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English: "Destruction ain't a crime for those who find love as a game"

Latin: "Exitium nōn scelus est prō illīs qui amōrem lūsus esse putant."

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Salvete, omnes! I'm currently translating a song from English to Latin and I've come up with a line I'm having a little bit of trouble with, so I was wondering if anyone could tell me if it is correct grammatically speaking. Certainly it can't be a direct translation, I figured out that what the Latin sentence ended up saying is something closer to: "Destruction is not a crime for those who think love is a game". But I am very much okay with that.

In advance, thank you! Btw, the song is "Dear Boy" by Avicii.

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  • I just googled and I think the English sentence in the song is "Destruction ain't a crime for those who find love is a game like you and I." Some web sites have as but that appears to be an error. As instead of is isn't ungrammatical, but it's not how to express what appears to be the meaning: "…for those who find [that] love is a game like you and I."
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 7:47

1 Answer 1

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Lūsus needs to be lūsum to agree with amōrem.

I think the sense of "for" in the sentence is normally rendered by the dative in Latin. Scelus prō aliquō is a crime committed on behalf of someone, not a crime in the eyes of someone.

Other than that, your translation is correct. I'm also only a beginner, though, so you should await another answer or a confirmation from someone more knowledgeable.

I made an attempt to follow my own corrections and came up with this, which might passably fit the melody:

Dulcis mī care
exitium illīs decet
quī amōrem lūsum putant
ut tibi et mihi.

I replaced nōn scelus est with decet to exploit a strength of Latin: a verb often carries a meaning more strongly than a noun with est, and decet goes nicely with the dative. Also, especially in a song, you can omit esse with putant.

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    Perhaps one might also say putent (“such people who,” subjunctive of characteristic). Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 13:07
  • Thank you very much! So it would have a sense closer to "Destructium is suitable for those who find love as a game", wouldn't it? Again I appreciate your comment so much. Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 23:23
  • @DiegoOjeda Yes. I find decet impossible to translate into English. Let's just say that it means the opposite of a crime: something proper, dignified, honorable. The English word "decent" comes from decet.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 1:43
  • @Ben Kovitz: What do you think about the subjunctive-of-characteristic, here?
    – tony
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 17:42

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