Lughnasa Waning Harvest Moon
More fun with Ovid. The curtain has begun to roll back a bit more.
Many of my friends have second and third languages, but until now I only had the one. A bit of French. A little Hebrew. A little Greek. But nothing solid. The ability to look on a page filled with Latin words, words I would once have brushed over with little attempt at comprehension, and see meaning emerge delights me.
The words still look strange to me, foreign, but now they carry a pulse of meaning, one I can get if I look a bit longer, or turn to a book.
The same work I mentioned above, All Things Shining, that critiques Western individualism, has a section on the decline of craft, the disappearance of embodied learning, of skill at making. Again, I find myself pushing against their analysis and in this instance Latin came to mind.
To translate requires a subtle knowledge of the original language and an idiomatic grasp of the home language. This type of intellectual work is a skill, a craft like that of. woodworkers or, the example used in the book, wheelwrights. It requires a mind numbing series of early, simple steps that build only gradually into a suite of skills. My guess is that the traditional seven years to move from apprentice to journeyman is not far off for Latin.