Burn the Boats Translation

By Dakota Peterson, in 'English to Latin Translation', Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Dakota Peterson New Member

    Hey everyone! I'm looking for a translation from english to latin for the phrase "Burn the Boats" as in the famous story of Cortes/Alexander of Macedonia. I've seen a lot of varying opinions and different translations, so I'll provide some context. I'm looking for a short/simple version where as it's either a single command to an individual (or internally, as in a mantra to tell oneself to burn the boats/commit to plan a) I've seen Incendite Naves/Navis and Incende Naves/Navis, and was just looking for a second opinion to make sure the spelling/example is correct. (I'll be getting it tattooed, so I'd like to really make sure not to spell it wrong!)

    Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you!
  2. For one person, say "incende naves". For more than one person, "incendite naves".
    Dakota Peterson likes this.
  3. Dakota Peterson New Member

    And this doesn't change whether it's imposed internally as opposed to externally. As if to tell/remind oneself to commit to a goal? Thanks for the fast reply!
  4. You must use naves, because navis is singular and grammatically incorrect here.
  5. No, you could use it either way.
  6. Or you could say "incendam naves", "I will burn the boats".
  7. Dakota Peterson New Member

    So just to make absolutely sure o_O "Incende Naves" would be an acceptable way to state Burn the Boats in the context provided? I've seen the potential to spell it Navis as well, but I personally like the spelling of Naves.
  8. Let me explain a bit;
    Navis is singular. Also, you would use it if it were the subject.
    Naves is the accusative plural. "Accusative" means that it is the direct object.

    So, we must use naves.
  9. Since you are acting upon the boats, you're the subject of the sentence, and the boats are the direct object.
  10. Dakota Peterson New Member

    Thank you very much! I appreciate the help and getting back to me so promptly!
  11. You're welcome! :)
  12. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    No, in fact navis with a long i is a perfectly acceptable accusative plural.
  13. I didn't know that. Alternate form?
  14. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    Yeah, it exists for any 3rd declension i-stem noun.
  15. oof. how do I miss things like that...
  16. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    It's not commonly taught though it occurs not uncommonly.
    Hawkwood likes this.
  17. Good to know; whenever I saw it before I just thought it was a mistake.
  18. Laurentius Weebus Maximus

    • Civis Illustris
    Perhaps it would sound better switching the word order, not that like this it's incorrect.
  19. scrabulista Consul

    • Consul
    If in doubt, use the singular.
    Michigan's motto is si quaeris amoenam peninsulam, circumspice - "if you see a pleasant peninsula, look around." It's in the singular, although apparently directed to the whole state.
  20. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    It's fine in any order.

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