If you have not played far enough to hear the soundtrack with Latin lyrics, there are spoilers below.
The two songs from the secret final battle
contain very Latin-sounding lyrics. I am of course talking about talking about The One They Call the Witch
and Daughter of the Dark God
There have been numerous attempts
to transcribe and translate them, with varying degrees of success. It's also been said
that they might be "faux-latin" but I am not able to find the original source for this. Regardless, there still definitely seems to be some structure there, along with individual words that certainly match the overall theme.
The original thread was closed a year or two ago, so let's try again.
Warning: the following is probably like, 80% wrong.
Isolating the Vocals
Both tracks contain two sets of lyrics - a chorus and a solo. The chorus is quite hard to make out, so I defer to the original thread
for transcription and translation. But the solo singer is easier - the way the song is mixed, the solo part is on the center channel while the instruments are mostly asymmetric. So, we can use something like GoldWave to subtract out the instruments and keep mostly the vocals. To do this, I am using Goldwave 5
. Load up the track, then go to Effect
-> Stereo Center
. From there, click on Presets
and select "Keep Vocals
". Then, under Center Channel
change "From Hz
" to 300.0
, and set FFT size
, and Click OK
. Let it do its thing for a second. Then fast-forward to 00:50 and click PLAY. It's not perfect, but it makes the solo vocal part stand out very significantly.
An alternative way to clean up the vocals is to first reduce the volume by 60%, then run Effect -> Stereo -> Channel Mixer and run "Double Vocals". Do this twice. This gets you dramatically filtering but also less distortion, as this does not involve an FFT. Then maybe follow it with Stereo Center, preset to "Keep Vocals" with a "From Hz" setting of 150Hz. This will reduce some of the precussion, without distorting the low end on the vocals too much.
With the solo vocal part more-or-less isolated, we can try to do an initial transcription. This prioritizes pronunciation over trying to use real words or making them fit together. If I had to sing it, this is how I would do it. Word breaks are largely arbitrary; matching the transcription to real words is best-effort.
The One They Call the Witch:
nos te vedes labilliae nostre seda deoridis e revirnst a cis perlos orbiti conteri dota se cordis morte vos te vedi nos veni es reverte deorinis e core vestes forte valos oro cosis per portis nous voredi vedes nos vorati vontus nos vorenos porte cis
Daughter of the Dark God:
ei de stelpa lapenist tre dies el par illi peste alia camur peli talia orbitis te qui allisano tes cordis sera cotse vedis labeli notre sida deorinis e cor e vestis forte valos oro cosis per te ei de vilna re qui tu ni e de vitra villis nati e te verna vedis navi il suasil que tira nous voredi vedi nos voreni vertos es torinas verta
There is a fair amount of ambiguity here. Sometimes it's hard to tell between e/i and n/d/t/l sometimes. The background audio isn't helping. But, this is probably the best I'll be able to get; the translation will hopefully resolve some of the consonant ambiguities.
Credit goes to u/thyrandomninja
for doing a lot of the initial legwork. With the lyrics better isolated, I agree with some of the earlier transcription/translation, but in some places I substitute my own, because some things clearly sound different in the isolated version. Despite the audio processing this is probably something like 80% wrong; in some places you really gotta force the pieces to fit, which makes me way less confident about some parts. A big problem throughout is finding the boundaries between words. Did I mention I don't actually *know* any Latin?
For translation, I've been looking at three major sources:
- William Whitaker's WORDS - rule-based decomposition engine and dictionary (written in Ada), with its own fascinating history. Supports common letter substitution and breaks words up. Extensive vocabulary.
- Online Latin Dictionary - supports wildcard matching
- Latin-English Dictionary - another version of Whitaker's WORDS, with autocomplete, but without some of the correction / word-combining features?
- Google Translate - sometimes helps with grammar; not sure where it gets half of its definitions though. The voice pronunciation feature is sometimes useful though
- Latin Pronouns - because we are very likely to encounter some pronouns
Anyway, this is what I end up with:
The One They Call the Witch
|Line number ||Time ||Transcription (proposed) ||Interpretation |
|1 ||0:50 ||nos te vetes labillae (alt: vedis?) ||We forbid you to slip [perish/be dishonored] (alt: we saw you dishonored?) |
|2 ||0:55 ||nos te se da deo retis (alt: nostri sita deo ritis) ||We give you the return of god (alt: our god is located thereon / our god is there) |
|3 ||1:01 ||ei revirenst a cis perlos orbiti ||He revives from [this side of] the burning world |
|4 ||1:06 ||conteri dota se cordis morte ||exhaust the endowment of my heart of death |
| || || || |
|5 ||1:12 ||vos que vedi nos veni ||See you that we have come |
|6 ||1:17 ||es reverte deorunis (alt: deo rinis) ||You are returned uninjured (alt: you return to god) |
|7 ||1:23 ||e cor et vestis forte vales ||For heart and armor to prevail, |
|8 ||1:28 ||oro cosis per portis (consis?) ||I pray to acquire from the gate |
| || || || |
|9 ||1:45 ||nous vereni vetes (alt: nous voreni ventis ?) ||We are an obstacle to youth (alt: winds pushed us?) |
|10 ||1:48 ||nos vorati ventus (alt: nos voreni ventus) ||We swallowed the wind (alt: we pushed the wind) |
|11 ||1:50 ||nos verenos porte cis (alt: vorenos) ||Indeed, we are on this side of the gate (alt: We pushed [on this side of] the gate) |
Then we move on to Daughter of the Dark God. This is much more difficult for me to make out, save for a few words here and there. We also notice that some of the lines from the previous track are re-used, and in some places a few of the words are altered.
Daughter of the Dark God
|Line number ||Time ||Transcription (proposed) ||Interpretation |
|12 ||0:21 ||id est ea(?) par lape dis ||That is she(?) of [for?] the dark god |
|13 ||0:25 ||tri dies ii par illi peste ||three days pass for the plague (the plague lasts three days?) |
|14 ||0:31 ||alia camur pellit alia orbitis (alt: canur) (alt: pelli talia) ||the other horned one banished [to the] other world (alt: other dogs banished to another world) (alt: other horned one banished to such a world) |
|15 ||0:37 ||te qui ale sano tis cordis sera ||You who cured your slow heart (??) |
| || || || |
|16 ||0:43 ||quot se vetes labili ||How many [times did] you not let yourself slip (dishonored?) (?) |
|17 ||0:47 ||e notre se da deorunis (alt: notre sida deo ritis; see above) ||We will give him uninjured (alt: our god is located thereon) |
|18 ||0:53 ||e cor et vestis forte vales ||For [of] heart and armor to prevail, |
|19 ||0:59 ||oro cosis per te ||I pray to acquire through you |
| || || || |
|20 ||1:26 ||Vidi vilna(?) ve qui tu ni (alt: ??? nate qui tu ni) ||See ??? how force you are not (alt: ("son that you are not") |
|21 ||1:32 ||il devitra velis nati (alt: vidi vitra vilis nati) ||He wants to stray [depart?] children (alt: see worthless old glass?) |
|22 ||1:38 ||e te vernare dis nati (alt: ei te verna veris nati?) ||and your offspring (?) of god arise (alt: and you are the true child of spring???) |
|23 ||1:43 ||E suas il? que tera ||(??) urge (??) and earth (his own ??? and earth)? |
| || || || |
|24 ||1:59 ||nous vorati velis ||We strive to devour (alt: [You] strive to devour us) |
|25 ||2:02 ||nos voreni vertos ||We turned the wind (?) |
|26 ||2:05 ||is torinos vetato (?) (alt: is stori nos vetaro) ||We overthrow its swelling??? (alt: he forbids us to rest?) |
Line-by-line translation notes
- We're off to a rocky start. It is possible that "lav illi" (or "lav illae", as it more clearly sounds like) is one word, or two words split differently. I can't find "lav" in a standalone dictionary, but Google translates it to "lay". As in like, lay down / defeat? Alternative possibilities are lavillae ("lava, diminutive") or maybe lavi + illae ("wash" + "that / those") but that doesn't seem to make sense. An alternative could be labillae ("disaster / dishonor / landslip / fault") and this seems the most plausible and despite the -ill- suffix (diminutive) seeming out of place, we'll go with it. Google's Latin language model is of very limited help - for instance, "vos te vede" translates to "You will phpBB", which is clearly wrong. (Yes, I know the Romans had relatively "advanced" technology, but *damn*...). I could also see vides ("look / see / seem") being vetes ("forbid / reject / prevent") but vides makes more sense? I am not sure if "vetes" is supposed to agree with "nos" or with "te" (probably nos?) but I'm out of ideas.
- This one is surprisingly messy. "Nostri" (we) could be "nos te" (we you); "seda" (calm, restrain [verb]) could be "se da" (-selves give), or sita ("positioned / situated / centered upon"). And "deoritis" could be a combination of many things: * deo + redis - "god" + "return" [verb] * deo + ridis / rinis - "god" + "thing / event / cause" * deo + runas - "god" + "dart" * deorines - drain / swallow down * deorunis - "uninjured". Prior transcriptions suggest this, but I do not hear the "u" sound, nor do I know where Google got the definition from. Putting it all together, "nostri seda deo redis" seems tempting, because it would mean "our restrained god returns" or something. But, "seda" is a verb, and I am not sure if there is a noun equivalent that sounds similar. Another possibility is "nostri se da deo redis" - "we give/devote/surrender ourselves to god return". The word da means a lot of things, and the conjugation is important, too. Apparently, "da" is the 2nd person singlar form of "do/dare/dedi/datus", and "nos" (we) would be the 1st person plural, so that doesn't seem to fit? So we can try "nos te se da deo redis", or roughly "we selves give [to] you return [of] god"? This too seems a bit ambiguous, but at least "da" now agrees (??) with "te", both being 2nd person singular? Maybe the 2nd person singular subject is implied, like "[You] give us "? Latin has flexible word order, but it "tends to" follow subject-object-verb (ie, "we saw him" -> "we him saw"), so "nos te [se] da" seems consistent with this, with the inflected "te" in the middle and the verb at the end? I am not sure how much it makes sense to have "se" where it is, but deep gramatical knowledge is really really beyond me here. A linguist I am not.
- I am not sure if "revirnst" is even a word (or if here's even a "t" at the end). Possibilities include some inflection of revires ("re-" and "strength/powemight/violence"), or revierns ("re-" + "lively or vigorous"; maybe "reinvigorated / revived"). I considered "revierns ta" vs "revienst a" but "ta" isn't a word? On the other hand, I am pretty confident in "a cis perlos orbiti". Cis (is pronounced with a "ch") refers to "*this* side of something" (as opposed to "the *other* side"). For "perlos orbiti", Google (and prior translations) give us "burning world". I believe "a" is a preposition meaning "from" and such. So, "revive from the [near side of] the burning world?" Not sure what the "e" is doing there; it could be "ei" as an exclamation, or as a pronoun ("of")? Google sometimes just ignores this. It is also possible that the first word here is "e", which acts as a pronoun and maybe joins this with the next line. So maybe the combined meaning would be something like "[of] the return from the burning world [is] what exhausts the endowment of my heart of death". But that's a lot of assumptions...
- The first part is really hard to make out here. The transcription of conteri dota ("waste / exhaust", "endow") is probably wrong. There might be another consonant in there somewhere, but I can't put my finger on it. I originally thought this might be quampridem but that seems like a stretch too (Whitaker actually breaks this into two words). I could also see the end being "sui / se", or "mortis / morte", or something else entirely. Google and a more generic Latin dictionary give vastly different meanings here.
- I was inclined to go with "vos te vedi", but it looks like "vos" and "te" are two different forms of "you" - the first being the plural (or polite) form, and the second being the singular (or casual) form. French / Spanish / Russian (and others) have something similar. So for "vos" to be the subject and "te" to be the object just doesn't seem to make sense? So, going with "que", which sounds equally possible. Google gives us the translation here.
- There's that word again, "deorunis". The "n" in this line is more pronounced. Google's pronunciation pronounces it a bit differently, but it sure fits nicely this time around. I'll just go with the Google Translate version here, but see point #2.
- Another line with lots of ambiguity and possibilities. This is the best I can come up with, though that's not saying much. I am least sure of vestis, though I suppose "vestis forti" could mean "strong clothes" or I suppose "armor". Then, vales could be an inflected form of "valeo", which is a verb meaning to "be strong / powerful / successful; to prevail". Especially given the line that follows, it would make sense for her to ask of such things from the gate, even though the combination of manual translation and Google makes this come off a bit wonky. I suppose vales could be valos ("stake / pole / point"; maybe "spear" / polearm?) but vales makes more sense because it's a verb, and Latin *prefers* Subject-Object-Verb structure (though this is by no means guaranteed). Similarly, forti ("strong") could be forte ("fortunate") or, more likely "forte" could actually be an inflected form of "forti", in context. If I had an intuition for how these inflected forms work, this would be far easier...
- This one seems straightforward. The line is repeated in the second track, but changed to "oro corsis per te" ("I pray to acquire through you"). Both seem to fit.
- Lots of ways to transcribe this one, which changes the meaning quite a bit. Google (and prior translations) tell us "voreni" = "pushed", and attempts have translated this line as "we pushed the wind".Other candidates for the second word could be: * vorati ("swallow / devour") * vereni ("spring-time of life") * veredi ("horse / hunter") * vereti ("ver + eti", "advance" + "spring" ???). And the third word could be: * petis ("to attack") * ventis ("wind") * vetes ("to forbid") ... so "nous vereni vedes" would get us to "we forbid/reject/prevent the spring-time of life")? That... actually seems plausible, except if "vetes" is a verb, it is the 2nd-person singular form of "veto", which doesn't fit with "nos" (and it is also the subjunctive mood, as in wishful thinking or imagining, but that might be okay). Unless again, the 2nd person pronoun can be implied? Some languages allow this, but what about Latin? I could see "voreni" or "veredi", depending on which filter settings I use. I could also see "petis" ("to attack") being thematically relevant, but like "vetes", this is the 2nd person singular form ("you [singular] attack") and doesn't fit with "nos" ("we").The other strange thing is the first word sounds like "nous" rather than "nos". Google translates this as "us" rather than "we" (an inflected form?). So maybe the verb really *is* a 2nd person singluar verb, and "tu" (subject) is omitted/implied, and "nous" is the object? But I do not see "nous" on the list of pronouns, so ..... ? I am completely out of ideas for this line (and largely the one that follows). I'm just going to go with one, even if I don't like any of them.
- Prior transcriptions give this as "nos voreni vontos" and Google seems to think "vontos" is a word, but I can't find it in other sources. Could be anyone's guess. The closest thing I can find is an inflection of fantum ("temple") but that clearly sounds like it starts with a 'v', right? I must defer to earlier transcriptions / translations for this one. On the other hand, if we go with vorati ventus ("devour"), ("wind"), we actually get somthing plausible. OLD gives a possible definition for vorati as "perfect participle masculine plural", which *maybe* might be the "we" form of "voror", but linguistics is not my strong point. I guess "perfect" would mean like, "we [fully] devoured the wind" but I am probably grasping at straws again.
- There's "portis" ("[of] gate") again, so we're hopefully on the right track. Earlier transcriptions use "nos vorenos" ("we pushed") but I am still not sure where Google is getting "vorenos" from. I can't find this in OLD or in Whitaker. An alternative could be verenos maybe, and at least that's more of a word? Plugging "nos verenos porte cis" into Google Translate actually gives us something reasonable, but I am a little disinclined to drop the previous translation quite yet. So, take your pick. Google helpfully gives us "are" in this translation; I know in some languages the present-tense form of "to be" ("am/are") can be omitted. If nothing else, their language model is hopefully recognizing this properly.
- Another line where there is much difficulty isolating the words. Somewhat arbitrarily, that is what we come up with. We start with "id est" ("he / that" + "is") but it could involve dies ("day, time, age") instead. The next thing I cannot make out, but the pronoun ea (nominative she) seems like as good a guess as any. Then par ("equivalent", in this case, "for??") could make sense. I suppose labe ("disaster, landslip, dishonor, blemish, stain, fault") could also be lape ("stone"). Both are nouns. I kind of like "labe" better because we (think?) we saw labillae earlier. Come to think of it, "labe" could mean "dark" in this context, which seems to fit? If this is right, the only thing I can think of for the ending is dis, meaning "[to/of] god". I thought I heard an "n" and a "t" at the end, but I can't find ways to make them fit. We'll just go with it.
- Can't make out the first part. I think "ille" is an inflected form of a third-person pronoun, meaning "he" or "that one". I think "peste" means "plague" or "disease" or some such. At least it seems somewhat thematically appropriate. I am least certain of ii ("pass [time]") here.
- This one could go so many different ways; I am 99% sure this is wrong. Here, "orbitis" is an inflected form of "orbiti" ("world"), meaning that "world" is an object of some action. And if "alia" is right, it might be talking about [something being done to] the "other world", which could be a stretch but at least it fits thematically. There is ambiguity between camur ("curved / having such horns") / canur (something about dogs) / canor ("song") and alia ("other") and talia ("such"). Or it could be "eli talia". I don't know where Google found "canur" - I can't find it anywhere else.
- This could be "allisero" ("to crush / bruise") or it could be "ali sano", which would mean "to nourish / cure / heal". I can't make out which one it is.
- We start to see repetition of the first track, except it changes from "nos te" to "vos se", meaning (I think) it goes from "we [did something to] you" to "you [plural] [did something to] yourself". The next word seems to be a form of "vidi / vide", meaning "to see". So, this line parallels the first track but goes from "we saw you" to "you saw yourself". I can't make out what follows, but "ille / illae" seems to be a pronoun (again, assuming I'm right about word boundaries). I can't figure out what comes before it, though.
- It sounds like "nostri" becomes "notre", except although "notre" is a thing in French, I can't find a Latin equivalent. Maybe the "s" is hard to hear this time around?
- Seems to be unchanged from the previous track, but is still equally hard to make out. At least they sound consistent. I guess vales ("to be strong; to prevail") could also be valos ("stake / pole / point / [spear]")? I kind of like "vales" because it is at the end, which is a little more consistent with the generally more common S-O-V order.
- Here again, "per portis" changes to "per te", changing the meaning from [I pray to acquire it] "through the gate" to "through you". Seems logical.... and at the very least, it helps establish the point of view of the speaker, and in some sense, the audience.
- Vidi / vedi is probably "look / see / looked / saw", but I cannot figure out what comes after. The word boundaries are difficult here, as always. "Vilna" isn't a word, and neither is anything close that I can find. If we pick different work boundaries, we could break it up as "??? nate qui tu ni" ("son that you are not") but I can't come up with a reasonable candidate for the first word. Maybe "e te vel nave qui tu ni"
- Not sure if this is "vidi vitra" or if there is a pronoun + "devitra". Pretty sure "vitra" means "glass" of some sort, and the "vedi" before it means "look / see". But I cannot make out what comes after. Whitaker parses devitra as a single word (root+suffix), meaning "instrument / means / place [of] detour / stray / depart". But I can't find references to this anywhere else; WORDS uses a root/suffix approach to potentially parse "words" that weren't ever actually used. It is very likely wrong, but I'll go with it...
- I think "e te" means "of your", and then we have verna, which is an inflected form of several possible words, from "slave", to "spring", to "revive, awaken, flourish". I guess the exact source word depends on the context, and what agrees with what we already have. But it may as well mean "your slaves see a ship". I suppose vernare could fit, but it could also be verna + re ("thing). I am guessing the rest is dis + nati, which fits the title of the song at least (and it helps that the verb is at the end). Another possibility is veris ("true, real, genuine, actual").
- I am out of ideas here. suas could mean "to sew", or it could be a pronoun ("his/her own"), or it could be suasi ("to warn / foretell"). Furthermore, "tera" or "terra" sounds more like "kira" or "qui ra". Both are nonsense? The rest is anyone's guess.
- This may as well mean "we eat curtain". Running out of ideas on the whole "voreni" thing. Possible candidates are "varati" (related to "bend/curve"), veredi ("horse / hunter"), "veriti" ("to revere / respect"), "vorati" ("to swallow / devour"), "viridi" ("green / grass"). Your guess is as good as mine.
- I am not sure that "voreni" is a word. I am not sure where Google is even getting parts of it from. The closest single thing I can find is "vorati", meaning "to swallow / devour [completely]". Appropriately ominous, I guess?
- I originally left this one largely to Google, and originally it translated "es tor inas verta" into "You laid aside for this purpose". I guess es could mean "to be" or "to eat/destroy", which is relevant but I gotta make the rest of it fit. Using different letter grouping and an alternative source, I think what I have now makes slightly more sense. Still, it's probably wrong. The last syllable is particularly hard to make out.
Latin is a highly inflected language, meaning that words can take on many forms, depending on context. English has a little bit of inflection with words like "he / him" or "who / whom", depending on what role the pronoun plays in context. Well, in Latin, it's not just the pronouns changing forms, but *nouns* and adjectives too. And they could have something like 5-6 different forms, which have to agree, and change depending on what kind of action is being performed on an object. There are also two forms of "you", kind of like in French. It's a bit hard to explain in English, but this sort of thing happens in many other languages, like Spanish, Russian, etc. Hungarian cranks the level inflection up to eleven. On the other hand, Chinese has virtually none of it.
Because of the inflections, the word order in a sentence can be flexible - that is, you can say the words in any order, and the subject and object become obvious from the endings. That said, Latin "generally" follows a Subject-Object-Verb order (whereas English uses Subject-Verb-Object).
In order for the translation to make sense, the noun/adjective inflections have to agree with the verbs, tenses, and forms involved. But, since I don't know any *actual* Latin, I cannot intuitively tell if they line up. We can look this stuff up, cross-check it, and (likely need to) alter the transcription, but I am out of ideas for tonight.
I've largely ignored verb mood, tense, and to some extent, person, in my "translation" (ie, verb variations like see / seen / saw / had seen / would have seen, etc) so in some places the meaning could be off because of this. I'd be down to do a grammar cleanup pass, but I'm not sure the transcription is accurate enough to warrant it. So it would be nice to hear from others first.
I am seriously hoping that someone with an *actual* knowledge of Latin will come along, and put my "translation" completely to shame, tell me all the million of ways I'm wrong, and provide a corrected version. But then at least we'll know what it means.
If you've managed to read all the way to the bottom, I am truly impressed.