Latin Translations of Jinty Titles II: A Selection

I have been working on more Latin translations of Jinty serials. In line with Comixminx’s entry on Portuguese translations, I have taken a select few from the list and provide some commentary on them rather than posting a long list as I did before.

  1. Malincha et sceptrum magicum (Malincha and the Magic Sceptre i.e. Sceptre of the Toltecs)

I couldn’t find a Latin word for Toltec, so I came up with “magic sceptre” instead. From there it was an easy matter to use the protagonist’s name to provide alliteration. Perhaps it is not as effective as “Sceptre of the Toltecs”, but it is alliterative. As Comixminx says, girls titles would not be complete without alliteration somewhere.

  1. Citeria cara noster (Our Beloved Clown i.e. The Jinx from St Jonah’s)

This was a tough one to translate. I doubted I could find a Latin word for “jinx” that had the same context as the original title. So I googled for a Latin word for “klutz” but then it was pointed out the word may be not so suitable as it had other more negative meanings. So in the end it was “citeria”, meaning “clown”. It was alliterated with “carus –a –um”, meaning “beloved”, to express that Katie may be a jinx but everyone loves her, including the girls who regularly suffer from her jinxing. It also provided alliteration and a dash of humour that was in keeping with the strip being a humorous one.

  1. Saltandum per ludum (Dancing Through the Game i.e. Life’s a Ball for Nadine)

This was another tough one. I was thinking along the lines of a title that reflected the curious relationship between sport and dancing that ran throughout the story, but I couldn’t figure out how to go about it. Eventually I hit on the idea of something like “dancing around the game”, but as this sounded like Nadine was fooling around with the game, it became “dancing through the game”.

  1. Odium perplexum, tentamenta perplexa (Perplexing Hate, Perplexing Tests i.e. Make-Believe Mandy)

Originally I toyed with a translation that reflected how Mandy used her daydreaming to escape an intolerable home life. But I changed my mind and began to develop a title that commented on the mystery that surrounded both the hatred Mandy gets at home and the tests she undergoes, and the mystery of how and why they were connected. The adjective used for them both would provide the alliteration. “Perplexus –a –um” was chosen because it was recognisable to English speakers. It can also mean “interlaced”, which could also serve as a play on the hatred and the tests being connected.

  1. Plagae ex scarabeo aegyptio (Plagues of the Egyptian Scarab i.e. Creepy Crawley)

A title that used “brooch” was rejected because the Latin word for brooch can also mean “buckle”. Eventually I found there was an actual Latin word for “scarab” and developed the title with that. The noun “plaga –ae”, meaning “strike” or “plague”, was chosen for association with the scarab because it was short, strong and instantly recognisable. It was also reminiscent of the Ten Plagues of Egypt, which tied in with the Egyptian theme and what the scarab does.

  1. Ira ex monili indico (Wrath of the Indian Necklace i.e. Gail’s Indian Necklace)

A title that used “evil” was rejected because the necklace was not downright evil, just angry. So the title began to develop from there, and the Latin words for “wrath” and “Indian” provided alliteration.

  1. Coma aurea, pecten argenteus (Golden Hair, Silver Comb i.e. Combing Her Golden Hair)

Yes, the Latin version of Comixminx’s Portuguese translation. I think it works even better in Latin because the Latin words for “golden” and “silver” both begin with “a”, which gives an alliterative effect.

  1. Haruspex et Siccitas Longa (The Diviner and the Long Drought i.e. Jassy’s Wand of Power)

This started with “siccitas longa” (long drought), but it didn’t sound a very thrilling title. So “haruspex -spicis” (diviner) was added because it would sound like an intriguing word to English speakers and therefore provide more interest. Finally, “siccitas longa” was capitalised because the people in the story would be very likely to use capitalisation for the drought when they look back on it.

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9 thoughts on “Latin Translations of Jinty Titles II: A Selection

    1. The problem with your translation of the Latin culus carus noster is that culus means bum or arse, in English. The Spanish version is culo, the Portuguese being cu, all three being masculine nouns with the same meaning.

      1. I think it’s also worth mentioning that we use the French word cul in cul-de-sac, which many English people would think of as an English expression without necessarily being aware that it is a French expression that actually means ‘bottom of bag’. Not exactly graphic but definitely appropriate.

  1. I’m not trying to be awkward, Briony, but where have you dug up the word ‘citeria’ from? It doesn’t appear in either my Langenscheidt’s Pocket Dictionary (Latin-English), or my bilingual Cassell’s Latin Dictionary. Mind you, the translation of ‘clown’ isn’t persuasive either as the Cassell’s translates it as ‘homo rusticus’ or ‘homo agrestis’, which I would definitely have translated either as ‘farmer’ or ‘farm labourer’ if I had met it in an unseen Latin to English prose passage io be translated under strict exam conditions.

        1. That’s certainly true in Spanish, Jenni. ‘El silencio otorga’ means ‘Silence gives consent’. And don’t worry about Mistyfan. She’s perfectly capable of looking after herself, and a little bit of banter won’t disturb our friendship, which has lasted for several years.

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