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Q: How do I translate "film noir forever" into Latin? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: How do I translate "film noir forever" into Latin?
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: billnoir-ga
List Price: $7.50
Posted: 29 Aug 2006 15:19 PDT
Expires: 28 Sep 2006 15:19 PDT
Question ID: 760603
I had 5 years of Latin in high school/college, so I was able to come
up with something...  However, I'm not that confident in it, given
that film in the modern sense did not exist in classical times (as far
as we know :-] ).  What I came up with was "Aeternum membrana nigra"
(modeled after "Aeternum vale"). I suspect that "membrana" in this
usage is suspect...  I'm vaguely aware that there's a system out there
(official or unofficial) for modernizing Latin -- I'm hoping that an
expert out there can come up with the right phrase.


Subject: Re: How do I translate "film noir forever" into Latin?
Answered By: scriptor-ga on 29 Aug 2006 15:55 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear billnoir,

Since the word "film" does, in this particular case, not refer to the
celluloid film itself but rather to a specific kind of cinema genre, I
propose to translate "film" with the Modern Latin term term that is
generally used to describe cinema in general: "cinematographeum". The
genre-defining adjective "noir" should be translated with a Latin word
that means dark, gloomy, grim. I believe that "austerum" would be
fine. The "forever" is rather easy, "in aeternum".

So "film noir forever" would be "cinematographeum austerum in aeternum". 

It is what I believe to be a translation that is very close to the
meaning of the English expression, but not literal since that would be


Request for Answer Clarification by billnoir-ga on 30 Aug 2006 09:31 PDT
Thanks, Scriptor -- excellent answer!  And I like the usage of
"austerus" rather than "niger"...

One question -- in the quote, "Aeternum vale," "forever" is translated
as simply "aeternum," whereas elsewhere I've seen "in aeternum" used. 
I have a preference for succint translations; however, I have pretty
high confidence that your translation is better.  But... why not
simply "aeternum"?



Clarification of Answer by scriptor-ga on 30 Aug 2006 10:41 PDT
You can use both "aeternum" and "in aeternum" - both translate as
"eternally, in eternity, forever". Since the Old Romans were obviously
very fond of shortening their texts where ever they could, Latin
offers many possibilities to use short forms that are just as correct
as the longer original expressions. I chose "in aeternum" just because
I found it to be sounding more elegant and sophisticated - but feel
free to use just "aeternum".

billnoir-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Very thorough job, including answering the question using Modern Latin as requested.

Subject: Re: How do I translate "film noir forever" into Latin?
From: ttjc-ga on 30 Aug 2006 02:42 PDT

To translate this modern term into Latin, it is best to use modern
Latin-derived languages (Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Catalan,
French, Romanian, etc) as a guide.

In many of these languages, the modern term for film (both cinema and
the physical celluloid) is derived from the Latin "pellicula". 
Therefore, it is believed by some that a more appropriate translation
for film into the Latin language would be "pellicula cinematographica"
rather than "cinematographeum".

Noir, of course, comes from the French equivalent of "black".  In
other Latin-derived languages, film noir is translated as "black
film".  In Latin, black is translated "niger".

Forever is better translated into Latin using the English phrase "for
always", which would be "pro sempre"

Therefore, an alternate translation could be "pellicula
cinematographica niger pro sempre" or, simply "pellicula niger pro
Subject: Re: How do I translate "film noir forever" into Latin?
From: ttjc-ga on 30 Aug 2006 03:08 PDT
Correction: Sempre should be semper (sempre is Italian).  Also, please
note that many do consider "in aeternum" to be more correct.  I am
just providing an alternative.
Subject: Re: How do I translate "film noir forever" into Latin?
From: miguel1977-ga on 17 Sep 2006 21:11 PDT
Just a comment. The vatican recently added "telephonum cellulare"
(mobile phone) to latin. I don't speak latin but spanish and guess
what mobile phone in spanish is telefono celular !

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