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A little bit of context: There is this character called Mando who is a "bounty hunter", someone who carries out certain tasks (mainly underworld) and gets rewarded with a handsome amount of money. The thing is, sometimes his means are a bit harsh, and when he is about to confront people he is supposed to hand over to his boss, he asks the question, "I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold" meaning, you either come alive, or I kill you.

My translation goes like this: Tē possum trādere calidum, vel frīgidum.

Is my translation correct?

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    Thanks for adding context. By the way, did you know that you can edit a question, when you want to change or add something? That way, you won't have to create an entirely new question next time.
    – Cerberus
    Jan 30, 2022 at 3:47
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    by the way, I don't see any reason why you would put bounty hunter in quotes. It's a normal english word, with the exact same meaning outside the Star Wars universe
    – Ivo
    Jan 31, 2022 at 7:40

2 Answers 2

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By the way, for those not familiar with these series, "Mando" is short for "the Mandalorian," which refers to the character's planetary and cultural origins.

Your translation seems good, but raises several interesting issues I'd love to explore. Here are my inexpert and random musings.

  1. Do you use vel, -ve, or aut as the translation of "either" and "or"?

  2. Should the conjunction be repeated or left singly?

  3. What word order is appropriate to convey Mando's meaning? Should the choice come first or last in the sentence?

  4. Where to put the pronoun and the infinitive for best effect?

  5. Is "trado" the right word to use for "hand over"?

Here are my suggested answers to my questions. I could well be wrong.

  1. Do you use vel, -ve, or aut as the translation of "either" and "or"?

I think the idea is to give a stark binary choice; however, Mando is trying to convey that he is completely indifferent about the choice. I would agree with using vel, rather than aut. I would agree with: calidum vel frígidum.

  1. Should the conjunction be repeated or left singly?

I think the repetition of the verbs in English emphasizes the either-or choice, but would not be so good stylistically in Latin, so I would repeat vel. So: Vel calidum vel frígidum. If we do this, perhaps it would be better to add some poetic flavor and say: Calidumve frígidumve, but maybe that suggests too much indifference on Mando's part, as opposed to trying to focus the victim on the choice at hand that will determine their fate. I'd keep it as Vel calidum vel frígidum.

  1. What word order is appropriate to convey the Mandalorian's overall meaning? Should the choice come first or last in the sentence?

I think the main intent is to say, "It's a given that I am taking you in, the only question is whether your body will be alive and warm or dead and cold. What's your choice? Do we have to have a fight now?" In this case, I think leading with the choice is best, and leaving the rest as assumed tail material helps convey the menace. If this were worded as a question, the choice would definitely come first. So, Vel calidum vel frígidum té possum tradere.

  1. Where to put the pronoun and the infinitive for best effect?

I think the pronoun here is not emphatic and so shouldn't be clause initial. Mando is not singling out the victim from others in the room at that point, but just addressing them face to face. I think the pronoun should go right after the focus word(s), so I suggest: Vel calidum vel frígidum té...

As for the infinitive, I think it is better to leave it first, since the reality of the impending hand over is what is being signaled first. Mando is suggesting his ability is a given and should be assumed rather than actually asserting it front and center, so I suggest: Vel calidum vel frígidum té tradere possum.

Above is what I answered originally, but I have changed my mind. I think the idea of tradere is tail material and Mando would want to signal his ability first. Therefore, I suggest the better order for the infinitive is possum tradere as the original questioner had it.

  1. Last, is "trado" the right word to use in the situation?

I think "trado" is perfect to mean "hand over" to Mando's contractor; however, can this word also suggest that Mando is involved in a betrayal of the victim? Within the series, the idea is that the victim is scum and deserves to be turned in, even if Mando is also being suggested to be an amoral mercenary on the surface. I am wary of impugning Mando's honor. Maybe, we could use effero to focus on the immediate scene, rather than the eventual delivery. So I could suggest, efferre, rather than tradere. So, "Vel calidum, vel frígidum té possum efferre" ("I can take you out warm or cold"). Then again, Mando is probably trying to discourage any later plans of escape, so "tradere" maybe really is the right word. Also, the Latin literature is full of cases of captives being handed over to victors without any emphasis on the hand over being a betrayal. In this case, Mando is being up front and personal. So:

Vel calidum vel frígidum té possum tradere.

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    I had a question I was expecting to see in your list: are calidum and frigidum the right words for “warm” and ”cold” with regards to body temperature?
    – KRyan
    Jan 30, 2022 at 19:15
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    I wondered about that too, based on different usages in Romance languages, but then realized we are not talking about how the victim feels about the ambient temperature, but about what is his actual body temperature will be. You can feel cold, but still be warm to the touch. As far as I understand, both "cal(i)dus" and "frígidus" can be applied to the temperature of water, for instance, and so should work for body temperature. For completeness, I probably should have included it in my list. Jan 30, 2022 at 19:31
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    I now have changed my mind about the infinitive and think "possum tradere" is better than "tradere possum". Mando is stressing his abilities, not his action so: "Vel calidum vel frīgidum tē possum tradere!" I have tried to edit my post accordingly. Jan 30, 2022 at 20:03
  • Wow, thank you so much for the explanation! As a native Spanish-speaker I tried syntactically arranging it similar to the spanish "Te puedo traer frío o caliente" but of course Latin doesn't work exactly the same as Spanish. Again; my appreciation!! Have a great day. Jan 31, 2022 at 20:24
  • Your mention of the Spanish word "traer" raises another interesting point. Is it a false friend of "trado" in this case? I know that "traer" translates "bring," but is it enough to translate "bring in"? It seems to me that "bring in" and "trado" refer to the second stage of what is to happen and "traer" only refers to the first stage and you would need a word like "rendir" to cover the ultimate result. Feb 1, 2022 at 22:54
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While Vegawatcher's answer is pretty comprehensive and largely on point, I prefer to phrase the translation differently: Aut tepentem aut frīgentem tē possum trādere. Here are my elaborarations:

  1. there's the obvious but overlooked question of whether the "warm–cold" metaphor was used to mean "alive" and "dead", and secondarily whether the adjectives calidus–frīgidus are appropriate as a translation. frīdigus is predictably used in various collocations (such as with body parts) with reference to death, but I find no examples of it referring to living beings directly (see L&S); for calidus I see nothing relevant at all. Admittedly we're talking a rather short step from "warm/cold body" via the metonymy "you" or "person" for "body", but it looks like there might be better options.
    • additionally, calidus rather means "hot, straight out the oven" than "warm, body temperature", and metaphorically "fierce, rash, excited etc.". "moderately warm" is tepidus. Conversely, frīgidus is metaphorically used to mean "dull, indifferent".
    • while adjectives are used for such inherent qualities, Latin generally expresses transitory states with stative verbs - in this case these are tepēre "to be warm, feel warm" and frīgēre "to be cold, feel cold". Using the corresponding participles tepēns and frīgēns allows us to focus on the physical state of the person in question and avoid the metaphorical characterisations that come with using the adjectives. The latter in particular is found directly referring to a person to mean "dead", as well as metaphorically to mean "lifeless".
    • calēns has the same problem of meaning "hot", as in "hot with fever, rage", as well as "feeling hot".
  2. vel vs aut: the first is inclusive and thus accommodating, the second exclusive and categorical. Thus it's aut that's used to give a categorical choice to the addressee: "it's my way or the highway, you either come along alive or dead - you decide". The accommodating vel sounds downright nonchalant and somehow inappropriately speaker-focussed ("I can do it both like this and like that") - I suspect that's not the tone found in the original.
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  • You raise three interesting issues. Can this quote from Perseus's John Conington, Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid, Volume 1 shed light on one: "Expediunt 1. 178. The meaning is simply that they get the pots boiled or get ready boiling water. The remainder of the line is from Enn. A. 3. fr. 8, “Tarcuini corpus bona femina lavit et unxit,” as Serv. remarks. ‘Frigentis corpus’ is more poetical than ‘mortui corpus’ or than ‘frigidum corpus. ’perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/… Jan 31, 2022 at 0:11
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    I appreciate the comment, but I don't think either Servius' remark or Conington's addition is relevant (the former mentions this passage 4 times). The essence is that corpus frīgidum = corpus frīgēns but homō frīgidus = homō īnsulsus, jeijūnus, ineptus. Thus only frīgēns can mean mortuus both poetically and prosaically (outside maybe of some sort of criminal slang).—For a possible secondary problem with using the adjective see this question. Jan 31, 2022 at 4:28

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