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Bestiarum Latin names translated
Posted By: FŽanor <>Date: 2/24/08 4:18 a.m.

Hey, folks. I did a little snooping earlier tonight on HBO and Bnet's forums, as well as Google, and found that no decent effort had been made to translate the Latin names of Halo's species as given in the Bestiarum -- some poor, half-arsed ones (usually via online translator) were all I could find. So, I've undertaken the task myself -- and here are the results. Let me know what you think!

Bestiarum (Of Animals)

Brute - Servus Ferox (Wild slave)

This translation assumes that the Bestiarum transcribes the Jiralhanae's raw, unbridled, martial sensibilities somewhat condescendingly -- an idea backed up by its approval of the humans dubbing them 'Brutes', and the unambiguously derogatory appellations it bestows on a couple of the other species. Were the Bestiari tone more approbative, it might be rendered 'Ferocious Servant', or similar; but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Drone - Turpis Rex (Ugly king)

The least interesting one. Pretty straightforward, though seemingly a bit off grammatically -- had it been up to me, a more pleasing rendering would have been 'Regis Turpis' (King of ugly). That's got a vervacious ring to it, no?

Elite - Macto Cognatus (I honor my father's blood)

Not exactly a proper appellation, but there's little doubt as to the meaning. Very cool -- my personal favorite.

Engineer - Facticius Indoles (Artificial nature)

I think there was a mix up on this one, because it doesn't really make sense. The instantly obvious blunder is that the gender of the noun and adjective disagree ('Indoles' is feminine). But even looking past that, it doesn't come together for me. Were the grammatical i's and t's dotted and crossed, the Latin would still read 'Artificial Nature' (as in 'Man-made Innate Disposition'). I'd guess that they wanted to say something more like 'Dextra ad Indoles', or 'Dexter Naturaliter' (Dexterous by nature).

Flood [Pure Form] - Inferi Redivivus (The renovated dead)

Some excellent diction here. 'Redivivus' very specifically refers to old building materials that had been re-used in assembling something else. Whether you take this to mean the host body being re-used as a prefab home for the parasite, or as one small brick in the massive edifice that is the Flood's collective conciousness -- it's very apposite.

Flood [Gravemind] - Inferi Sententia (The dead -- way of thinking)

Bungie's guilty of shoddy linguistics on this one. It doesn't make sense to me, anyway -- two nouns in the nominative case. The literal English translation seems to make sense, but that's incidental. The Latin doesn't. The proper Latin to express what the English seems to want to would be 'Inferorum Sententia' (The dead's way of thinking).

Grunt - Monachus Frigus (Cold monk)

I don't quite get this one. 'Frigus' is obvious -- Balaho is a cold place. But 'Monachus'? I can't say for sure. The only parallels the Bestiari description offers are the organizational attributes of 'Tribal' and 'Pack' (implying communal living) and -- this one's a bit of a stretch -- language. Monks in the ancient world were often linguists, and the Grunts are said to have an affinity for such things. But their society is matriarchal, and they're sure as heck not celibate. Anybody have better ideas on this one?

Hunter - Ophis Congregatio (Serpent union)

Interesting wrinkle on this one -- 'Ophis' is Greek, not Latin. Maybe intentional, maybe an oopsie -- we'll never know. Regardless, it describes pretty accurately what's going on under that armor.

Jackal - Perosus Latrunculus (Hated little bandit)

Previous self-styled translators have failed to notice the diminutive form of 'Latrunculus', apparently being unfamiliar with the root 'latro'. It's fitting for its derisive connotation, as well as its factual description -- despite its attitude, the Jackal just barely tops 5 feet and 100 pounds.

Prophet - Perfidia Vermis (Worm of treachery)

No bones about this one. It doesn't make sense at all unless 'Vermis' is in the genitive case (as opposed to the identical nominative) -- and given that, there's no doubt of the exact rendering here. Obviously it's quite fitting.

Reclaimer - Homo Sapiens Augeous (Wise man -- ?)

Another snafu. 'Augeous' is not a proper Latin word, as far as I'm aware. Seemingly they were wanting to take off on 'Augeo' (to grow, increase), but I'm not aware of any conjugation that would render it '-ous'. My best guess is that it's supposed to mean something like 'Enlarged human' -- in which case it would best read 'Homo Sapiens Auctus', making use of the comparative participle.

Well, there it is. I'll qualify all of it heavily by saying that I'm no expert, just a lover of the language -- and if any other, more competent Latinists want to add or detract anything, they're more than welcome to do so.

Message Index


Bestiarum Latin names translatedFŽanor 2/24/08 4:18 a.m.
     Cool.BlueNinja 2/24/08 4:56 a.m.
           Re: Cool.FŽanor 2/24/08 5:18 a.m.
                 Re: Cool.SinisterSamurai 2/24/08 3:54 p.m.
     CorrectionsFŽanor 2/24/08 5:40 a.m.
     Bookmarkedscarab 2/24/08 5:42 a.m.
           Re: BookmarkedFŽanor 2/24/08 5:52 a.m.
                 Sealsj41m3z 2/24/08 11:29 a.m.
                 Re: BookmarkedSiber 2/24/08 2:30 p.m.
                       Re: BookmarkedFŽanor 2/24/08 5:56 p.m.
     Another Possible CorrectionFŽanor 2/24/08 6:08 a.m.
           Wait Engineers were 'made'? *NM*spu7n1k 2/24/08 6:29 a.m.
                 Yeah.BlueNinja 2/24/08 6:33 a.m.
                       Re: Yeah.ActiveCamoElite 2/24/08 8:14 a.m.
                             Re: Yeah.BlueNinja 2/24/08 8:47 a.m.
                 Re: Wait Engineers were 'made'?Stephen L. (SoundEffect) 2/24/08 11:24 a.m.
           I am a monument to all your sins.scarab 2/24/08 10:19 a.m.
                 Re: I am a monument to all your sins.FŽanor 2/24/08 10:35 a.m.
                       Re: I am a monument to all your sins.scarab 2/24/08 11:37 a.m.
                             Re: I am a monument to all your sins.elpolloguapo 2/24/08 11:41 a.m.
                                   Re: I am a monument to all your sins.scarab 2/24/08 12:36 p.m.
           Re: Another Possible CorrectionFŽanor 2/24/08 6:24 p.m.
     Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedelpolloguapo 2/24/08 9:19 a.m.
           Yeh its not following the Linnean System *NM*scarab 2/24/08 10:22 a.m.
     Updated and abbreviated list, errors amendedFŽanor 2/24/08 6:49 p.m.
           Re: Updated and abbreviated list, errors amendedStephen L. (SoundEffect) 2/24/08 9:11 p.m.
                 Re: Updated and abbreviated list, errors amendedFŽanor 2/24/08 10:28 p.m.
     Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedSchedonnardus 2/25/08 8:52 a.m.
           Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedFŽanor 2/25/08 9:24 p.m.
                 Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedSep7imus [subnova] 2/25/08 10:34 p.m.
                       Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedFŽanor 2/27/08 11:36 a.m.
                 Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedLouis Wu 2/26/08 7:45 a.m.
                       Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedyakaman 2/26/08 12:27 p.m.
                             Hostes aliengeni me abduxerent. Qui annus est? *NM*Anton P. Nym (aka Steve) 2/26/08 12:44 p.m.
                                   Re: Hostes aliengeni me abduxerent. Qui annus est?FŽanor 2/27/08 11:37 a.m.
                       Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedFŽanor 2/27/08 11:36 a.m.
           Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedxMixMasterx 2/26/08 9:54 a.m.
     Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedvlad3163 2/25/08 11:27 a.m.
     Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedgortex: devouerer of nooblets 2/26/08 7:38 p.m.
           Re: Bestiarum Latin names translatedelpolloguapo 2/26/08 10:00 p.m.

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