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For my high school English class, which is a translation "workshop," we're all expected to give class-long, individual sessions focusing around a translation we've performed from whatever language we choose to English. The piece/excerpt we choose can be literally anything (about 2-3 pages in length when translated), but most people so far have been doing poetry or short stories where the workshopping part of class focuses around trying to improve shaping of phrases or tweaking little details to augment the meaning or effect on the reader.

Latin's my main foreign language (I'm in a post-AP class, so I feel confident taking a crack at pretty much any text) and I was brainstorming what to translate, but I'm a bit sick of golden-age poetry and historical prose. Instead, I was thinking of doing something completely different and trying some New Latin, maybe some sort of scientific text like Isaac Newton's Principia or Copernicus' On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres.

My questions are: exactly how different are texts like these to what I've done so far (e.g. Pliny, Virgil, Caesar, Cicero, Ovid), and would scientific texts in general be able to make for an interesting discussion about translational nuances (i.e. would they be workshop-able)?

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Had you considered Adelard of Bath? His translation of Euclid (from Arabic) and his treatise on the Astrolabe (written for William II) are both significant. "Various questions" is a bit long-winded but pithy compared to Newton. His book on falconry is based on observation and best practice and was addressed to High-school students.

You would not have to battle with the Abstract nouns of Newton, Copernicus. The 12th century renaissance was profound, dynamic, dramatic, accessible.

So far I have only found facsimile texts on line (with abbreviations and sigla [i over g =igitur};though the writing was unfussy at this date) but I shall keep looking.

http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=7195

http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=7378

http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMINBig.ASP?size=big&IllID=7379

BL the British library; The Wellcome Foundation; and especially the University of Toronto have helpful websitesfor independent students.

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    Are his works available online somewhere? – Joonas Ilmavirta Jan 1 '17 at 11:33
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    Awesome, thanks for the suggestion, I'll check his writing out! (I ended up doing a bit of Ovid's Metamorphoses for my first presentation, but I plan on going for a more modern text in my next). – Nick Jan 9 '17 at 5:48

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