Friday, May 8, 2015

The Hobbit in Ancient Greek, paragraphs 14-15

εἶπεν δὲ τὸ τέλος· Καλόν πρωΐ! οὐ θέλομεν τινα τολμήματα ὧδε, εὐχαριστῶ σοι. ἐπιχειροῖς ἄν ὑπὲρ Τὸ Ὄρος ἤ πέραν Τοῦ Ὕδατος. τοῦτο δὲ ἔλεγεν σημαίνων ὅτι ἐτελειώθη ὁ διάλογος.

[“Good morning! he said at last. We don’t want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water.” By this he meant that the conversation was at an end.]

ἀπεκρίθη δὲ Γανδάλφος· Πόσα σημαίνεις λέγων τὸ καλόν πρωΐ! σημαίνεις νῦν ὅτι θέλεις ἀπολῦσαι με καὶ οὐκ ἔσται καλόν ἕως ὑπάγω.Καὶ εἶπεν Βίλβος· Οὐδαμῶς, οὐδαμῶς, φίλε ἄγαθε! ἰδὲ· οὐ δοκεῖ μοι ὅτι οἶδα τὸ ὄνομα σου.

[“What a lot of things you do use Good morning for!” said Gandalf. “Now you mean that you want to get rid of me, and that it won’t be good till I move off." "Not at all, not at all, my dear sir! Let me see, I don’t think I know your name?”]

Ἀπεκρίθη Γανδάλφος· Ναί, ναί, φίλε ἄγαθε - ἐγώ δὲ οἶδα τὸ ὄνομα σου, Βίλβε Βάγινε. καὶ συ οἶδας τὸ ὄνομα μου, εἰ καὶ οὐ μιμνῄσκῃ ὅτι ἐγώ ὑπάρχω τούτῳ τῷ ὀνόματι. ἐγώ εἰμι Γανδάλφος καὶ Γανδάλφος ἐμέ σημαίνει! ποταπὴ ἀτιμία ὑπό τοῦ υἱοῦ Βελλαδόνης Τουκίτης λημφθῆναι ὡς ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν καπηλεύων πορπάς!

[“Yes, yes, my dear sir - and I do know your name, Mr. Bilbo Baggins. And you do know my name, though you don’t remember that I belong to it. I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me! To think that I should have lived to be good-morninged by Belladonna Took’s son, as if I was selling buttons at the door!”]

Translation notes:
  • "My dear sir": φίλε ἄγαθε, since κυριος in ancient Greek doesn't work as well as a polite address to a stranger.
  • "To think that I should live to..." is idiomatic in English, so a literal translation doesn't work at all. I have rendered it as ποταπὴ ἀτιμία, what a disgrace!
  • "to be good-morninged" is clever, but not directly translatable. I used instead λημφθῆναι, to be welcomed.
  • "selling buttons": I had to use buckles, since I don't think they had buttons.

The picture is the cover of the first edition of the Hobbit, published in 1937.

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