Tattoo It's not about being the best. It's about being better than you were yesterday.

By Vidergar, in 'English to Latin Translation', Jun 22, 2019.

  1. Vidergar New Member

    Hi. I need translation of the quote: "It's not about being the best. It's about being better than you were yesterday. " to Latin for my tattoo.
    I'll be very grateful.
  2. Hemo Rusticus Tom Bombadillo

    • Civis Illustris
    I'll give it a whirl.

    Optimus ut sis non interest, immo uero ut sis melior quam here fuisti.

    Wait for the thoughts of others.
  3. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I would move non interest to the beginning (I think it would convey a more fitting emphasis for the context) and change immo vero to sed. Immo vero is rather used to introduce a self-correction to a more extreme term (meaning +- "or rather", "nay"; e.g. Magnum, immo vero ingentem lupum vidi) or to deny a previous statement (e.g. Venitne iam amicus tuus? Immo vero adhuc exspecto.). A search for "non ~ immo vero" on PHI returns no hits with a use similar to what you did there.
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Actually, you could even lighten it a bit by dropping the second sis:

    Non interest optimus ut sis, sed ut melior quam here fuisti.
  5. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    surprised you didn't do optumus and sies
    Pacifica likes this.
  6. Hemo Rusticus Tom Bombadillo

    • Civis Illustris
    I did, but changed my mens.
  7. syntaxianus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Perhaps alternatively:

    gravissimum non est praestare aliis sed potius praestare tibi ut heri eras.

    = The really important thing is not surpassing others but rather surpassing yourself as you were yesterday.

    A standard way to say "it's not about..." would be non agitur de..., so we might also have:

    non agitur de praestantia tua sed de tua melioratione cotidiana.

    = It is not about your own superiority but about your daily improvement.

    Even shorter, in motto form:

    non praestantia sed melioratio

    = not excellence but improvement
    Adrian likes this.
  8. Catulli85 New Member

    I'll take a stab since this allows for some fun word play

    hesterno maior esse maximo superat
    To be greater than yesterday exceeds being (lit. infinitive) the best. I think that's fun because there's some syllepsis and it's a paradox because it denies the meaning of maior and maximus. I picked superare because its literal sense involves size.

    non optimus sed melior hesterno hodie essendum
    It's not for being the best today, but for being better than yesterday. The gerundive probably comes close to giving the sense of 'it's about' and I love me some chiasmus.

    In both cases the ablative of comparison works because hesterno modifies a nominative in both cases, and I'm guessing not having one more word (quam) is preferable in a tattoo.
  9. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I'm afraid neither of those sentences is grammatically correct.
  10. Hemo Rusticus Tom Bombadillo

    • Civis Illustris
    And yet the approach is something interesting. That is, a substantive 'guy-better-than-yesterday's-best'.

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