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Monday, May 18, 2009


Okay, I admit it. Sure. I took three years of Latin in high school, but over the subsequent twenty-six years, when the fuck have I had any call to actually use it? The loss of my Latin chops (such as they were) doesn't really bother me much, but now I'm confronted with a situation where I need to translate something into Latin, and all three of my teachers have been six feet under for years.

After the excellence of the Devo live show I saw in London just under two weeks ago and having been inspired by the zeal of the UK fans, I want to have an accurate translation of the lyric "Give in to ancient noise" — from the song "Gates of Steel" — available for use on a custom-made t-shirt...or maybe even a tattoo, but that's something I'd have to give at least a year's careful consideration. Anyway, I'm thinking of having the translated slogan rendered in that formal "Roman" font often seen chiseled in marble in old school movies about the Roman empire, and I want it surmounted with a profile of a Devo Energy Dome with tingly "spider-sense" emanations coming off it.

In order to further my latest pointless obsession I used one of those Internet translation sites and the nearest I could come up with to "Give in to ancient noise" rendered in Latin was "Tribuo in ut ancient sonitus," but I'd like to be sure of its one-hundred percent accuracy before committing to it, so can anyone out there recommend a hardcore translation site or recommend a Latin professor who'd be willing to hook me up with an answer?


Scott Koblish said...

Don't look at me, I only took 2 years of Latin.

I do remember the syntax being muddled up a bit, am I right to think the verb was always ahead of the noun? Or was that the noun and then the verb...

John Bligh said...

I think you should tattoo "Hard Candy Cock" or "Kill The Children, Save The Food" on your back.

In Latin, of course!

Chris T said...

Hey Bunche,

Here you go:

CEDE STREPITV VETERI - that's the "text-book" word order.

But I don't really know much about poetic metre etc to recommend a different one: eg. it might be better with VETERI before STREPITV so the V's (or U's) don't elide.

Bunche (pop culture ronin) said...

There's also "dare sonitum in antiquam."