Excerpt from Ælfric’s Colloqu

Here’s a fun little passage on learning. Enjoy.

Nos pueri rogamus te, magister, ut doceas nos loqui latialiter recte, quia idiote sumus et corrupte loquimur. Quid uultis loqui? Quid curamus quid loquamur, nisi recta locutio sit et utilis, non anilis aut turpis. Uultis flagellari in discendo? Carius est nobis flagellari pro doctrina quam nescire. Sed scimus te mansuetum esse et nolle inferre plagas nobis, nisi cogaris a nobis.

STUDENTS: We children ask you, teacher, that you might teach us to speak proper Latin, because we are uneducated and we speak corrupt Latin.

TEACHER: What do you desire to say?

STUDENTS: That which we care that we speak, except it might be proper speech and useful, neither old womanish or vulgar.

TEACHER: Do you desire  to be beaten while learning?

STUDENTS: It is more dear to us to be beaten for teaching than to be ignorant. But we know that you are kind and do not desire to inflict blows upon us, unless you are compelled by us.

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4 Responses to Excerpt from Ælfric’s Colloqu

  1. Dave Black says:

    “Quid curamus quid loquamur….”

    Would “That we pay [better] attention to what we say” work here?

    • jacobcerone says:

      As you could see, I struggled a bit with the Quid…quid construction. In your translation, how do you make that work with the “nisi” clause that follows?

      The sense of the passage is clear. I’m finding it difficult to provide an adequate “literal” rendering.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let me think on that. Right now I am still in a post travel fog:)

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