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Q: Translate English to Latin ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Translate English to Latin
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: blackrock-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 05 Dec 2003 13:42 PST
Expires: 04 Jan 2004 13:42 PST
Question ID: 283938
I'd like a nice Latin translation of an idea expressed in English.  It
is more important to capture the meaning of the phrase, and not the
precise wording.  Something poetic and rhythmic would be nice, but not

The english is something like:

"If it isn't tested, it doesn't work" -OR-
"If it hasn't been verified, it won't function correctly" -OR-
"No testee, no workee" -OR-

You get the idea...
Subject: Re: Translate English to Latin
Answered By: hlabadie-ga on 05 Dec 2003 16:36 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Nisi id probabitur, deficiet.

There are several ways to translate English conditionals into Latin.
Simple indicative forms can suffice.
Conditional sentences are expressed with the conjunction "si -- if".
"If he is doing it, he is wise."
Si id facit, prudens est.

Negative conditionals are expressed with the conjunction "nisi -- if not, lest".
"If he is not doing it, he is wise."
Nisi id facit, prudens est.

If the conditional is set in the future, then the future tense must be used.
"If he does it, he will be wise."
Si id faciet, prudens erit."

The negative:
"If he does not do it, he will be wise."
"Nisi id faciet, prudens erit."

The sentence:

If it is not tested, it will not work.

has the additional feature that it is passive rather than active in
the main clause.

Thus, the Latin would require the use of the negative "nisi" and the
passive voice in the main clause. To simplify:

"If it is not (will not be tested) tested, it will fail."

Nisi id probabitur, deficiet.

is, ea, id -- the third person pronoun in Latin, has three genders. Is
-- masculine, he. Ea -- feminine, she. Id -- neuter, it.

Id in the singular is declined thus:

id -- nom.
eius -- gen.
ei -- dat.
id -- acc.
eo -- abl.

probo, probare, probavi, probatus sum -- to test, to prove, -- first conjugation.

Future Passive Conjugation.

probabor -- I shall be proved.
probaberis -- You shall be proved.
probabitur -- It shall be proved.

deficio, deficere, defeci, defectus sum -- to fail -- third conjugation, "i" stem.

Future Active Conjugation.

deficiam -- I shall fail.
deficies -- You will fail.
deficiet -- It will fail.

Wheelock, Frederick M., Latin: An Introductory Course Based on Ancient
Authors, Third Edition, Barnes And Noble, NY, 1967.

blackrock-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
An excellent answer with far more detail than expected.

Subject: Re: Translate English to Latin
From: hlabadie-ga on 05 Dec 2003 18:04 PST
Thanks for the tip and the rating.


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