Tattoo “Step out. Not down.”

By Lego, in 'English to Latin Translation', Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Lego New Member


    I am seeking a translation for the above statement for a tattoo. Translation has been sought already but secondary opinions required. (Unfortunately the first translation was received a couple of days ago and the provisional design consultation - but not actual session - booking is for this Monday 13th at 12 Noon UK time.)

    The concept relates to responsibility and leadership: The idea is basically that sometimes, in order for a responsibility to be carried out, you may be better at conducting it elsewhere than where people expect you to. However, rather than resigning or stepping down from a leadership position, you simply continue to exercise your responsibility regardless.

    Suggestion: “incede non recede”

    Are there any phrases/idioms/sayings that I should perhaps look at?

    Thank you for your time.
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris

    The translation you've got isn't correct, not even in basic grammar.

    Your request is a very difficult one because the English phrase is playing on words, using the word "step" in two different senses, one of them a special, idiomatic meaning of "stepping down" meaning to resign from an office. In Latin, however, it would be difficult to express boths meanings clearly using each time a similar word.
  3. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    I've just had an idea; perhaps you could say loco decede, non officio = "Depart/step away from the place, not from your duty."
  4. Lego New Member

    Hello, thank you for your reply.

    The kind person helping me has not done Latin for many years and was struggling with this for various reasons.

    I very much like the proposal that you have suggested. To clarify, does ‘place’ in this instance have the dual English meaning of ‘role/place in society’ and ‘place location’, or is it specific to only one of those meanings?

    The expression you suggest very much carries the correct sentiment. I have also had ‘Decede, noli recedere.’ proposed, yet I cannot translate its closeness to root meaning. Any thoughts on that by way of comparison?

    Thanks again
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Though I meant "place location" in this case, it can potentially mean either.
    That is at least grammatically correct, but it doesn't convey your meaning clearly. If I came across the phrase somewhere without any context, I'd be unsure what exactly was meant. The words decede and recede can translate in various ways depending on context, but I guess the most literal translation would be "Go away, don't go/move back".
    Last edited by Pacifica, Aug 11, 2018
  6. Lego New Member

    Thank you for the clarifications.

    I think that an English non-double meaning of the statement is effectively:
    “Absence from post is not absence from duty.” Is this still reflected by ‘Loco decede, non officio’?
  7. Lego New Member

    Pacifica, how confident are you that the above interpretation “Absent from post is not absent from duty.” is still correct?

    This is the leading translation that I have yet want to confirm prior to committing to it.

    Thanks again for your assistance in this regard.

  8. Iáson Cívis Illústris

    • Civis Illustris
    Not exactly, because the Latin is still in imperative form, but you have turned the English into a declarative statement.

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