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Sorry if this question seems silly, I do not know Latin... I wonder if someone can help me with the proper translation for: "I came, I attended, I left"

With the help of google translate i got something like this: "Veni, Attendi sum, ego abierunt"

Now, is that correct?

  • I don't know Latin either. I got this from translate.google.com: "I came, I attended, I left -> Veni adtendi reliqui". Translated back is interesting: "Veni adtendi reliqui -> I came so look survivors". With commas, makes even less sense: "Veni, adtendi, reliqui -> I came, I set my mind on, the rest of the". Guess the tool needs some work! – CrossRoads Jan 28 at 14:23
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    @CrossRoads I think it doesn't just need work, it needs a complete restructuring. This question investigates the failure of Google Translate with Latin in some depth. – Joonas Ilmavirta Jan 28 at 19:16
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No, it isn't correct.

Veni, adfui, abii — literally I came, I was there, I went away.

  • Thank you for your quick answer! @Tom Cotton – Mikael Carlsson Jan 28 at 13:52
  • Somehow imperfect aderam seems preferable to perfect adfui. – Colin Fine Jan 28 at 17:20
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    @Colin Fine Why? All three actions are complete, i.e. perfected, and in the past. Why single out adfui? Would Caesar have written veni, videram, vici? – Tom Cotton Jan 28 at 17:22
  • The semantics are different. venio and vinco are punctual, or at least telic. video could be punctual or extended. adsum (in contradistinction to adeo) is stative. But I accept that it loses the parallelism. – Colin Fine Jan 28 at 17:46
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For reference, here's what you did write:

Veni

I came

Attendi sum

Attendi is either the first person perfectum I have attended or a second person present or imperative, you attended or do attend!. Sum is just 'I am'. Since you can't have two finite verbs in a sentence, I would think there's some ellipsis involved like "I have attended [for] I am".

ego abierunt

Latin verbs don't need an explicit subject: veni means I came, not just came. In case "ego" is included as a subject (and it is, because ego is the first person nominative), it means to convey emphasis. However, abierunt means "They have left', so the subject and verb don't match.

All in all, it sounds like a small child who is upset that everybody left when they came, and is having trouble talking while crying at such indignity:

I came, I have attended... I am... (sniffle) They left I!"

  • "veni means I am" I think you meant "I came." (I tried to edit the post but the fix was under the minimum number of characters. :-p ) – LarsH Jan 28 at 16:00
  • @LarsH Yep. For your entertainment, I edited in such a way that you could've done without hitting the minimum character limit. ;) – Sanchises Jan 28 at 16:13
  • Good. I don't like adding unnecessary changes to someone else's post in order satisfy that rule. – LarsH Jan 28 at 16:23
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Tom Cotton's Veni, adfui, abii is pretty good. In this case, one might also use the pluperfect forms of venio and adsum, as: Veneram, adfueram, et abii, though if you are looking for some kind of motto or something similar, that does take a little bit of the "ring" out of the phrase.

By the way, Google Translate is terrible for Latin; it cannot render correct parts of speech or forms for agreement. Those who study Latin know to never depend upon it.

  • Welcome to the site and thank you for the answer! I took the liberty to add a link to another question where Google Translate is explored more. Can you explain why you would choose pluperfect? It is a possibility, but it would be nice to have an explanation of the change in meaning. – Joonas Ilmavirta Jan 29 at 10:37

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