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#1 ah_522

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 10:51 PM

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but at this point, I would appreciate any suggestions or feedback on this.

 

My story uses a lot of Latin, and like a lot of Slavic and Romance languages, there's a difference in endings between singular and plural male, female, and neuter nouns. (Like alumnus/alumna/alumni/alumnae.) 

 

My CPs have asked me several times about this, and I've gotten mixed messages about using those endings. Should I use the correct endings for my story? Or should I just the m/plural (i) ending for everything? 

 



#2 Dr Anne

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 11:19 PM

Hi,

I think you should probably use the correct endings, with short explanations/expositions in the text, or even footnotes, explaining what the words mean if they are obscure. But don't let a lot of explanation slow down the story.

 

If you don't use the correct spelling, someone who knows Latin will most likely pull you up on it! 

 

(My partner is a Latin scholar and I wanted to learn it, as I love languages, until I saw how complex it was. It will have to wait till I retire). 

 

Cheers, 

Dr Anne.



#3 ah_522

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 12:08 AM

Hi,

I think you should probably use the correct endings, with short explanations/expositions in the text, or even footnotes, explaining what the words mean if they are obscure. But don't let a lot of explanation slow down the story.

 

If you don't use the correct spelling, someone who knows Latin will most likely pull you up on it! 

 

(My partner is a Latin scholar and I wanted to learn it, as I love languages, until I saw how complex it was. It will have to wait till I retire). 

 

Cheers, 

Dr Anne.

 

I'm a classicist, Dr Anne, so that's why I was wondering. I'd normally use the right endings, but I didn't know if it would work in common lingo.  

 

Thanks!



#4 Dr Anne

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 02:12 AM

Good luck. BTW, I just noticed you like ballroom dancing, as do my partner and I.



#5 mwsinclair

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 11:57 AM

First, I'd agree with Dr. Anne. Second, I'd say that decision may influence your audience's appreciation of your writing. Careful readers like accurate writers, and I think all of us like having careful readers among our audience.



#6 ah_522

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 03:01 PM

First, I'd agree with Dr. Anne. Second, I'd say that decision may influence your audience's appreciation of your writing. Careful readers like accurate writers, and I think all of us like having careful readers among our audience.

 

Cool! That's why I was wondering, because I remember being driven crazy by Harry Potter and the weird Latin. I wanted to use them, but I have had people tell me that it's too complicated and confusing, which was why I backed down. I'm definitely going to now. 

 

@ Dr Anne, it's wonderful, isn't it? I started taking classes at uni to de-stress, and now I'm addicted. =)



#7 MacB

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 12:48 PM

Stick to classical endings.

(as to the dancing what do a cheap hotel and skinny jeans have in common?)
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#8 Zaarin

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 04:22 PM

Use the classical ending, but don't drive yourself crazy declining the noun according to it's part of speech when used in an English sentence--sticking to the nominative is typically the rule for Latin loanwords in English. I can't say I've ever seen "Give this scroll to the animunculō; I'm sure it will please the animunculum. It is, after all, the animunculī scroll. The animunculus is downstairs." ;)



#9 ah_522

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 01:17 AM

Use the classical ending, but don't drive yourself crazy declining the noun according to it's part of speech when used in an English sentence--sticking to the nominative is typically the rule for Latin loanwords in English. I can't say I've ever seen "Give this scroll to the animunculō; I'm sure it will please the animunculum. It is, after all, the animunculī scroll. The animunculus is downstairs." ;)

 

Oh heavens no, Zaarin! If I did that I would go crazy too! I was only thinking of using the nominative declension (hence why I did the alumnus/a/i/ae example).

 

That example gave me a very good laugh. =) 



#10 Zaarin

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 02:22 PM

Oh heavens no, Zaarin! If I did that I would go crazy too! I was only thinking of using the nominative declension (hence why I did the alumnus/a/i/ae example).

 

That example gave me a very good laugh. =) 

Mostly I brought it up because I'm pretty certain I tried using the locative in one of my early writings. :P



#11 arcangie

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 06:01 AM

I don't know latin but am fluent in French and Italian.  When authors incorrectly use foreign words it bothers me.  Another thing that bothers me is the the author using the clichéd meanings of foreign words.  Not that they would know every nuance a foreign word has but that doesn't sound like your case.



#12 KelseyCross

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 07:57 PM

Everyone has basically chimed in, but definitely use the correct endings! For people like us, who know and can read Latin, it would be something that would personally give me enough to discredit the reliability of the book. If you want a reference to how Latin is well used in a novel, check out The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. She incorporates a ton of (correctly used) Latin conversations and phrases. I double checked them myself ;) 



#13 ah_522

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 05:50 AM

I don't know latin but am fluent in French and Italian.  When authors incorrectly use foreign words it bothers me.  Another thing that bothers me is the the author using the clichéd meanings of foreign words.  Not that they would know every nuance a foreign word has but that doesn't sound like your case.

 

I'm a strong believer that if you use a foreign language, you'd better have someone who's a native speaker check and make sure you're using those words properly. To this day, I still can't bring myself to pick up Shadow and Bone  because of how Bardugo uses Russian. As a Russian speaker, I went "nope, nope, nope!" 

 

Everyone has basically chimed in, but definitely use the correct endings! For people like us, who know and can read Latin, it would be something that would personally give me enough to discredit the reliability of the book. If you want a reference to how Latin is well used in a novel, check out The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. She incorporates a ton of (correctly used) Latin conversations and phrases. I double checked them myself ;) 

 

KelseyCross, it's not that I don't know how to use Latin (I've spent years learning Latin and classical Greek for my job), it was a matter of making sure that people wouldn't get testy or icky. I use a lot of languages in my book (Russian, traditional Chinese, and Latin off the top of my head), and while it's easier to get away w/ messing with some languages (really, how many ways can you transliterate a Chinese character -- off the top of my head there are only 3-4 systems...), Latin has declensions so the mixed reaction from CPs and betas worried me. Thankfully it's settled now, hooray. =)



#14 H-N-S

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 11:18 PM

I think you should use the correct endings for a more authentic feel. Good luck






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