The prize for medicine or physiology bears a Latin inscription quoting Virgil's Aeneid, "Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes," which translates literally to: "Inventions enhance life which is beautified through art."
John McMahon scripsit:
The "quote" is from Aen. 663:
"inuentas aut qui uitam excoluere per artis"
" ... or who have ennobled life through arts discovered."
describing those in the Elysian Fields.
" ... those who enriched life with inventions."
But there's no Latinist at the SLT apparently:
"The prize for medicine or physiology bears a Latin inscription quoting Virgil's Aeneid, 'Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes,' which translates literally to: 'Inventions enhance life which is beautified through art.'"
"Translates literally," my ass.
Inventas goes with artes ... and is not the subject, of course.
Iuvat has to be impersonal: "it delights, helps"; excoluisse depends on it and has vitam as its object.
I'd suggest something like (literally / clunkily):
"It is of benefit to have ennobled life through skills having been found."
Bad ... but at least close to the original.
Dexter Hoyos scripsit:
So the Salt Lake Tribune thinks that
<< The prize for medicine or physiology bears a Latin inscription quoting Virgil's Aeneid, “Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes,” which translates literally to: “Inventions enhance life which is beautified through art.” >>
Gloom. Is this how things go in Utah? I thought the aphorism should mean
It is a joy to enhance life through developed [or, in my environment, ‘researched’] skills.
I suppose one could render ‘artes’ as “art(s)”, but the first rule in Hoyos’ senior Language Translation catechism is: Never use the English derivative of a Latin word unless (i) it’s a technical term like consul or prefect, or else (ii) your back is to the wall and civilisation trembles on the edge and you have only five minutes left. [And (iii) you do realise that 70 per cent of the time it’s going to be wrong anyway.]
The Tribune obviously prefers the long-sanctioned process of (a) grab each word in turn as it comes, (b) give it the closest-sounding English match, (c) then try to fiddle around with the result until you get something that at least is grammatical.