Always be true to yourself

By Anonymous, in 'English to Latin Translation', Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Anonymous Guest

    1) Could anyone let me know what the Latin translation would be for:

    Always be true to yourself (ie you sg informal)
    / Always to thine own self be true.

    2) Not so important: Does anyone know a Latin classical quote with these words?

    Could you also give me a breakdown of the words used, meanings and grammar
    It would be great also to know your Latin academic/translation background!

    This would be really great, thanks!

  2. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    Re: Help with translation: Always be true to yourself

    Here goes (but note that I am a novice in translating):
    1) Es fidus (fida if female) semper tibi
    [Present imperative of "to be"] [true (as in faithful)] [always] [to you (singular informal)]
    Please wait for others to reply first

    2) Please wait for a Latinist to reply to that (I simply translate to help others and for fun)
  3. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    Re: Help with translation: Always be true to yourself

    This is a common translation request. Betake yourself here.
  4. Anonymous Guest

    Re: Help with translation: Always be true to yourself

    Thanks very much to mattheus and Iohannes for your responses so far.

    I've looked at all the postings you list.
    My Latin is a little rusty to say the least.
    I'd really appreciate some further help with this, specifically:

    a) Could you help me out with the feminine singular versions as well as the masculine sg?

    b) I also want to include 'always', so please let me know if it's right and the word order, too.

    c) From previous discussions, I'll include possibilities below, so I'd be really grateful if you could let me know which you think is/are best and comment on (a) and (b) above too.

    "Always be true to yourself" (Are these all m sg - & 2nd person commands?):

    i) Semper esto tibi ipsi fidus
    ii) Semper verax ipsi esto
    iii) Semper verax ipsi sis
    iv) Semper verax tibi ipsi fidus
    v) Semper ipsi esto fidelis
    vi) (Semper) tibi ipsi dic vere - which seems to be common on the Web, but unlikely

    (If anyone knows of real Latin sources with something idiomatically similar, I'm sure others would be interested as it seems no-one's come up with anything yet. For example, is there an official Latin translation of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'?)

    Thanks a lot for all your help.
  5. Anonymous Guest

    Re: Help with translation: Always be true to yourself

    Someone has suggested this, as a translation for
    'Always be true to yourself':

    Tuam semper naturam sequere

    What do you think?
    What is the m sg and the f sg version?
    What about word order?

    Your comments on this and also on the other options I posted a few mins ago, would be really appreciated.
  6. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    Re: Help with translation: Always be true to yourself

    This would be correct for both feminine and masculine singular, and word order isn't important. You might as well say Semper naturam tuam sequere.
  7. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
    Re: Help with translation: Always be true to yourself

    that's the more natural word order.
    If you lock the semper between tuam and naturam it looks a bit like it's related to the noun rather than the verb or the sentence in general ... I've even seen that kind of word order in Cicero's books, though.

    as far as I can remember another way of expressing that concept classicly would be "Vive secundum tuam naturam" ... which is supposed to be the only classical collocation where "secundum" can be used in that sense ... at least so i was taught.
  8. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    Re: Help with translation: Always be true to yourself

    Probably a quote from Seneca the Younger, huh? That was his philosophy.
  9. Anonymous Guest

    Re: Help with translation: Always be true to yourself

    Your answers so far have been great, thanks.

    After reading them and the previous postings, I'd be really grateful for a little more clarification from those among you, probably most of you, who have more Latin than my (UK) GCSE of many years ago.

    As I understand your responses, the following seem to be the best translations of 'Always be true to yourself' so far:

    a) (Semper) vive secundum tuam naturam
    b) (Semper naturam tuam sequere
    b) (Semper) esto tibi ipsi fidus
    c) (Semper verax ipsi esto
    d) (Semper) verax ipsi sis

    It would really help me to understand these if any of you could respond to one or more of my qns:

    QN 1) Which do you think is preferable,
    (a) which seems to mean 'Always live according to your character/nature;
    OR b) Always follow your nature/character (?);
    OR would you prefer one from (b) - (d)?

    QN 2) The middle two seem to use the future imperative. Could anyone explain:
    (i) why this is preferable to the present imperative, AND
    (ii) whether the verb is still OK in the fut imperative if 'semper' is used.

    QN 3) Does anyone know what the correct translation is of (d) which I understand is 'softer'?

    QN 4) If you think you may have a better translation - let me know!

    Looking forward to your help. Thanks
  10. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    Cygnea, Gena
    Re: Help with translation: Always be true to yourself

    Suggestion number 1 was just a thought I spammed in without reading your original request. I think it's a bit too far off if you want to translate the Shakespeare quote. I'm not entirely sure about the word "verax" ... it's not very common and you often seem to find it in connection with words like "oracle" or "promise" etc. I like (b) best, even though I could think of a dozen other ways to translate that quote.

    The imperative of esse is es, which looks exactly like the 2nd person singular indicative. I suppose that's why you usually find esto instead. This is entirely acceptable. Latin did the same with scire somehow (where scito was used as the imperative).
    Imperatives are usually considered future tempora anyway, not matter whether they're regular or future ones. Of course, using semper here is ok.

    "may you always be someone who proclaims the truth to himself"

    This is used instead of the imperative as well, sometimes. Technically, it's a wish rather than an actual command.

    Not necessarily a better translation, but if you want to add some emphasis, you may use a hendiadyoin, which is sometimes done with fidelis & fidus:
    Semper tibi ipsi fidelis esto ac fidus

    or as an hexametre:
    Numquam ne tibi sis fidus maneasque fidelis
  11. Wayne New Member

    I tried to figure this out myself but I'm stuck. would this be Esse Vera te ipsum? or Esse vera ad te ipsum?
  12. Aurifex Aedilis

    If "Esse vera ad te ipsum" is what you figured out yourself it is uncanny how it happens to be identical to Google Translate's suggestion for "Be true to yourself".
    Last edited by Iohannes Aurum, Mar 7, 2013
    Godmy likes this.
  13. Wayne New Member

    I know it is. I first did the translation on google. I wasn't sure if it was right so i tried to figure out how to say each word by its self and put it into a sentence. I saw this on another site and it didn't have "ad" in the phrase but it supposedly a translation
    Last edited by Iohannes Aurum, Mar 7, 2013
  14. Pacifica grammaticissima

    Google translate is never right - well, to be fair, it can sometimes be right for just one word, and for a very simple sentence, maybe once out of 500 times. That's all.

    Put separate words together won't do, a translation doesn't work that way... It's a little more subtle* than just a word = a word, for the simple reason that one language won't work the same way as another one.

    *And a machine like Google translate can't know those subtleties. It will translate word for word, but won't be able to analize the context of the sentence in which the word is used, context that is important precisely to know which word is the good one, because one word has several meanings, and all those meanings won't be found in the only one same word in another language. Without speaking of the declensions that that infernal machine just can't get right either, and other things.
    Last edited by Pacis puella, Mar 7, 2013
    Iohannes Aurum, Matthaeus and Godmy like this.
  15. Pacifica grammaticissima

    These ones are not correct. They mean "always be truthful to him/herself".
    Why say both fidelis and fidus? I think it's a bit redundant, both mean virtually the same thing...

    To make it short: (semper) tibi esto fidelis. (Always) be faithful to yourself. (Tibi ipsi, as has already been proposed, or tibimet do too, they just put more emphasis on "yourself".)
  16. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    I have merged the threads. Wayne, please read my sig.

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