Like most of you, I sometimes look up stuff that peaks my interest. One thing, I have to confess, I often do, is look up translations.
Usually, an ordinary dictionary will do, for the small stuff. They have a lot of little Latin phrases, translated. And French, and maybe a few other languages (depending on how well-known the saying is [they can’t include EVERYTHING;)]).
Anyways, the translations sometimes include archaic English words, like thou and thee. And hath, shalt, and so forth. (These words aren’t called “Old English” or even Middle English, you know. Because we do still use them, if only in religious and poetic contexts.)
Anyways, I have one minor mystery at least, resolved. It involves the use of the words thou and thee. Thou and thee are always singular. So when they use them, they are drawing your attention to the fact it is only translatable as singular. For example, Tu quoque translates as “thou also”. Because, you are referring only to one person. (Also, it is worth pointing out the singular form of you is typically more familiar, and sometimes less respectful too, in Latin and the Romance languages.) And then there is the Latin phrase In hoc signo vinces. It translates as “in this sign [i.e., ☧] thou shalt conquer”. Again, you are addressing only one person (in this case, Constantine, in an alleged dream he had). And the “shalt” seems appropriate too, for this word.
But sometimes this is not the case (thou or thee). And it really confuses me, why they use it. For example, the Hebrew name Raphael is translated in my dictionary as “God hath healed”.
Why the “hath” in this case? There is no “thou” or “thee”. And I don’t think you would be referring to God in the familiar. So why “shalt” at all then?
I’ll bet I am not the first person to wonder this, too. But I am the first to have the courage to ask, I think. So please tell me.