Handy-Dandy, Step-by-Step Guide to Translating

Latin Review Project, Cannon, 5/8

You know they are right around the corner...

Example Sentence:

Fabri, qui arcum exstruebant, dilligentissime laborabant.

Step One: Search for the verb(s)

Fabri, qui arcum exstruebant, dilligentissime laborabant.


Step Two: Search for the  subject (s)

Fabri, qui arcum exstruebant, dilligentissime laborabant.

[NOTE: Pronouns can be treated in a variety of ways, but in this sentence it pretty much serves as a repetition of the subject]


Step Three: Search for D.O.(s) if the sentence has one

Fabri, qui arcum exstruebant, dilligentissime laborabant.


Step Four: Find remaining parts of sentence (e.g., participles and participle phrases, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, etc.)

Fabri, qui arcum exstruebant, dilligentissime laborabant.


MAPPING OF SENTENCE COMPLETE

Mapping out the sentence just facilitates the translating process; you know what to look for now when you actually tackle the deciphering process.

Onto the Translating!

I can't help you with the actual vocab, but I can tell you how to order the sentence in English from its Latin words.

Fabri, qui arcum exstruebant, dilligentissime laborabant.

[If you don't know whether Fabri is plural or not, look at the verbs... (cue Jack's triumphant explanation)

The craftsmen, qui arcum exstruebant, dilligentissime laborabant.

You can see the qui is nominative, so we know that it's talking about the craftsmen (An alternative method would be to translate qui arcum exstruebant first, as it is a phrase.)

The craftsmen, who arcum exstruebant, dilligentissime laborabant.

Because the two verbs in this sentence both end in bant, we know they not only are they first person plural, but that it's going to be translated like this: were _____ing.

The craftsmen, who were arcum building, dilligentissime were working.

Now let's look at the D.O. Arcum is accusative singular, so we do the obvious and translate it as one arch.

The craftsmen, who were building an arch, dilligentissime were working.

Dilligentissime is an adverb (a superlative at that, indicated by the -issime.) The finished product will look like this: (see below)

The craftsmen, who were building the arch, were working very diligently.

And that's it! True, these are the basic steps, but they are the necessary steps for any translator.

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