What do you think, is "πŒ“πŒ€πŒ”πŒ„πŒπŒ€πŒ‹β€‹βΈ±β€‹πŒ–πŒ“πŒ”πŒŒπŒ‰πŒπŒ‰β€‹βΈ±β€‹πŒ‹πŒ–πŒπŒ–πŒ‚πŒ„β€‹βΈ±β€‹πŒ‡πŒ€πŒπŒ•πŒ‰β€‹βΈ±β€‹πŒ†πŒ€πŒˆπŒ“πŒ–πŒŒβ€‹βΈ±β€‹πŒ…πŒπŒ›β€‹βΈ±β€‹πŒ€πŒ…πŒ‰πŒ‹πŒ€πŒ“πŒ‰β€‹βΈ±β€‹πŒπŒ€πŒπŒ€πŒ•πŒπŒ€πŒŒβ€‹βΈ±β€‹πŒ‰πŒπŒ‚β€‹βΈ±β€‹πŒ‡πŒ€πŒŒπŒˆπŒ‰πŒ" (transliterated: "Rasenal ursmini lupuce hanti zaΞΈrum vor avilari nanatnam inc hamΞΈin.") good Etruscan for "The Etruscan language died two thousand (literally, twenty hundreds) years ago and nobody understands it."? Let me explain how I arrived at that translation.

πŒ“πŒ€πŒ”πŒ„πŒπŒ€πŒ‹ - "Rasena" means "Etruscan", as in, "Etruscan person", so, if you add the genitive suffix "-l" to it, so that it reads "Rasenal", it could probably mean "Etruscan" as an adjective.

β€‹πŒ–πŒ“πŒ”πŒŒπŒ‰πŒπŒ‰β€‹ - "Ursmini" means "speech" or "sermon", perhaps related to Latin "sermo". The name "Ursminei" is translated to Latin as "Locutia". The word "ursmini" is also often used to mean "military command". I suppose it can be used to mean "language".

πŒ‹πŒ–πŒπŒ–πŒ‚πŒ„ - "Lupu" means "to die", and "-ce" is the past tense marker, so "lupuce" would mean "died".

πŒ‡πŒ€πŒπŒ•πŒ‰ - "hanti", apparently an Indo-European loanword (or a derivation from "hant", "to stop"), meant "before". I suppose it could also be used to mean "ago", but I am not sure.

πŒ†πŒ€πŒˆπŒ“πŒ–πŒŒβΈ±πŒ…πŒπŒ› - Now, Etruscan, as far as I know, had no word meaning "thousand". However, we can presume from the gloss that "vorsum" means "centum pedes" (a hundred feet) that "vor" meant "hundred", and we know that "zaΞΈrum" meant "twenty", so I guess "zaΞΈrum vor" would be a proper way of saying "two thousand".

πŒ€πŒ…πŒ‰πŒ‹πŒ€πŒ“πŒ‰ - "avilari", I suppose that would be the proper locative plural of "avil" (year).

πŒπŒ€πŒπŒ€πŒ•πŒπŒ€πŒŒ - "nana-tnam", "nana" meaning "nobody" and "tnam" being the suffix corresponding to Latin "-que".

πŒ‰πŒπŒ‚ - "inc", a pronoun meaning "it".

πŒ‡πŒ€πŒŒπŒˆπŒ‰πŒ - "hamΞΈin" means the same thing as Latin "capere", that is, it can mean both "to understand" and "to catch".

I have put "inc" before "hamΞΈin" because I know Etruscan was an SOV-language, like Latin.

  • 1
    Would Etruscan need to express the object in this context? Latin (if I am not mistaken) can easily leave out such an object when it follows from a previously stated subject.
    – Canned Man
    Aug 24 '21 at 14:41
  • @CannedMan I do not know, I have not studied Etruscan a lot. That is why I am asking here. Aug 24 '21 at 16:55
  • 3
    @FlatAssembler Nor has anyone else, it seems.
    – cmw
    Aug 24 '21 at 18:25

Not an Etruscan expert myself but I have been studying Rex Wallace's Zikh Rasna.

  1. We know about 700 words only (the rest are proper nouns, Wallace 2008: 123);

  2. We're not even sure about how to say "Etruscan" in Etruscan (see Wallace 2008: 124), raσna could be either "Etruscan" (adj.) or "public; people";

  3. years (NOM. PL.) is avilχva (the plural marker for inanimate nouns in Etrsucan is -χva/-cva/-va, Wallace 2008: 50), now you need to speculate how to add a locative marker to this stem, remembering that Etruscan is an agglutinating language, like Finnish or Turkish (probably, unattested avilχve ??). Incidentally, e.g. when avil was used in the funerary inscriptions to denote one's age it was used in the singular (p. 105), e.g. 'seventeen years of age' is avils ciem zaθrms (year.GEN.SG three.NOM/ACC twenty.GEN.SG)

  4. not sure at all if there was 'it' (3rd.SG) in Etruscan, perhaps in (?);

  5. lupuce is correct, it means 'died'. etc.

A good case in point of how much we understand Etruscan taken from Weiss 2020 (p. 538, Chapter 43 Etrsucan).

For meχ θuta (from the bilingual Pyrgi Tablets) Weiss mentions three interpretations:

  • Rix 1981 β€˜from his own money’, so meΟ‡ could be money;
  • Steinbauer meΟ‡ β€˜queen’
  • Wylin 2000 meΟ‡ ΞΈuta β€˜place holy’, so meΟ‡ could be β€˜place’

Cf. meΟ‡ rasnal β€˜res publica’

Somebody whose primary area of expertise is Etruscan might help much more but I'm afraid I don't see much sense in making such guesses about a language so poorly attested and understood.

Some useful resources:

Il Dizionario della Lingua Etrusca by Massimo Pittau (2018)

Thesaurus Linguae Etruscae

Re: locative morphology in Etrsucan

The locative ending in Etrsucan was -i. However, it changed to -e in the following cases:

e.g. vowel stems, i.e. ending in -a and -e, except -i

mutna β€˜sarcophagus’ – mutne

rasna β€˜people, public’ – rasne

meΞΈlum β€˜city’ – meΞΈlume (another attested form, methlum-ΞΈ β€˜in the city’)

cilΞΈcva β€˜citadels’ (NOM.PL.) – cilΞΈcve-ti β€˜in the citadels’

You can read about it in Wallace 2008: 47-49

  • 1
    The discussion in the comments had taken an undesirable turn and the whole chain was deleted. I think this answer is correct and very close to the state of the art: Not enough is known about Etruscan to make a reliable and complete translation and the best resource for further details is the scientific literature on the matter. We discussed options between the moderators, and nuking the comments and leaving the answer struck us as the best solution.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Sep 8 '21 at 15:07
  • @JoonasIlmavirta OK, I am sorry. Do you at least think the question I asked is good? Sep 8 '21 at 18:30
  • 2
    Yes, I think the question is good. It is on-topic, the goal is clear, and you provide a good attempt of your own to reach that goal. What was lacking was modesty and openness in response to volunteered help from others. This answer presents the best of tools and conclusions available. Both can feel insufficient, but that is often just how things are. // To avoid derailing this comment chain from commenting on Alex's answer, please use chat or meta if you want to discuss matters further. You are very welcome to do so!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Sep 8 '21 at 20:04

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