- Dear list members,
I would like to translate into Ido a sentence like the following:
"His abilities might have been usefully employed."
It appears to me that, in English, "might" can be used in at least two
ways, as in these sentences, which might be spoken in connection with
a past event in which someone has got lost:
(1) He might have taken the short cut.
(2) He might have stayed with the main party, but he insisted on
taking the short cut.
In (1) we speculate on how he got lost. It is possible that he took
the short cut (which perhaps was little-used and poorly-marked).
In (2) we describe something that he was able to do but did not do.
It was possible and permissible for him to have stayed with the main
party but he did not.
I want to translate a type (2) sentence. His abilities might have
been employed but in the event were not. Here is one attempt.
"Lua habilesi povis uzinde laborigesar."
But if I translate that back into English I get:
"His abilities were able to be usefully employed." In fact they
were not. It was an unrealised possibility.
"Lua habilesi povis uzinde laborigesir".
This comes back as:
"His capabilities were able to have been usefully employed."
Maybe this suggests the required meaning. But I think there may be a
problem with it. It uses a past tense auxiliary verb with a past
infinitive. This creates a tense known in English as the pluperfect
and in Ido as la antea pasinta. In Ido this tense, or at least the
past inifinitive, is not used to imply an unrealised possibility. I
don't think we can use this technique to obtain the required meaning.
Instead, we succeed in referring to a time preceding that in question,
"His abilities had been able to be usefully employed."
Lu dispersis le superba kordie.
Lu destronizis la potenti
ed elevis la humili.
La hungrantin Lu plenigis de bonaji
e la richin Lu forigis indijanta.
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