Well of Aldur Amulet Translations (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Player Created Resources' started by Cora Cuz'avich, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. Cora Cuz'avich

    Cora Cuz'avich Avatar

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    I started work on these back in this thread, but wanted to move them to their own thread, both to stop cluttering the original thread, and maybe facilitate some lore discussions. I also got sick of posting everything in spoiler code, which gets in the way of actually having a conversation. That said, I plan to still use spoiler code for additional translation notes. (It'll help keep the posts tidy,and not turn them into giant walls of text.) However for general discussion about the contents and story implications, spoiler code should no longer be necessary.

    A general word: I took Latin quite a while ago. As in, not in this century. So I'm a bit rusty. Additionally, Professor Smails' transcriptions of the amulets are not entirely accurate. So these translations should not be taken as canonical; they are "my" translations and may not be entirely accurate.

    I've also reserved the first few posts in the thread to add the translations as I complete them, rather than jam them all into a single message.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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  2. Cora Cuz'avich

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    For starters, Latin does not differentiate between "an" and "the." However, in the case of Avatars, it makes a difference. I chose a singular "the" Avatar, as these amulets predate the cataclysm, when the canonical Avatar was a single person. (Though, I have not played UO, and I don't know how the game treated its players- if everyone was an avatar, or potentially the avatar, or what.)

    My sense of this is that the author is saying all those rubes down below think some schlub is "the avatar", but up here in our perfect society, aren't we all avatars because we're so awesome? This avatar guy thinks he's special because some foreign dude taught him some fancy virtues?

    Also, I will be updating with more extensive translation notes, but part of those is some confusion over the phrase "traveler to come." Translated correctly, the phrase is either "traveler to come" or "foreign future." Neither of which really make sense. I believe it to be none other than Beast Lord British himself, as he was the one who first taught you (the Avatar) of the virtues in Ultima IV. But Lord British has been around a long time, he isn't a traveler "to come." Unless maybe UO introduced some lore in which Lord British is canonically from the future? It's possible this refers to somebody else, of course, but no ideas spring to mind that fit batter than LB.

    [Edit] After thinking about it a bit while working on the notes below, I think there is an alternative. It is possible that Lord British has contacted the Sistrians/Alduraanians, and asked to come teach them of the virtues, so that maybe one of them can attempt to perform the various quests, find the Codex, and become the Avatar. In which case he would be a "traveler to come." And the author of the message basically thinks he's full of it, because they're already so awesome, they don't need some guy telling them how to live their lives.

    The one flaw in that argument is that the first part of the message seems to indicate the Avatar has already been chosen/determined. So LB would have no need to come up here looking for someone to become one. But, that is speculation. Maybe the rest of the notes will provide more context.

    Interestingly, that means that Sistria/Aldur has been floating around up there since well before Ultima IV.


    (Non Not adv )(est it is 3sing pres ind act)(the/an avatar)

    Fairly straightforward.
    (Et And conj)(qui those who rel pron sing/pl m nom)(vivunt they live 3pl pres ind act)(infra nos beneath us prep phrase infra+acc)(ad mendacium by falsehood prep phrase ad+acc).

    Mostly straightforward. The only issue is the prepositional phrase "by falsehood." It seems a bit clunky. I think "in medacium" (in deceit) is how the Professor should have transcribed it. Unless there is an idiomatic usage I was unable to find.
    (Dicunt They say 3pl pres ind act)(the/an avatar)(ambulat it walks 3sing pres ind act)(in eis among them prep phrase in+abl).

    Nothing tricky here.
    (Non Not adv)(credere be believed! sing pres imp pass to believe pres inf act you shall be believed 2sing fut ind pass)(est it is 3sing pres ind act).

    Slightly tricky. I'm pretty sure what the intent of the phrase is, but none of the translations of "credere" quite fit. A correct transcription would have been "credi," the present passive infinitive "to be believed."
    (The avatar)(viventem living adj sing mf acc pap)(est it is 3sing pres ind act)(formam form/figure/beauty/mold/pattern n sing f acc)(virtus strength/courage/virtue n sing f nom).

    This is where it started giving me headaches. In a "noun is adjective" type construction (the car is red, the dog is vicious) both the noun and the adjective have to match in number and case. And the case will always be nominative. Of course, "avatar" is not a Latin word. But, given the rules, we can presume it is in the nominative. Thge only other noun is in the nominative case is "virtue." This leaves us with, "the avatar is virtue."

    Now, the tricky part. "viventum" (living) and "formam" (form) are both in the accusative. That is to say, direct objects. But "est" is an intransitive verb, meaning it can't take a direct object. I spent a very long time looking up instances which might explain the presence of these two words in the accusative, but came up empty.

    I suspect that "virtus" should have been in the genitive (so, "of virtue") and "viventum" and "formam" should have been nominative, to agree with "est" and the subject, which is how I translated it.

    I have translated "fromam," by they way, as "model" instead of form. Perhaps Thaddeus should have used "exemplar" instead, but "formam" does get the idea across.
    (Cur Why/Wherefore/For what reason adv)(ego I/me pers pron sing mf nom)(non not adv)(the avatar)?

    Ol' Thaddeus forgot to give us a verb here. I took a guess. I think "What makes me not the avatar?" Would work as well.
    (Quod Because conj Who/What kind of rel pron sing n nom/acc)(peregrinum foreigner/pilgrim/traveller n sin m acc foreign/exotic/alien adj sing m acc, sing n nom/acc )(futurum future n sing n nom/acc future/about to be/to come adj sing m acc, sing n nom/acc)(non not adv)(docebit shall/will teach 3sing fut ind act)(nos we/us pers prom pl mf nom/acc)(de virtutibus of/about the virtues prep phrase de+abl)?

    And this is where I began to lose my mind. As you can see, "peregrinum futurum" can either be "traveler (noun) to come (adjective)" OR "foreign (adjective) future (noun)."

    "Foreign/exotic/alien future" is a bit nonsensical to me. "Traveler to come" is much more likely, but from the context, the "traveler to come" is the one who teaches others of the virtues in order that they may become "The Avatar." Which to my mind, is Lord British. Possibly I am missing something here. In Thaddeus' defense, the verb "will teach" is also in the future tense.
    (Nec nor/neither/and not adv)(iam now/already/by now/besides adv)(perfectum excellent/perfect adj sing m acc sing, sing n nom/acc having/having been finished/executed/completed adj sing m acc sing, sing n nom/acc ppp)(est it is 3sing pres ind act)(societas society n sing f nom)(nostra our n sing f nom/abl, pl n nom/acc)?

    Thankfully, we end on a line that is relatively straightforward. I'm a little torn as to whether to translate "perfectum" as "perfect" or "excellent." My mind tells me it is probably "perfect," but my heart wants to imagine the the Sistrians have a "Most Excellent Society."

    [​IMG]
    Italics = original word
    Green Text = Translated word(s)
    Blue Text = Possible alternative translations
    Tiny Text = What part(s) of speech the words are
    Pink Text = Words that were not Latin in the original message
    Struck Text = Options I was able to elimante based on other words

    If one of the possible translations is in green and the others are blue, then the green words are the most likely translation. The others are left becasue often knowing what other words it might be can addsome flavor.

    If all the possible translations are blue, that means nothing definitively teslls me it is correct, I will still make a guess, but I am less confident ofbeign correct.

    Struck text is mostly in the parts of speech sections. Many words (especially nouns) have words that are identical in different cases. Sometimes I can weed out teh wrong ones, but I want to leave the txt there in case I change my mind. If the messages in the game showed diacritics, that would help narrow things down considerably. It would certainly help with the translations. Is "usus" actually "usūs?" Because those are completely different words.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
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  3. Cora Cuz'avich

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  4. Cora Cuz'avich

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    This one was probably the trickiest one so far. In particular the third and fourth lines of the main body; lots of disagreeing nouns, possibly a missing verb. I already posted this one in the previous thread, but after some guidance* from Sannio, I took another pass at it.

    Of note is the name Sistria. While it looks Latin, it is not. The nearest I can find is "sistra," which is a brass rattle used in the worship of Isis. I don't think that's it. Context, however, and the fact that it appears capitalized as a proper noun in the body of the message, lead me to believe it is the name of a place or city. Presumably that was what the inhabitants of the Well of Aldur called the place themselves. The professor does not give any info on where he got the name "Well of Aldur." Possibly, the Well of Aldur was a location in the city of Sistria.

    My general read is that this is part of a speech given at a celebration of some sort. The people have not previously been particularly interested in events happening below, but are soon to take more action. They wanted somebody from below to speak to, to get an "outside" opinion on matters, and part of this celebration is to announce the arrival of such a person.

    Given that it sounds like they had a lunar rift, and so does the Isle of Storms, which also floats above Novia, I think it's a safe bet that the Isle was once part of Aldur/Sistria.

    I also wonder if "star of the city" is incorrect. From context, it is an alternate name for Sistria. But I would think "city of/from the stars" would be more accurate.

    Also of note is the phrase "lunar rift." I had some trouble with that one, as the two words do not appear to be related. But given the inacuracy of the Professor's transcription, I think this is correct. However, the actual translation of "lunares" is the adjective lunar in the plural, and "abruptiones" is a noun in the singular meaning "of breaking, of breaking off, of separating, of divorcing." A thought is that this refers to the pre-cataclysm moons colliding, but given that it means "separating," and the celebratory atmosphere of the message, I think "lunar rift" is correct. Lunar may be plural to refer to both Felucca and Trammel, though if that were the case, rift would also have to be plural.



    (Sistria)(nobis with us pers pron mf abl pl)(pacem I may pacify v 1sing pres subj act peace n sing f acc)(celebra celebrate/honor v 2sing pres imp act).

    No real issues here.
    (Amici O friends n pl m voc),(Sistria)(hic here in this place adv this adj pron m nom sing)(sumus we are v 1pl pres ind act)(celebraturi about to celebrate/honor adj pl m nom/abl fap, sing n gen fap),(et and conj)(omnis all adj sing mf nom/gen, pl mf acc)(gloria glory n sing f nom/abl)(eius it’s pers pron sing mfn gen).

    Also good. Well, mostly. I think omnis gloria should have been omnis gloriam, as it is the direct object (what is being celebrated).
    (Numquam Never adv)(ante before prep)(iam now adv)(quisquam anyone/whoever indef pron sing mf nom)(iuga yokes/teams (horses)/summits n pl n nom/acc marry!/join (to)! v 2sing pres imp act)(nostra our adj sing f nom/abl, pl n nom/acc)(pervenit has reached/arrived/come to v 3sing perf ind act it reaches/arrives/comes to v 3sing pres ind act)(civilization)”(stella the star n sing f nom)(ex urbe from the city prep phrase ex+abl).”

    A little confusing. Assuming stella ex urbe (the star from the city) is a nickname of their civilization, and not somehow referring to something else, I would expect instead to see urb ex stellis (the city from the stars.)

    I put nostra (our) with civilization (our civilization.) But it is possible that it that goes with iuga (summits) and that if civilization were translated into Latin, it would be genitive, and give us "our summits of civilization."

    Ante iam is translated as "before now." However, iam is an adverb, and ante should take a noun in the accusative. But I think the intent here is clear.

    It may also be that "star from the city" refers to quisquam (anyone.) The are both in the nominative (subject) case. But I think from context it refers to the civilization.
    (Urbis The city’s/Of the city n sing f gen)(nostrae our pers pronf gen/dat sing, f nom pl)(centra centers n nom/acc pl)(studiorum of study n gen pl)(amore with love m abl sing)(artium of the arts f gen pl)(concentus of singing/concert/harmony/concord/choir n sing m nom/gen sing concerts/singings/harmonies/concord/choirs n pl m nom/acc)(convivia banquets/living together/guests/entertainment n nom/acc pl)(inire to enter/to undertake v pres inf)(certamen struggle/dispute n nom/acc sing)(qui which/whereby rel pron sing m nom, pl m nom)(infra under/below adv)(magis more/rather/to greater extent adv magical adj dat m pl, dat/abl n pl).

    So this one was a Yahoo Serious Film Festival.

    For one- no verb. Inire is the infinitive form of the verb "to enter" but infinitives are treted as nouns. And convivia (banquet/party) really didn't seem to fit in anywhere, or make much sense.

    So, I figured one of those nouns must be a mis-transcribed verb. Since convivia didn't fit, I started there. I looked up similar sounding words, and found convenio "to meet, agree..." which then makes the sentence work. (Agree to enter.)

    Though, the bit about "with love of the arts of harmony" still feels a bit out of place. Unless they're saying that their love of harmony, they've decided to get involved with the struggles below? It still seems like a clunky construction. Or, as always,I may be missing a key thing that makes things fall into place.
    (Nos We/Us pers pron pl mf nom/acc)(non not/no adv)usus use/enjoyment/experience/skill/advantage n sing m nom/gen, pl m nom/acc used/made use of/enjoyed adj sing m nom perf pass part)(inseruientium of being attached to/serving the interests of/taking care of/looking after/serving adj pl m gen pres act part),(nostras our poss pron pl f acc)(indigentias cravings/needs n pla f acc)(vel or/or even/actually adv or conj)(desideria desires/wants/pleasures/requirements n pl n nom/acc)(compleantur let it fill/complete/satisfy/furnish v 3pl pres subj pass jussive it could/might fill/complete/satisfy/furnish v 3pl pres subj pass potential).

    This was probably the most difficult sentence to make any sense out of. Partly, I think the main clause has an adjective in stead of a verb. Though inseruientium translates to "serving," but as a participle/adjective,not a verb. Translating that as a verb,however, goes a long way. Though, the sentence is still a little off. I think it might also need another noun, to indicate what exactly has "no experience serving us." A person, presumably; probably the "hero" referenced later in the message.








    *I just want to note Sannio's advice did not include specifics, only some additional information on how the passages were translated. This has given me some help, but by no means has provided me with any sort of key to getting the translation perfect.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  5. Cora Cuz'avich

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  6. Cora Cuz'avich

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  7. Cora Cuz'avich

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    Reserved ...?
     
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  8. Cora Cuz'avich

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    Added translation for Sistria nobis pacem. Added translation and detailed notes for Non est avatar.
     
  9. Alley Oop

    Alley Oop Bug Hunter Bug Moderator

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    i wonder if attempting to make a lunar rift is what destroyed the city. like they all gathered for the grand opening, someone hit the switch to turn it on, and boom.
     
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  10. Cora Cuz'avich

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    On first attempt at translating that passage I read it like it was the grand opening of the lunar rift, but I no longer think that's the case. I think they are celebrating a visitor from below. Though, if they came up through the rift, you'd think they'd have had visitors before. It's hard to say exactly, that passage had some issues. Latin makes it very difficult to get the exact meaning if it isn't correct, changing a letter in a word can completely change the meaning of the sentence. And, I'm far from an expert.

    I would have figured chunks of the moons hit them on the way down during the cataclysm.
     
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  11. Cora Cuz'avich

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    Also, this does make me think about the name "lunar rift." Obviously, it came about because they couldn't use "moon gate." The phrase sounds cool, and it gets the point across, but the word "rift" means "chasm, fissure." There are some poetic uses of it to denote a break in fog or clouds. But how the term applies seems intangible. I guess "lunar break" kind of poetically describes the "moon gates" but I would imagine something more like "lunar portal" or "lunar egress" to be more actually descriptive.

    That said, the Latin word rima means "rift." However, there is no indication it was ever used to mean anything than an actual chasm or crevice. Um, except that it was sometimes used as rude word. Either way, that's probably why the specific word was avoided and "abruptionis" was used.
     
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  12. Cora Cuz'avich

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    I have to say, though, this is all very frustrating. Cool as hell, but frustrating. I'm loving getting more lore, and background on the Well of Aldur. But I can't tell if I'm mis-translating, or if the text is deliberately wrong for "immersion." I keep waffling back and forth on my translations, trying to get them to make more sense.

    I wish these transcriptions were quest items, and turning them in to some scholar in Aerie or Xenos would result in him giving you the actual translations.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  13. Anpu

    Anpu Bug Hunter

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    I’m completely fine with some things that are are left unexplained. That add more mystery and depth as well.
     
  14. Cora Cuz'avich

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    I am also fine with unexplained. What bugs me is incorrectly explained.
     
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  15. Duke Gréagóir

    Duke Gréagóir Legend of the Hearth

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    Here is a riddle that needs a spoiler. How does one get into the Well of Aldur?
     
  16. Cora Cuz'avich

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    It's a scene in Mistrendur.


    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Net

    Net Avatar

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    The Te amo in aeternum transcript is finally in the game.
     
  18. Cora Cuz'avich

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    Yeah, I saw that. These take a while, and I haven't really had the time.
     
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