Well, kinda. You all know I study Latin on my free time. While that makes it sound like I’m some sort of Latin fanatic, I really am not. What it means is that I have a higher-than-average interest in the language for linguistical reasons. Really, the entire reason I started teaching myself Latin is to grasp how a language functions better, and I realized learning Latin might be the way to go.
Looking back, I have come to think of that I never fully expected just how many fucking semantics and how much dumb illogical bullshit a language from a different family can be full of. Hitherto, I have not really been taking my teaching myself Latin seriously and have honestly just lain back and taken my time with it. At some point, however, I realized I had to step it up a notch and actually begin learning the language seriously.
When I started my translation of “ThreeToe’s stories”, I didn’t really have the knowledge I needed to take on the project; I was, and still am, lacking the basic foundation I need for the translation I thought I had. Ostensibly, I did not: I constantly have to check up on various vocabulary I honestly should know by now, after apparently having studied the language for three years, although, realistically speaking, I never took it that seriously.
So, why am I writing this post, again? I’ve been rambling for too long. Oh yeah! FUCKING SEMANTICS. There are so many alien fucking semantics in this language. I think I’m the black sheep which everybody thinks loves Latin and never complains about it. That idea is completely wrong, although they did get the “black sheep” part right. Here’s what my issues with learning languages, or, rather, Latin specifically, are:
#1: Syntactical differences
Okay, to be honest, I don’t really know how to describe this one nor what to call it. It’s basically the semantics part of my complaints. I’ll point out a couple of examples as to what I am trying so desperately hard to explain.
Bergans mediis in servis stabat.
If you take a look at this sentence, the word order, translated word by word, is as follows:
Bergans middle in servants was standing.
Taking the sentence and literally translating it into English, cases and tenses and all that shishkabob taken into account, we get the following result:
Bergans was standing in/on the middle slaves.
In reality, it means:
Bergans was standing in the middle OF the slaves.
Whenever I see an “of” in English, I can’t help but think of the genitive case, and, for the most part, “of” marks the genitive case in both English and Latin simultaneously pretty often, actually. This is just a freak incident where they don’t match up. The problem is just that I can see this kind of phrase being used very often and in incredibly varying areas. Take the following Latin phrase from Wheelock’s
super-duper über Latin learning book:
Senectus senes a mediis rebus saepe prohibet.
Admittedly, my having problems with this is mostly due to a fit of complete retardation, in which I would confuse “senectus” as a fourth declension noun when it’s actually a third declension noun. I blame that on the fucking
macaronis macrons the book uses, because my mind was fixed on the idea that “senectus” was in the genitive, which is the same as the actual nominative of the word, also written with a “u with a macron”, and that “senes” was the nominative of the sentence, thus making the sentence mean something like this:
The old men of age often prohibited from the middle things.
I had the major breakthrough where I suddenly realized how retarded I was when I checked the answer key to the sentence HERE:
Age often keeps the old from the middle of things.
I still don’t know what the fuck this is supposed to mean, but I see now what I did wrong. It was yet another case of this stupid fucking semantics bullshit in the example above, which was from this reddit post-page-whateverthefuck-thing here. I then can’t help but think: “OH, OKAY! I get all the ones above just fine, but this one bursts my balls in one fell swoop!”
So, yeah. There you have it. Semantics.
#2: Small words
Usque, cito, an, protinus, autem, etiam, aut, vel, sive, seu, statim, simul, ceterum, idem, eo, etsi, quoque, deinde, diu, utrum, nunc, tam, tunc, fortasse, saepe, semper, numquam, aliquis, qua, quia, quod, quamquam, quisquis, quoniam — YEAH OKAY I GET IT GEEZ! Gawd! It’s so hard to learn all these small words! I am so spoiled!
In all seriousness, though, these words are my bane. I generally seem to cope with the grammar pretty well, but I just can’t seem to find a good way to learn these small words. I guess I’m just opting not to because of reasons inexplicable? This isn’t so much an issue with the language so much as it’s an issue with my own discipline, but I’m still going to bitch about it. Why? Because bitching is fun. Fuck off.
AND, HOLY SHIT, IF WINDOWS DOESN’T STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT LOW DISK SPACE, I’M’MA FUCKI—
#3: Poetry schmoetry
WARNING: Completely useless complaining; proceed at own risk.
I see people learning Latin for poetry, philosophy and dumb shit like that. What? Look, why don’t you read a fucking book in your own language instead of learning a whole other language for that? You don’t need to read Latin texts; we’ve got enough of those fags already. The philosophies of ancient times has been transcribed by someone else, so quit wasting your time learning Latin to read Virgil or Cicero or whatever instead of reading a good book-text-thing that’s not written in old, outlandish, garbled mongospeech.
All jokes aside, I don’t get why the only good texts that aren’t complete shit, unlike the translation for “The Hobbit”, called “Hobbitus Ille“, with its pointless “ille” in its title, are those overcomplicated ancient texts by Mr. Virgil McOvercomplicate or Shitlord Cicero Idunnololicus. Shit, I’d read “Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata” if it wasn’t so gosh darn dull. Fuck!
I don’t want to sound like a whiner, which I
kind of am, but this is getting on my nerves. Are there any good texts out there that are neither boring as watching donkey nuts swing back and forth nor more complicated than Zoe Quinn’s list of STDs? Good leaf!
#4: The devil is known by many names…
… except, in this case, it’s one name shared by many. What I mean is this:
YOUR FUCKING WORDS ARE AMBIGUOUS YOU FUCKING LANGUAGE FUCK!
I hate when words have so many fucking meanings, it’s ridiculous. Take the English word “fly”, for example. It can mean either of many things:
- [Verb] to move swiftly through the air
- [Noun] an insect
- [Verb] to cause to fly
- [Adjective] smart or smart-looking
That’s fine until you realize you suck at the language and don’t really know what the hell people are talking about when you encounter the word which you thought you knew, but the meaning of which you don’t understand anymore because people are using it in such a strange context. That’s what I’m having to deal with right now in Latin. An example in Latin would be the verb “habeo, habere, habui, habitum”:
- to have
- to hold
- to own
- to consider, regard
- to accept, bear, endure
The first three are logical, but the latter two are completely illogical to me without some sort of etymological or philosophical explanation behind the verb’s evolution given to me. Since when did a word describing the action of holding come to describe the action of considering? Perhaps I am mentally holding something for consideration? What about “accept, bear, endure”? Am I psychologically holding on to sanity and thus able to endure whatever ordeal is at hand? Maybe…
… BUT IT’S STILL FUCKING STUPID AS FU–
Originally, this was supposed to be another one of my lazy two-point rants that I make once or twice a year at the least. It turned out to take over two hours, and it’s getting kind of late. Perhaps I will continue ranting another time, but it is now time for sleepies. See what I did there? Mixing complicated language vocabulary with kinda funny ‘netspeech? No? Okay. At any rate, this is quite possibly the blog post with which I spent the most time writing since the founding of both my tumblr blog and this blog , so, no matter what happens, this will remain one of my most prestigious blog posts EVAR.