Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hello! Goodbye! Salve! Vale!

I've created a Latin language version of the Lennon/McCartney song "Hello, Goodbye" as a way to teach Latin students the greetings and also some basic vocabulary. The song employs ample repetition to work magnificently for these purposes.


The background music was all played by me, using Garageband. I chose instruments that roughly matched those available in ancient times, to give the song a Roman sound. A Clavinova Panflute in particular was employed because it seemed to emulate the ancient water organ. I do all the singing on the song (using the scholastic pronunciation).

A few notes on my translation decisions.

I've elsewhere defended my use of sic and non for the affirmative and negative words in ancient spoken Latin.

After the word cur, we have the use of subjunctive in an indirect question:

I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello.
Nōn sciō cūr dīcās valē, dīcō salvē.


Some may question my use of nōn sciō as opposed to nesciō. I'm big on viewing the Romance languages as the best window into authentic spoken language even in the Classical period. No Romance language preserved  nesciō. When I speak Romanian, "I don't know" is Nu știu. And, as it is, nesciō is the equivalent of saying "I dunno" as opposed to "I don't know."

I hope this song helps students master the simple greetings and, along the way, acquire some basic vocabulary in an engaging manner.