Inspirational Know Thyself, Be true to thine own self

By gentle, in 'English to Latin Translation', Jun 15, 2006.

  1. gentle New Member


    I am very interested in the latin language and admire those who are dedicated to understand it. I am however just starting out on the journey and am looking at certain "common" phrases. Two that i have found are....

    Know Thyself
    <My effort> NOSCE TE IPSUM ??

    Be true to thyself
    <My effort> ??????

    Can't anyone translate this for me.

    Many thanks

  2. gentle New Member

    just my effort because i need this urgently..... would be true yo thyself be "Tibi ipsi dic vere"???

  3. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    "Know Thyself" was supposedly written (in Greek, of course) above the entrance to the precinct of the Delphic Oracle. There are at least three conventional Latin versions:

    Nosce te ipsum (as you say)
    Temet nosce
    Scito te ipsum

    Your second phrase is more difficult. I know of no conventional Latin for it, and Polonius notwithstanding, I'm not sure I understand just what is meant by the English. But thou art urgent, Gentle, and so I will venture:

    Esto tibi ipsi fidus.
  4. gentle New Member

    thank you for getting back to me. Ummm tis a very interesting how we have two different translations. I did wonder, as you say whether there would be any conventional latin for it.

    Are there any other suggestions?

  5. gentle New Member

    Sorry for posting again before anyone has replied but i was doing some research and i still believe that

    Tibi ipsi dic vere = To thine own self be true

    Now i'm a little more than confused...

    any help would be good!


  6. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    I see that Tibi ipsi dic vere is in many places on the Web. But I find no "real" Latin citation. If I were to encounter it in casual reading, I would have thought it meant "Tell yourself the truth". Dic is an imperative form of dico, a verb that mostly has to do with saying or speaking. I understand that in medieval times vere dicere, to speak truly, meant to be logical in one's discourse (as opposed to bene dicere, to speak well, which meant to be rhetorically effective).

    Can anyone cite a "real" Latin source for tibi ipsi dic vere?
  7. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    I've been poking around some more, and noticed that this question has been discussed here before. Back in April, fugit_tempus posted an inquiry very similar to mine immediately above; I see no reply.

    So we have not so far been able to trace this expression to a source. It may nevertheless be legitimate. Or it may be another example of web-Latin, like die dulci freure (sic).

    (For a discussion of the latter phrase, see Tania's thread in the Introductions section).

    I certainly would not engrave either this version, or my own poor attempt further above, on my body, or anyone's, at least pending further information.
  8. ennablacklamb New Member

    This is a very good post. I love that you are giving the proper meaning and hopefully helping someone not use phrases that honestly do not exist.
  9. Abbatiſſæ Scriptor Senex

    • Civis Illustris
    I think lynx has done well with this.

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