Latin to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / poem
Latin term or phrase: est quod me velis
It is a line in a poem by Al Terego called "Early Morning at the Rectory." I would like to know what two Latin lines mean in the poem so I may understand what the poem is saying. "O verbo dic quid est quod me velis" and "Virum me natam vellem" Please translate them for me so I may understand Mr. Terego's poem better. Thank you for your help in this matter.
Dawn
English translation:incomplete sentence
Explanation:
in full: quin tu uno verbo dic quid est quod me velis
It's from Terentius (Publius Terentius Afer), from the the comedy The Woman of Andros, it's something like: tell me in one word what you want to tell me

Virum me natam vellem: if I only were a man ("would I had been born a man")

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Note added at 6 hrs (2006-02-25 08:30:53 GMT)
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I assume this is the page you took the quotation from, I am sure this is the only one where it exists in this form (I forgot to comment on that)
Selected response from:

Eva Blanar
Hungary
Local time: 15:13
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5incomplete sentence
Eva Blanar
5 +1O say in a word what it is that you want of me./I should wish that I had been born a man.
Joseph Brazauskas


  

Answers


6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
incomplete sentence


Explanation:
in full: quin tu uno verbo dic quid est quod me velis
It's from Terentius (Publius Terentius Afer), from the the comedy The Woman of Andros, it's something like: tell me in one word what you want to tell me

Virum me natam vellem: if I only were a man ("would I had been born a man")

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs (2006-02-25 08:30:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I assume this is the page you took the quotation from, I am sure this is the only one where it exists in this form (I forgot to comment on that)


    Reference: http://www.netpoets.com/poems/buffet/0839001.htm
Eva Blanar
Hungary
Local time: 15:13
Native speaker of: Hungarian
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Erzsébet Czopyk: Éva, király vagy!
46 mins

agree  Cristina Moldovan do Amaral
1 hr

agree  flaviofbg: "Andria" is also present in Latin and English at www.perseus.tufts.edu
1 hr

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
3 hrs

neutral  Joseph Brazauskas: I agree with your rendering of the second sentence.
22 hrs

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
1 day20 mins
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1 day4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
O say in a word what it is that you want of me./I should wish that I had been born a man.


Explanation:
The Latin is rather post-classical but clear enough. In the subordinate clause of the first sentence, which is an indirect question, 'sit' (subjunctive) would have been used for 'est' (indicative) in the ancient tongue; the form 'velis' (pres. sing. 2nd pers. of 'volo', 'I wish') is, however, properly subjunctive 'by attraction', as it would naturally have been in such a construction. 'Me' is ablative of origin or separation (i.e., a true ablative, which usage often dispenses with a privative preposition).

'Vellem' in the second sentence is an optative subjunctive, the imperfect of which denotes a wish on the part of the speaker that is unfulfilled in present time; the pluperfect would have denoted a wish unfulfilled in the past, and the present tense one impossible of fulfilment in the future. "Virum me natam" is a predicate accusative, the object of 'vellem'. A subordinate clause introduced with or without 'ut' might have been used instead, but the infinitive construction is much more common when the subject of the principal and subordinate clauses are identical



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Note added at 2006-02-26 06:29:42 (GMT)
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I meant, the grammar is rather pre-classical, not post-classical.

Joseph Brazauskas
United States
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 56

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Eva Blanar: Wow. Well, the original text is old enough (Terentius lived BC) and I am pretty sure the first sentence is a bit distorted (for the poem), but this formulation sounds definitely better, congrats.
2 hrs
  -> I meant to say ante- or pre-classical, not postclassical. Thank you!
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