If you do your best

By SarahEss24, in 'English to Latin Translation', May 17, 2019.

  1. SarahEss24 New Member

    1. “If you do your best, not even the angels in heaven can do better. Be confident knowing that great mothers beget great mothers.”

    2. I will be making a sign/wall hanging for my mother that has this phrase on it.

    3. The phrase is something my grandmother, who passed away recently, has always said to my mom and I about having confidence in our best abilities to parent.

    4. This phrase would be referring to a woman (of course, the part about mothers), but is meant to be stated generally as advice or wisdom, I suppose.

    Thank you!!
  2. syntaxianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Here is one way to say it:

    si optimum quod possis facias,
    ne angelicae caelicolae quidem satius valeant.

    If you should do the best which you might be able [to do] = If you do your best

    not even the angelic heaven-dwellers would be able [to do] better.
  3. syntaxianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    And the second part:

    Confide firmiter matres magnas a matribus magnis generari.

    Trust firmly that great mothers are brought forth by great mothers.
  4. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Canada

    This doesn't quite preserve what the OP wants to say; she's not trying to state that great mothers are begotten by great mothers, but rather that great mothers beget great mothers.

    This might seem like hairsplitting, but consider the following train of logic:
    1. All great mothers beget great mothers.
    2. Your mother, my grandmother, was a great mother.
    3. Therefore, you too (who gave birth to me) are a great mother.
    4. Therefore trust that I too will be (or am) a great mother.

    This is different from:
    1. All great mothers are begotten by great mothers.
    2. I myself am a great mother (?? could this really be her premise? doesn't sound like a very modest sentiment... ;) )
    3. Therefore, you too, who begat me, are a great mother.
    4. And thus your mother as well (my grandmother) was a great mother.

    ...It doesn't really work that way around.

    I know you're trying to avoid the active voice and hence the repetition of matres magnas, but I don't know if we can. Anyone else have any ideas?
  5. syntaxianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Well you do have a point: you want to start with what great mothers do. So:

    Confide firmiter matres magnas efficere ut magnae matres generentur.

    Trust firmly that great mothers bring it about that great mothers are brought forth.

    "Begetting" technically is associated with the man's role.
  6. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Canada
    That's better, though a bit clunky...well, it may be the best option available.

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