General Question

Strauss's avatar

Do you know what this Latin poem means?

Asked by Strauss (20195points) May 26th, 2009

When I was in High School, our Latin teacher put this poem on the board and asked us to translate:

O Sybilli, si ergo
Fortibus es in ero
O nobili, demis trux
Sevatis enim causen dux

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10 Answers

crisw's avatar

Yes, this is one of my favorite brain teasers of all time!

whatthefluther's avatar

I don’t know Latin . I put the words through a free translator I found via google and got back : O Sybilli , if you wish on account of Fortibus are upon will be O celebrity , set dowwn ferocious Sevatis in fact on account of duke.” I still have no idea what it means…wtf

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, yes. I learned it this way:

Osibili si ergo,
Fortibuses in ero.
Nobili, demis trux:
Sewatis enim? Cowsendux!

@wtf, that is hysterical. Just read the lines aloud.

Strauss's avatar

It’s the pronunciation, rather than the meanings of the words. @Jeruba You might have the spelling and punctuation right, I’m depending on my memory of almost 50 years.

O see Billy, See ‘er go!
Forty buses in a row.
O no, Billy, dem is trucks
See what is in ‘em? Cows and’ Ducks!

whatthefluther's avatar

@Jeruba….Leave it to me to read the translation aloud!!! See ya…wtf

Jeruba's avatar

@Yetanotheruser, my memory of this is as old as yours. I think there are many variants, and yours is actually more faithful to Latin morphology. The trick is the same in all cases. I have also seen a few imitators that were not as good. (I was hoping wtf would try it before you gave him the answer!)

whatthefluther's avatar

I did. I tried. I did not conquer.

whatthefluther's avatar

@filmfann…Latin sucks…no wonder it is not a spoken language and relegated primarily to terminology (tho I still have some appreciation for dem cows and ducks)

Strauss's avatar

@Jeruba You can’t be that old!??!

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