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Question Re: Exercise 4 -- Pali Primer

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  • Peter Bowen
    Question 8, Exercise 4, of _the Pali Primer_ asks for a translation of the following sentence: Kumaaraa mittehi saha bhuupaala.m passanti. In the Pali
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 9, 2009
      Question 8, Exercise 4, of _the Pali Primer_ asks for a translation of
      the following sentence:

      "Kumaaraa mittehi saha bhuupaala.m passanti."

      In the Pali Day-by-Day answers, on tipitaka.net, the answer is given as:

      "Boys, [together] with friends, see the king."

      But I had translated it as:

      "Boys see the king with [his] friends."

      Why is my answer not correct? How does one know that the word
      "mittehi" goes with "kumaaraa" and not with "bhuupaala.m"?

      Thanks.

      Peter Bowen
      Toronto, Canada
    • Ong Yong Peng
      Dear Peter, I agree that, all things being equal, languages need to strike a balance between grammar and practicality. Pali, with the use of various
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 10, 2009
        Dear Peter,

        I agree that, all things being equal, languages need to strike a
        balance between grammar and practicality. Pali, with the use of
        various declensions, appears less strict in syntax. Whereas, syntax is
        more stringent in English, which almost has no declension.

        So, my answer to your question is it will depend on the passage and
        the sentence. The passage will usually determine the context. In a
        case like this, having only an isolated sentence, I would usually
        allow the subject (kumaaraa) to form the relation with the
        instrumental (mittehi saha).

        Perhaps other members can shed more light into this issue.


        metta,
        Yong Peng.

        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Peter Bowen wrote:

        "Kumaaraa mittehi saha bhuupaala.m passanti."

        In the Pali Day-by-Day answers, on tipitaka.net, the answer is given
        as: "Boys, [together] with friends, see the king."

        But I had translated it as: "Boys see the king with [his] friends."

        Why is my answer not correct? How does one know that the word
        "mittehi" goes with "kumaaraa" and not with "bhuupaala.m"?
      • grasje
        Dear Peter, Yesterday I finished exercise 4 from the Pali Primer. (Many thanks to all the wonderfull people who made the data vaults on Pali day by Day. I
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 12, 2009
          Dear Peter,

          Yesterday I finished exercise 4 from the Pali Primer. (Many thanks to
          all the wonderfull people who made the data vaults on Pali day by Day.
          I wouldn't know how to correct my answers otherwise.)

          About your question:
          things that belong together are in the exersises up till now always
          close together in a sentence, exept for the subject (nominative case)
          and the verb. Important items come first, less important items later
          in a sentence.
          Thus: Kumaaraa mittehi saha means The boys with their friends.
          the King with his friends would be bhuupaala.m mittehi saha.
          Boys see the king with his friends would be:
          Kumaaraa bhuupaala.m mittehi saha passanti.

          I hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong.

          Succes with exercise 5.

          Kind regards,
          Ria Glas
          The Netherlands
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