Everything is luminous but not clear.

By Michael Mutmansky, in 'English to Latin Translation', Jun 3, 2019.

  1. Michael Mutmansky New Member

    I'd like a translation of this line of text:

    Everything is luminous but not clear.

    The context is that things may be apparent or "in the light" so to speak, but that the facts and truth of the situation may not be exactly as things appear. The words "luminous" and "clear" have a double entendre in this for the literal meaning of the words and the way these words are used to describe facts and knowledge or understanding.

    Thanks for your help,

  2. Hemo Rusticus One Slick Hombre

    • Civis Illustris
    Hmmm, there's a few ways of going about this, but I like the following:

    Aprica cum sint, non tamen pateant patent.

    'Though things lie open, yet are they not clear.'

    The key word is apricus, which means 'clear' but connotes 'exposed to the light'. On the other hand, pateo means 'lie open' but connotes 'be clear'. To map the language onto a physical metaphor, you could think of a place perfectly exposed to the sun, like a courtyard, that is nevertheless immured by brick walls that don't allow any sight beyond.
    Last edited by Hemo Rusticus, Jun 6, 2019
  3. Laurentius Man of Culture

    • Civis Illustris
    Why the subjunctive? OP's post doesn't seem to require it as well.
  4. Hemo Rusticus One Slick Hombre

    • Civis Illustris
    I guess that particular definiteness doesn't make sense to me. 'Things may be in perfect view, but they nevertheless (necessarily) are not clear.'

    But you're right that I've disobeyed the translator's rule.

    I'll edit.
  5. scrabulista Consul

    • Consul
    I'm guessing OP wanted "illuminated" (in the light) rather than "luminous" (producing its own light).
  6. iamrian New Member

    Dear Michael,

    Here is my attempt:

    Omnēs rēs sunt candidum sed nōn clārum

    This is pretty much a straight across translation, something like: "all things are shining/bright/white but not clear/bright". It makes for an interesting sentence because the two words (candidus/clarum) both can mean bright, but since candidus can also mean "white" it makes it a more physical adjective, while clarus can, in the plural, mean "famous, illustrious", so it is more of a metaphorical adjective.

    Disclaimer: I have been learning Latin for only a year and a half, so please make sure my translation gets vetted by others more experienced than me.
  7. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    adjectives must agree with their nouns.

    better omnia (neuter plural, used as substantive) than omnes res, which is not so idiomatic
  8. iamrian New Member


    Thank you for the feedback. Per your note about adjectives agreeing with nouns, rēs is a feminine noun with the nominative plural being rēs, and the feminine nominative plural for omnēs is omnēs. Am I missing something?

    Whether omnia is more idiomatic, I would refer to you since you seem to be more knowledgeable than me.
  9. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Cygnea, Gena

    The adjectives that follow later have to agree as well: candidae, clarae.
  10. iamrian New Member


    Thank you. Is this because the sentence is a predicate nominative? I appreciate the feedback because it really helps me learn.
  11. Michael Mutmansky New Member

    Thanks for the discussion folks... It's fascinating to follow the conversations about proper conjugations for the words.
  12. Michael Mutmansky New Member

    Yes, in the context of this sentence, "illuminated" is a better synonym than the actual word "luminous", but the author chose to use "luminous". "Luminous" means that the subject is perceived as being visible (illuminated) but it doesn't necessarily imply that it is the source of the light. He chose "luminous" because it also has the connotation of the subject being a beacon of brightness that may imply clarity or understanding, but that is why he adds the caution about the possibly lack of complete understanding (clarity).
  13. scrabulista Consul

    • Consul
    Hmm....I've understood it to mean creating its own light (glow-in-the-dark sort of stuff), although I don't have a source in front of me.

    I'm the sort of person who thinks that "nauseous" is "causing nausea" and "nauseated" is "having nausea."
  14. Issacus Divus Well-Known Member

    I take "nauseous" and word like it as "having nausea".

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