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Subject:Help translating a latin motto
Time:10:47 pm
Hello!

My wife and I are founding a micronation. We have been trying to translate our intended motto into Latin and wondered if you fine folks could give us a hand.

Our motto, in English, is
[to] see the world in a deeper shade of green

...this being basically an intended equivalent of "to see the world through rose-colored glasses" but meaning "to live more fully" rather than "to have an irrationally positive attitude."

The Latin we've worked out, given my wife is an English major but neither of us have taken it since 9th grade (and I failed the class so massively it's... really just funny) is:

gerere mundum [ceu/tamquam] [atrius/magnius] colorem viridantis

Can anyone confirm whether any of this is correct or help us translate this phrase?

Thanks!
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ioanna_ioannina
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Time:2010-09-19 04:02 am (UTC)
I´d say
reddere mundum viridiorem
or
reddere/ponere/immergere mundum profundius in viriditate / in viriditate profundiori
or you can substitute "mundum" with "orbem terrarum".
Or, if you wish, you can use passive voice:
ut / uti mundus / orbis terrarum viridius fiat / reddatur;
ut / uti mundus / orbis terrarum in viriditate profundiori immersus sit.
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ojingeo
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Time:2010-09-19 04:17 am (UTC)
Using "viridiorem," "veriditate" or "profundiori" would be making up Latin. :/ I mean, plenty of mottos do it, but I just wanted to throw that out there.

Out of curiosity, what made you choose those verbs? They're a lot more active than the English phrase seems to call for; I took it that they want to perceive the world with a more positive view rather than actually make the world green. You're also opening a whole can of worms by using ut to introduce purpose, which I didn't think was necessary for a motto.
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ioanna_ioannina
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Time:2010-09-19 04:36 am (UTC)
Viridis, -e and profundus, -a, -um are adjectives, so it is perfectly possible to make a comparative. How do you mean it with making up Latin?

I was trying to include the activity of the word "to see" and the feeling of "deep green". For the purpose, in my view it is far more natural for Latin that an infinitive in a motto like this. For me, to see a world in any (added) shade of color feels like a conscious choice or at least as an action of the person who is seeing it, hence the activity.

English is not my first language, so it is possible that I feel the original motto in a different way. On the other hand, I am one of the few hundred people capable of actually speaking Latin (Latinitas viva, if you know it), I am even giving some lectures and writing poems in Latin, so I dared to offer my version.

Yes, you can say my choice is not ciceronian nor mediaeval. I´d place it somewhere around Boethius or so.
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ojingeo
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Time:2010-09-19 04:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, I realized my mistake about the comparative adjectives right after I'd posted that, my apologies. What form is veriditate? Personally I wouldn't use profundus either; yeah, it means deep, but in the sense of being profound. That's the literal sense of the motto, but I would say it confuses the metaphor.

I'm still not entirely convinced by your verbs, but it's a matter of preference, and I'm sure the OP appreciates a range of views.

I'm reading Consolatio Philosophiae right now! I'm really enjoying it, Boethius has a nice tone. Late Latin is fun, too; I'm more used to reading late-republic texts and am enjoying the different "flavor" of the prose.
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ioanna_ioannina
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Time:2010-09-19 05:10 am (UTC)
No problem. :-)
Viriditas, -atis, f. is a noun (nomen substantivum) derived regularly from the adjective viridis, -e, what is itself derived from vis, -ris f., vir, -i m., vireo, -ere, virgo, -inis f. and all this group (meaning "green, young, fertile, full of life"). It is a very old indoeuropean "family" of words. I love it. :-)

Yes, it is a matter of preference, there are many ways of translating. You know the old joke about translations: they are like women, the nice ones aren´t faithful and the faithful ones aren´t nice. ;o))

Boethius is a gem. One of my professors used to call him The last real Roman.
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sollersuk
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Time:2010-09-19 06:24 am (UTC)
I spent an enjoyable but exhausting time some years ago with the "De Arithmetica"; he's sneered at for not being an original thinker, but for someone who wants to know what mathematical ideas were around at the time, who cares? I was fascinated by the "evenly even" numbers (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64...) and the fact that his number theory is essentially the same as Peano's (you derive the natural numbers by starting with 1 and adding 1 to the previous one). Thank goodness his Latin was lovely and clear.
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ioanna_ioannina
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Time:2010-09-19 03:18 pm (UTC)
Yes. I love him for his achievements in metrics. He managed to use more different verses than Horace.
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sollersuk
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Time:2010-09-19 03:29 pm (UTC)
For someone some decades earlier, have you read Sidonius Apollinaris? Quite inadvertently, he can be quite a yell. He wanted to live in his villa like Horace... but Horace never had a fireplace in his winter dining room with a chimney that smoked! His letters are a wonderful picture of a really strange time and a fascinating mixture of cultures.

And going back to Boethius' time, have you read the covering letter that Theodoric sent with the present of a clock to the Burgundian king Gundobad? One of the cattiest bits of diplomatic correspondence I've ever come across - I've often wondered exactly why Cassiodorus put it in the published collection of correspondence.
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ioanna_ioannina
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Time:2010-09-21 01:30 pm (UTC)
I don´t remember... so probably not. But thank you for the tip wrt his letters, I will look at it and if possible, I will throw them to my Latin circle.

Re Cassiodorus: they were doing this back from Cicero, if I recall correctly: including letters written to them into their own collections, if the letters were of big importance for them.

I love the one by Carolus Magnus about monasteries: ora et labora, but if someone isn´t capable of writing, pretty please, let him to work in the garden instead... :-))
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sollersuk
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Time:2010-09-21 05:09 pm (UTC)
Cassiodorus: he was Theodoric's Latin secretary and in charge of the diplomatic correspondence, of which this forms part - and this one is only in the technical sense diplomatic. It's from Theodoric to Gundobad, and to summarise it says, "You saw a clock like this when you were in Rome (ie when he was head of the Roman army in the West, before he became king of the Burgundians); now you can have on of your very own. Clocks are good things to have, because without them people can only tell what time it is by how hungry they are - like animals."

One of the things that fascinates me about the period is that they were both Germanic kings, and also Roman Patricians; indeed, Theodoric had been Consul one year.
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ioanna_ioannina
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Time:2010-09-21 05:43 pm (UTC)
Haha, that´s nice! I must read it!

It was pretty stupid of Augustus to cut down the number of legions to half. These were some of the results.
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sollersuk
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Time:2010-09-21 05:52 pm (UTC)
You can't really blame Augustus for what happened nearly half a millennium later after a major economic crisis! The old system worked fine under the Republic and to a certain extent in the early Empire but became unsustainable when the Empire stopped expanding. And the problem of raising enough taxes to pay the legions that survived led to revolts, people preferring Germanic rule to Roman rule because the taxes were more survivable and, according to some writers, the Brits kicking the Roman authorities out.
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napoleonofnerds
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Time:2010-09-19 02:23 pm (UTC)
Profundus can mean either profound as you suggest or literally deep (like a valley) or vast. I know Virgil uses this meaning to get to "the sea" in the Aeneid. It doesn't mean deep the way the OP suggests, though.
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ioanna_ioannina
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Time:2010-09-19 03:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, in this use it would have to be understood as a metaphore - greeniness for valley full of trees. There is a possibility of "viridis nigrescens", too, but it is a neologism, as far as I know, and I don´t like the use of anything derived from "niger" in this context, it would destroy all the inherent hope for me. Of course, "ater" is far worse, but still. :-))
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ojingeo
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Time:2010-09-19 04:10 am (UTC)
I'm not sure where you got gerere, Lewis and Short doesn't list a definition that remotely means what you're trying to say. The closest would be Gerere se [aliquo modo], to conduct oneself [in any manner], but that's iffy and doesn't work in a motto where you're trying to be pithy. I think you're better off using video, -ere instead. There's also sentio, -ire, "to percieve," or tueor, tueri, but I'd have another Latinist check those; I'm not sure what connotations they might carry. Also, just fyi, the word you used for green is actually the present participle of the verb virido, which means to make something green. The adjective is viridis, which means not only green but blooming and youthful (and which fits nicely with your intentions).

I'd put it as videre mundum magno colore viridis. You don't need a preposition, the ablative speaks for itself. You could use atrius instead of magnus, but atrius really means dark (with underworld connotations) and would make the phrase "to see the world in a more spiteful/poisonous shade of green."
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sollersuk
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Time:2010-09-19 06:27 am (UTC)
Colour words in Latin don't map one-to-one with English, so you might need to be specific about what type of green you're thinking of.
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cnoocy
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Time:2010-09-19 01:33 pm (UTC)
Though "viridis" is specifically the green of growing plants and vegetation, so if that's the intended connotation, viridis is ideal.
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falmouthroad
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Time:2010-09-21 10:49 am (UTC)
The original suggestion I don't think makes sense. I also don't think a Roman would get what a 'viridem mundum' might mean. But 'viridis' is definitely the right word to convey 'green' with a positive sense of natural fertility/vibrancy etc.

'Viridior seges sit ocellis semper in nostris'

It means 'may a greener field be always in our eyes' / 'may the field always be greener in our eyes'.

Bonus points to anyone who can identify my model for this phrase. (Hint: mine is not a hexameter not least because unfortunately the 'Vi' of 'viridior' is short, but my model was a hexameter).
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falmouthroad
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Time:2010-09-21 12:45 pm (UTC)
viridior seges est nostris in semper oculis
[-]v v/ - v v / - // - / - / - - / v v / - -

Is about as close to a hexameter as I can get, if I'm allowed to lengthen the 'vi' of 'viridior'. Unfortunately, it is impossible for the comparative of viridis to appear properly in a Latin hexameter or pentameter since 'viridior' begins with three short syllables. I could replace 'viridior' with 'splendidior' or even 'fertilior'...
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