Friday, September 7, 2012

Latin in The Name of the Rose

I have to wonder with all the latin that I am seeing in this novel if it bothered people with no Latin at all that none of it is translated. I guess it gives the novel the aura of authenticity but surely it could have been translated in footnotes or brackets. I am not going to translate them all but, if someone comes across this blog and finds a phrase that they really want to understand and Google translate or Babelfish is not working for them, they can post a comment and I will do my best to translate it for them. My edition is a Harcourt paperback, translated into English by William Weaver.
There is a long Latin piece on pages 62-63 which I shall translate now.

"Quorum primus seraphico calculo purgatus et ardore celico inflammatus totum incendere videbatur. Secundus vero verbo predicationis fecundus super mundi tenebras clarius radiavit"

"The first of these having been cleansed by the seraphic stone and burned by the celestial fire seemed to burn up entirely. The second fertile one, in truth, gleamed more brightly by the word of his preaching upon the darkness of the world."

And then Ubertino said "yes, these were the promises: the Angelic Pope must come" So the first sentence refers to the Anti-Christ and the second is Jesus come again(?). At last Ubertino said "Mors est quies viatoris - finis est omnis laboris" or "Death is the repose of the traveller - is the end of all labor." Life is a journey not a destination.

6 comments:

Anachronist said...

One of my favourite novels which even I illustrated in my free time. Also I tried to translate all these lovely Latin phrases (but with poorer results obviously).

The Red Witch said...

Yeah, a dictionary will only get you so far. I have tried the translation softwares and the results are usually funny. There are always words they can't cope with. Was there anything in particular you wished you could have understood? I might post more as I read along.

Anachronist said...

At that time, freshly from my Latin secondary school classes, I thought I understood rather more than less but I might get it wrong. I must dust my old copy and then I'll let you know.

The Red Witch said...

Ok :-) If your latin was still fresh, I wouldn't assume my translation is any better than yours. You do have a gift with languages.

Daniel Landsman said...

Thanks for this. Helpful as I am frustrated by all the untranslated Latin and finally at this page I wanted to look it up. This was the first hit.

The Red Witch said...

You are welcome. Are there any parts that you would like some help with? Just post a comment and I will translate it for you.