3

I want to translate this to Latin:

hunt like a wolf
feast like a god

Google gives me

sicut lupos venari
a deo quasi festum

To my understanding, the words are pretty much correct, but does this translate my idea?
I want to say "Those who hunt like wolves, will (or are able to) feast like a god (or gods)"

  • 1
    An entry for the 'questions you can answer from the title alone' gallery – dbmag9 Apr 13 at 12:08
4

Here are my preferred alternatives:

Qui sicut lupi agitant epulantur sicut di.

or

Par lupo venans dive epulatur.

Here's how I got there:

The relative clause seems more idiomatic to me. After all, one typically says qui tacet consentire videtur, not tacens consentire videtur. However, the construction with the participle is also perfectly correct.

"Like" in the sense here is regularly expressed with sicut, thus Qui sicut lupus agitat sicut deus epulatur. Frankly, I think the plural might sound even better ("like gods" is less awkward than "like a god"): Qui sicut lupi agitant sicut di epulantur. Note the nominative forms after sicut. Sicut is a conjunction, not a preposition, but the verb is understood in many situations, including this one--no need to repeat agitant or epulantur. Finally, I'd probably want to emphasize the nouns rather than the verbs, so I'd rearrange to Qui sicut lupi agitant epulantur sicut di.

Examples of sicut used in this way include Plagas sicut Thomas non intueor in Aquinas's hymn Adoro te devote, but looking sicut up in Lewis & Short you will find plenty of examples of this usage in Cicero, so it's definitely classical. I think it's fine to use par lupo to describe "[hunting] like a wolf"--it really means [hunting] equally with a wolf. I do not at all like par deo to describe "[feasting] like a god", since the point of "feasting like a god" is not that you are equal to the gods in feasting but that the feast in front of you is like a god's feast. Also, it seems awkward to have the adjective par modifying the same subject (venans [homo]) twice. So the closest to Joonas's translation that would sound right to me would be Par lupo venans epulatur sicut deus. If you want to keep it as brief as possible, you could probably say Par lupo venans dive epulatur.

| improve this answer | |
6

Nope! Google Translate is very unreliable with Latin, and this suggestion is gibberish too. I'll refrain from trying to analyze the Google suggestion and offer something else instead:

Par lupo venans
par deo epulatur.

This is best translated to English as:

The one who hunts like a wolf
feasts like a god.

English isn't very good at capturing the structure, so perhaps the Finnish will be more illuminating:

Suden veroisena metsästävä
jumalan veroisena juhlii.

I wanted to use the same structure on both lines to get the strong parallelism of the original. Therefore I prefer either par with par or sicut with sicut. I chose par because it felt stronger; it seems to me that sicut is more "in the manner of" and par more "with the prestige of" (in Finnish: kaltainen tai veroinen eikä vain samalla tavalla). (Your question also reminded me of the poem ille mi par esse deo videtur… by Catullus.)

| improve this answer | |
  • Pisteet suomesta! Please can you refer to where or how you came up with this solution? – Sami Apr 12 at 21:28
  • 1
    @Sami A poem by Catullus came to mind and suggested using par, but it's mostly a result of years of studying Latin. Unfortunately I don't know any other way to translate well. I did consult a couple of dictionaries, including the Finnish one by Pitkäranta and one online. Jos tähän onneen olisi oikotie, olisin varmaankin jo löytänyt sen... – Joonas Ilmavirta Apr 12 at 21:34
  • I think the poem had something like "Mihi par deo videtur" which means "to me he seems like a god" – Nickimite Apr 12 at 22:10
  • @Nickimite I added the first line of the poem in case anyone wants to search it. – Joonas Ilmavirta Apr 13 at 8:03
  • @Sami After sleeping the night, I now updated with a little explanation. – Joonas Ilmavirta Apr 13 at 8:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.