Tattoo Family is everything

By Ruth Harris, in 'English to Latin Translation', May 5, 2013.

  1. Ruth Harris New Member

    Good morning,

    I wonder if any of the experts here would be so kind as to translate the above phrase into latin?

    As the phrase is (once translated) to be used for a tattoo, it obviously has to be perfectly correct, so I would be very grateful if you could assist, as I know the online translation engines are not always accurate.

    The phrase is just as the title says - family is everything - as in the sentiment 'family is everything to me', or 'my family is my world', etc.

    Many thanks for your attention, and hopefully your assistance.

    Kind regards,

  2. Ruth Harris New Member

    Hello again,

    Since posting my request this morning, I have done some searches on this site which have somewhat helped me in the translation of "family is everything".

    However, although everybody seems to agree on the words, there are different views on the order:

    "omnia est familia"
    "familia omnia est"
    "omnia familia est"
    "familia est omnia"

    Could they all be correct? It's very confusing - but then I am not a latin scholar!

    Could anybody be kind enough to confirm which formation of the words is correct? In addition, does the 'est' have to be included in the translation, as I read somewhere that this is not always the case, or would that render the phrase nonsensical?

    Obviously, I would like the correct translation, but I also want the tattoo to look the best it can.

    Once again, many thanks in advance for any assistance.

  3. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    Hello Ruth,
    The translations you have found are literal ones, and correct grammatically. However they are not totally satisfactory from an idiomatic standpoint; in other words they're probably not the way a Roman would have expressed the sentiment. The main problem is the word for "family". Familia in Latin has a rather different meaning from "family" in English.
    Other solutions have been suggested in the past:
    Do get back to us after you've had more time to think.
  4. Ruth Harris New Member

    Thank you for your reply. I have read the post you suggested. I would like the word for 'family' to be the closest word in latin that would describe my children, husband, grandson etc. Would 'propinqui' then, be the most apt word to use, in your opinion? And if so, how would this translate to 'family is everything'?
  5. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    Just to be clear, which people do you want to include in the term "family"? Just your children? Your children and your partner? All people related to you by blood as well as your partner? Or just all people related to you by blood?
    It's complicated, but will help us get what's right for you.
  6. Ruth Harris New Member

    The people I would wish the term for "family" to include are: my children, my husband, my grandson and my sister. Not that I would want any other family members 'cut off' in any way, if the most appropriate term included them as well! Just that those members are the family I wish the term to relate to. Thank you.
  7. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris

    Maybe just mei mihi omnia = my family (you propably read the more detailed explanations about mei in the other thread too) is everything to me.
  8. Ruth New Member

    Thank you again for your replies.

    Is it the case then that there is no true Latin translation that can be used in the context I have described that would mean just "family is everything"?

    Many thanks.
  9. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    There is not a single word which would be a 100% literal translation for "family", no. Now what I have proposed communicates the idea.
  10. Ruth Harris New Member

    I have discussed the above with a colleague - who I've only just become aware studied latin, but just to college level. He has informed me that "familia omnia" also translates as "family is everything" - without the "est". Is this correct? (Two words are better than one when it comes to having tattoos done, in my opinion!)

    Thanks for any opinions.
  11. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    It could also mean "everything is family".
  12. Ruth Harris New Member

    Thank you! I quite like the fact that the phrase can mean both "family is everything" and "everything is family". They are both sentiments I believe in - so a sort of "2 for the price of 1" then! And the fact that I could leave the "est" or "is" out, and have the same meaning, I think is neater and will look better.

    I think I may well go for that.

    Thank you very much for your advice and comments.
  13. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Please consider making a donation, no minimum required, it would be greatly appreciated.

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