Music Sabaton Discussion

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08:50:19 PM Jul 17th 2012
edited by ClassicalPedant
Regarding the song title "Primo Victoria", "May the best man win" is at least a plausible translation and not grammatically incorrect.

I think the confusion was that some one thought that the two words were respectively a noun, and an adjective describing said noun. In such case, yes, the lack of agreement in case and gender would be annoying and nonsensical.

Rather, I claim that the adjective is "Primus" in the Singular Masculine Dative, and describes not the Victory itself, but the man or force of men to whom the victory goes. It is not unusual in Latin to use an adjective with only an understood object noun (indeed, distinguishing between "Nomina" and "Nomina Adiectiva" at all occurred fairly late historically.)

Also, "Primus" can be used to mean First not only in a strict mathematical sense, but also in an analogous hierarchical sense, as in the phrase "Primus inter Pares" (First among Equals). Thus, using it to mean "first [in valor]" or "best" is plausible.

Include the understood verb "sit" or "fiat and you get a perfectly correct sentence: Primo [exercitui] sit Victoria. That is: May Victory be to the First [army].

I hope I'm not being offensive, and yes, I suspect that Sabaton does in fact carelessly lift their Latin from google translate! But that said, even a broken clock is right twice a day. ;)

Cheers! I remain always truly, your

-Classical Pedant
07:24:00 PM Jul 19th 2012
I like to think the guys were more concerned with finding something simple and memorable than something accurate, especially something that people could recognise as meaning 'first victory' if they didn't know Latin that well, which is most people.

Based on the song being about the beginning of Operation Overlord, I'm certain it really just means the first win of that campaign and anything else is just people trying to work out what Primo Victoria almost means in accurate Latin. That said, I am curious as to how to properly say 'first victory' in Latin in that sort of context, even if it turns out to translate literally as something silly like 'the first time we were victorious' or whatever, you can probably tell I don't speak Latin. I'm assuming it involves the word 'Primus' since you said it can be used to mean first mathematically, which is what I'm sure Sabaton were trying to mean by Primo Victoria.

And don't worry about being offensive. You're so far from being offensive that I'm actually confused as to why you think you could be offending anyone.
10:15:30 PM Jul 19th 2012
I've done an edit that I hope just settles the issue. I think their Latin is cringe-inducing. Primus can be used as a sort of pronoun, but there isn't any noun for it to replace. Their usage implied that Primo is being used as an adjective. I have looked on Google Translate, and their Latin really is pretty much just taken from either a dictionary or an online translator, the latter are notorious for their terrible handling of Latin, Google Translate showing up under Translation Train Wreck or "Blind Idiot" Translation. I'm willing to let the shoddy grammar slide under poetic license, but it is still bad so regularly that it is obvious that they do not really understand Latin. Gratiae vobis ago!
03:00:54 AM Jul 20th 2012
Despite what I'm about to say, I'm not going to edit anything and I'm not going to ask you to edit anything, at least until someone more familiar with how to handle situations like this joins in this discussion. I'd prefer one final edit that tidies everything up over a sort of polite edit war.

I think it's better to lose the specifics and shorten the example to just saying what Sabaton got wrong and where. The trope pages are just meant to focus on the subject of the page, in this case the band and the examples in their work that fit the tropes. Readers are likely able to tell from the link to Gratuitous Latin that it's very bad Latin and that's enough to get the point across really. I tried to read your explanation of why their Latin is bad but I couldn't make sense of it because I'm unfamiliar with the technical words you and your links used and the specifics of language study in general, and I'm sure most other people who don't study languages are as clueless about terms like 'ablative absolute' as I am. All I got out of it was 'oh, Sabaton got Latin wrong' which I already got from seeing the Gratuitous Latin link. That's why I think just the trope link and the examples of where Sabaton used bad Latin are enough. Brevity is wit and all that.

I'm also not sure about words like 'painful' and 'epic fail', they seem a bit hostile on an informal wiki like this one. But as I said, I'm leaving your example as is. Maybe a more experienced troper will show up and help us out and it'll turn out your example is fine already. I'm still feeling my way around the whole editing thing so I'm still not sure what is and isn't the right way to go about it even after reading all the pages on how to edit properly and presentably.
03:03:34 AM Jul 20th 2012
Right, now I think I understand why Classical Pedant was worried about offending people because now I'm a bit worried that what I wrote is going to come across as offensive somehow. Hopefully this addendum that any offense caused is accidental and comes with a free apology will rectify that.
03:17:54 PM Jul 20th 2012
edited by ClassicalPedant
I agree, a simpler and less specific entry might be best for the article itself. Linguistic details distract from the actual band. Optionally, some one can make a witty remark linking to Canis Latinicus! It would seem appropriate.

If we want to slug out the various interpretations — and who doesn't? We're all nerds here, right? ;) — then maybe we can make an Analysis page or some such for the purpose.

No hard feelings at all, Molotov, and I'm sorry if I've annoyed you or anyone else.

To answer your question, Giygasattack, "The First Victory" is simply "Prima Victoria." Depending on how it fits into the sentence it can be declined differently, but if you're just yelling "First victory, woohoo!", then "Prima Victoria" is fine.

Interestingly, I did some Latin Literature research and the closest thing I can find to English's "May the best man win" is from Virgil(Aeneid VII:281): "discernere ferro", "to decide with the sword."

Turn it to the imperative and it would be a great song title in and of itself: "Discerne Ferro!"

"Discernat Ferrum!" might work too. [May the sword decide!] Huh, I think I have a name for my next RP campaign...
04:47:50 PM Jul 20th 2012
edited by giygasattack
Heh, so after all this it turned out that Sabaton could have just replaced one letter and been correct enough.

Anyway, it'd be Altum Videtur we'd need a link to. Canis Latinicus is for nonsense that sounds vaguely like Latin.

Discernat Ferrum sounds cool, I can just imagine a big burly barbarian warrior chief growling it at a Roman general during some sort of pre-battle negotiations or something. I'm not really a languages type of nerd though (despite doing German, Spanish and French at college years ago, still can't speak any of them, hell I'm from Northern England so I can barely speak English), I'm more of a gamer nerd so Latin to me just looks like spell names. Discerne Ferro for example looks more like 'recognise iron' than 'decide by the sword'. I guess that sort of thing is why Canis Latinicus is such a prevalent trope.

I bet you guys would have some fun with The Lion From The North by Sabaton, it's got plenty of Latin in and I have no idea how accurate it is. If you ever work out where to continue your discussion on the Latin Sabaton use you might want to bring that song up.
04:49:13 PM Jul 23rd 2012
edited by ClassicalPedant
Lion from the North's latin is... [EDIT: almost] correct. I'm not having success getting it to format, but here's the gist:

Gustavus Adolphus / (Gustavus Adolphus go forth libera impera) / Libera et impera / Acerbus et ingens / (Acerbus et ingens leo libera impera) / Augusta per angusta [X2]

Gustav Adolph / Gustav Adolph (go forth) Liberate! Command! / Liberate and Command! / O Violent Man and Giant / Violent and Giant Lion, Liberate! Command! / To Honors, through Difficulties.

EDIT: The problem is that it should be "Gustave Adolphe libera impera." When you're talking about somebody, you use the Nominitive "Gustavus;" when you're addressing somebody you use the Vocative "Gustave." Grr, this borders on Canis Latinicus territory...
07:17:39 AM Jul 24th 2012
Wait, I screwed up and assumed Altum Videtur was incorrect Latin when it seems to be for any use of actual Latin. Herpaderp. I got confused because the Gratuitous Foreign Language page linked to it.

Maybe put all their good Latin under Altum Videtur and have a bullet point marked Gratuitous Latin pointing out how they tended to mess it up before the songs on Carolus Rex where it seems consistently good? I'm going to leave that choice to you though, since you're the one who's familiar with Latin. I'm happy as long as it's neat.
07:21:26 AM Jul 24th 2012
Also, I missed a small slip they made, as shown above.