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Latin question, with Finnish question edited in - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Latin question, with Finnish question edited in
Any Latin speakers on my f-list?

My undergrad school's motto is officially Pax et Lux, but as P.T. Barnum was a trustee, sjepstein and I were recently discussing "There's a sucker born every minute" as a motto. Does anyone know how to say that in Latin?

Oh, and another language question for Finnish speakers: I had a Finnish exchange sister, who taught me that "Hyvaa Joulua" was "Merry Christmas," but when I was watching a music channel that had little trivia factoids, it said that "Hauskaa Joulua" was right. I ran a check on "Hyvaa" and it seems common enough, but what about that "Hauskaa" form? Is it just a mistake, or is it like the difference between "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Christmas"?

Enquiring minds want to know.

I feel a bit...: amused Making my own fun

6 comments or Leave a comment
terrathree From: terrathree Date: December 8th, 2005 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, a translation challenge! Here are some possibilities - half the fun of translation, at least to me (I daresay most of my students haven't yet figured out this half, though), is not just rendering a phrase accurately but finding the right stylistic approach too. So, these are some possible approaches.

Omni minuta nascitur barcala. Very literal translation.

Cuique ipsi tempori barcala. A little more elegant, I think. Literally it would be "There's a fool for each individual moment," or something like.

Nulla minuta sine barcala. Has a nice sort of balance; literally, "There's no minute without a fool."
terrathree From: terrathree Date: December 8th, 2005 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
And incidentally...the word I used for "sucker" was barcala, but that literally means a fool or simpleton. You could also replace it with credulus (or in the third phrase, sine credulo), which means "a gullible person".
elinevere From: elinevere Date: December 8th, 2005 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Something like "Stulti omnis momentis nati" (stulti means fools, I suppose that will suffice?)
sue_parsons From: sue_parsons Date: December 9th, 2005 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)


She AIMed me this evening, so I asked her.

[18:55] bus1246@mac.com: sine credulo, or credulus ... indicate vulnerability to being tricked, specifically. You can be stupid and not gullible, or not a sucker just out of stubbornness.
[18:56] bus1246@mac.com: hmf.
[18:58] bus1246@mac.com: found barcala in the Oxf Lat Dictionary - big surprise that we know this word from Petronius.
[19:00] bus1246@mac.com: the passage cited as an example seems to have people being suckered - "sic nos barcalae despoliamur." Satyricon 67.7
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 9th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)


Hi Fern! I'm an American who spent a year in Finland, speaking Finnish the whole time. (So any native trumps me.) Hyva means "good," and you're right, it is a very common word. "Hauska" (according to my dictionary ) means pleasant, delightful, or amusing. I think of it as meaning "fun." (You can say "pida hauskaa" for "have fun." I spent Christmas in Kuopio, in the lake country, and only heard "Hauskaa Joulua." Perhaps your exchange sister was from another region, where "Hyvaa Joulua" is the common expression. I was surprised by how greatly the accents and dialects varied regionally in what seemed to me a relatively small country.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2005 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Finnish

She was from Espoo, just outside Helsinki I think. (I had the impression that living in a small town was a much bigger adjustment for her than living in the U.S.!)
6 comments or Leave a comment