Use of Latin in Posts (Note from What Exit)

I realize this isn’t a big deal at all and that board rules are purposely vague to allow for flexibility in rulings, and most aren’t even written down to allow for differences in how individual Fora are Modded. So, even as I write this I’m left feeling the effort to copy links is a waste of even my time…

In the Rush Limbaugh pit thread Mod What Exit gives a Note the use of foreign language requires a translation. However, it seems that Latin has never been treated this way before and even in an earlier thread about the use of foreign languages in threads Latin used by Mods was not translated.

Again not a big deal, just was wondering if there was a change in the rules.

I also need to figure out how link all cool like the rest of you. :wink:

To the best of my knowledge, there was always a rule against posting in a foreign language without translation. I’m not even sure when I picked up on that, but lets say by 2006?

What would have taken it beyond a note was my mistake in interpreting what he wrote. Doing the translation in my head based on Latin classes I took over 35 year ago, I missed the joke he was making and thought he was chiding most of the posters in the thread for speaking ill of the dead.

raventhief and then kaylasdad99 made me realize I was mistaken and I apologized. I stand by the translation is required (unless is it a really common phrase like E Pluribus Unum)

I don’t think there was any rule change in invoking this. I could be wrong again.

The rule has definitely been around for a long time (and I’m not arguing against the rule), just that Latin it has always seemed was grandfathered into how it was enforced.

That might be true. I might not have picked up on that part. I’ll wait to hear from other mods or see something else on it.

As to posting links and having them resolve: I took your link above and removed the User parameter and it works fine.
So make sure your link doesn’t include ?u=retrovertigo and it should resolve.

Fantastic. Thanks for the help.

I think it would be a courtesy to others if you post something that’s not in English, that you also provide an English translation. For example, about the only bit of Latin that I know is “Me transmitte sursum, Caledonis.”

(Literally, “Send me above, Scotsman.” Or, colloquially, “Beam me up, Scotty.”)

The rule against using foreign languages in posts is not new. I found this official FAQs post from 2006 that codifies it. I seem to recall the rule is actually a couple of years older than that. There is an exception for “foreign words or phrases that have come into English.” That arguably could apply to De mortuis nil nisi bonum, which can be found in many English dictionaries including the Merriam-Webster dictionaries..

Thanks for finding that. I also recalled there was a rule but it doesn’t seem to have made it into the current rules and FAQs. I did not recall there was any exception for Latin.

As a courtesy, any extensive quote in a foreign language should be translated. Of course, we don’t expect people to translate well known phrases like Hasta la vista, baby or C’est la vie.

How about when you’re discussing fine points of grammar in extracts in a foreign language?

Like in this thread, where the examples and some of the answers were in French:

Should we have been translating each phrase or passage from French?

I think that would be an exception. Anyone participating in such a thread is likely to know the language.

Basically, just use common sense. Don’t assume anyone will understand your joke in a foreign language.

What Colibri said. I had a post, it was more convoluted and then saw his.

What? I sometimes throw Yiddish words into posts without realizing it. I’ve never been called on it, although I believe on maybe two occasions someone has asked me what something meant.

I’m not going to get banned for this, am I? I don’t do it on purpose; it’s the way I talk. If I’m face-to-face with someone I know is a gentile, I suspect I don’t do it, although I can’t really say. I think I do it more here then in general conversation, but less than in conversation with someone I know for sure is Jewish.

Please don’t ban me.

Don’t get all farklemt. If we banned you for using an odd foreign word here and there it would be the first time in the history of the boards.:wink: There’s no problem with an occasional word like that, but if uncommon you should provide the meaning.

One reason we want people to post in English is that we don’t want people using foreign words that may not be generally understood to insult other posters. Mods need to be able to understand what people are saying to one another.

Just wanted to chime in and say I’d prefer that, when it’s a joke, you put the translation in one of the spoiler tags. That seems the best compromise between not spoiling the joke but also following the rules.

Other than that, I get why even Latin might need translating if it’s not those phrases everyone knows.

Graecum est; non legitur.

Like the one above. I don’t know it.

Which is why they say

…si quis minorem gloriae fructum putat ex Graecis versibus percipi quam ex Latinis, vehementer errat: propterea quod Graeca leguntur in omnibus fere gentibus, Latina suis finibus, exiguis sane, continentur.

Tell that to the Latin snobs :smiley:
(Translation: Cicero says, don’t write in Latin.)

That’s actually the translation: It’s Greek, I don’t read it.

Well, not quite; it says it cannot be read, i.e., no one can read it. Which directly contradicts C’s exhortation that nigh everybody can read it! Mutandis mutatis as it relates to our case, but ironic and food for thought considering the context.