Life Could Be Much Worse, But It Could Also Be Much Better

By R. Seltza, in 'English to Latin Translation', Jun 19, 2017 at 4:07 AM.

  1. R. Seltza New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I would like some help translating the quote "Life Could Be Much Worse, But It Could Also Be Much Better." The deeper meaning behind this is essentially referring to Ambition, Desire, Complacency, & Gratitude. Other than that, this quote is really more literal than metaphorical, so the context of this is exactly as it sounds.

    For example, you may have something to eat available, but you could've been hungrier or the food could've been lower quality. The food could've also been tastier or more filling.

    Another example would be that you drive somewhere in a decent car. Your car could've been less appealing, less reliable, & you could've broken down & gotten robbed or killed on the side of the road. Your car could've also been more appealing, more reliable, more comfortable, more stylish, more advanced, more suited for your needs, etc...

    I intend on using this phrase on custom-made patches. I also suspect that this quote would be gender neutral.

    I appreciate the help in advance.
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Hello,

    Maybe:

    Vita multo peior esse, at melior quoque multo potest.
  3. R. Seltza New Member

    From what I understand from this translation, the words mean:
    Vita = Life
    Multo = Much
    Peior = Worse
    Esse = to be?
    at = but/yet?
    Meilor = ???
    Quoque = also
    Multo = Much
    Potest = Power?

    I'm not too sure about some of my interpretations (especially Potest). What do the ones with the question marks above mean & what does this literally translate to?


  4. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Vita: life
    Multo: much
    peior: worse
    esse: to be
    at: but
    melior (you made a typo): better
    quoque: also
    multo: much
    potest: can/is able

    So: life is able to be much worse, but also much better.
  5. R. Seltza New Member

    Thanks! I love this translation.

    Also, since Latin sentence structure is very lenient, would it make a difference if we organized the sentence as such?:
    Vita esse multo peior, at quoque potest multo melior.
  6. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    That doesn't really work. The part after the comma, at any rate, is wrong.
  7. R. Seltza New Member

    Yeah, I'll probably use the first translation since I liked it so much.
    Since Vita multo peior esse, at melior quoque multo potest gramatically translates to "life is able to be much worse, but also much better", what does Vita esse multo peior, at quoque potest multo melior grammatically to?
    Also, I know that this is kinda Latin 101 but how would you know how to structure this sentence?
  8. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    The same as the other version, but in bad Latin—due to mangled word order: several word orders are possible, some better than others, but the biggest offence there is the position of quoque, which absolutely needs to come after melior.
    Study and experience. It's a bit higher level than Latin 101.
  9. R. Seltza New Member

    I'll definitely be going with Vita Multo Peior Esse, At Melior Quoque Multo Potest.

    What would be the best way for me to start learning how to structure sentences (& just Latin in general)? When it comes to learning this, I sometimes feel kinda lost...
  10. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    The way for learning how to structure sentences is just constant reading of Latin texts. Eventually you'll kind of get a feel for it. A good textbook on Latin prose composition will probably help as well, but you still need to read a lot to really get a feel for it.
    As for learning Latin in general, I'd say to just get a good textbook and start working through it. Examples: Wheelock's Latin, etc.

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