Word of the Day

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Méně státu, více občanům

That means Less of a state (that is, a smaller state) or to the state (that is, paying less taxes), more to the citizens, in Czech. I don't know whether I should interpret státu as dative (to the state), on a par with občanům, or as genitive (of the state). Maybe that was precisely their intention, to keep it ambiguous.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Deformed Latin

I'm reading a Slovak book that keeps using a "Latin" expression that makes no sense: Septem Incturam Elementa tua cogitationes", which the author translates into Slovak as Spoj sedem elementov tvojimi myšlienkami, in English: Join seven elements with your thoughts. I have no idea how the author came to that rendition in Latin. I even thought that he might have used Google Translate, but when I wrote those exact Slovak words, I got something different. Using the author's words, a possible phrasing in Latin could be Iungi septem elementa tuis cogitationibus. Even the Slovak is not standard, as it should be svojimi, not tvojimi. As this is a Kindle single, some authors may not feel it is important to have their work proofread. One of the many mistakes I just came upon is nemecký cisári instead of nemeckí cisári (German emperors). Nemecký should only be used before masculine nouns in the nominative singular.