Quitters don't win, winners dont quit

By Kevin Dehaene, in 'English to Latin Translation', Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Kevin Dehaene New Member


    The reason I would like this translated is for my work. I'm in the army and this is our motivational quote. It would be awesome if i had it in latin.

    Best regards
  2. Adrian Civis Illustris

    detractatores non/ne umquam vinciunt, victores non/ne umquam decedunt.
  3. Aurifex Aedilis

    vinciunt is from vincio, not vinco.
    I would have a rethink about using detractatores, and I'd probably choose something like deficio rather than decedo. In any case you might want to try and use the same word in each clause to retain the pointedness of the English - not an easy task.
  4. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    It might be worth checking each word to be sure that they don't have military-specific meanings.
  5. Imperfacundus Cogidubnus was an inside job

    I love deficio for "quit".
    We could go with: defectores nunquam uincunt; uictores nunquam deficiunt.
    It preserves the english chiasmus, as aurifex alluded to.
    Cursor Nictans likes this.
  6. Manus Correctrix QVAE CORRIGIT

    We could also just go for the shorter non instead of nunquam.

    I’m mildly bothered that the nouns could be accusative, but it’s probably OK.
  7. Adrian Civis Illustris

    Oh Yes, my fault:oops:Thank you for vigilance:)
  8. Kevin Dehaene New Member

    You guys are amazing at this! Though to be honest i have a hard time understanding what's written here.
    So so far i can see 2 solutions here:
    1. detractatores non/ne umquam vinciunt, victores non/ne umquam decedunt.
    2. defectores nunquam uincunt; uictores nunquam deficiunt

    What's the difference between these two sentences?

    @Nikolaos: To further explain the meaning. The meaning we hold to it is that we do not appreciate people who give up. you have to fight to obtain whatever you want. We work as 1 group and as 1 group we will accomplish as much as possible. another way of looking at it is with the proverb: "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link". So if one gives up tho whole group will start to suffer from that mindset. Thats why we have:"Quitters don't win, winners don't quit" to bring spirits back up.
    This all might sound futile but in harsh times the smallest things can make the difference.
  9. Manus Correctrix QVAE CORRIGIT

    Various deficiencies have been pointed out in the first one, but not the second.
  10. Kevin Dehaene New Member

    an acquaintance of mine gave me another possibility.
    Ignavi non vincunt, victores non cedunt.
    Is this also correct?
  11. Adrian Civis Illustris

    Vocabulary from OLD
    iganvus, adjective : cowardly, faint-hearted, ignoble, mean, lazy/idle/sluggish, spiritless, useless
    cede, verb: yield, submit to someone or something, go/pass (from/away), step aside/make way, take place of withdraw/retire/leave

    Ignavi non vincunt, victores non cedunt - the cowards/spiritless men do not win, the winners do not yield/withdraw/step aside
  12. scrabulista Consul

    The appeal of "Quitters don't win; winners don't quit" is its echo.
    I think you wouldn't want Defectors non vincunt; victores non deficiunt. Defector is too strong of a word in English and in Latin. Decessor (from the same root as decedunt) refers to a retired magistrate - that's bad too.

    Maybe...Desertores non vincunt; victores non deserunt - same root as "deserter." That's closer. Wait for other opinions.
  13. Manus Correctrix QVAE CORRIGIT

    My first thought was ignavi, but there is no equivalent verb. It messes up the neat chiasmus.
  14. Imperfacundus Cogidubnus was an inside job

    A defector is the ultimate quitter.
    Desertor isn't free of the same problem, if that is one.
  15. Aurifex Aedilis

    If we can accept the use of the verb cedo for quit (in the sense of giving up), we might be able to plunder Ovid's Ars Amatoria II, 197 for an idea:
    cede repugnanti: cedendo victor abibis.

    Lose the cede repugnanti, and in the following rephrasing:
    numquam cedendo victor abibis
    there is an ambiguity that might serve our purpose.
    Assuming we can accept that cedendo can mean quit, (rather than what it means in the Ovid) it could mean either:
    By never quitting you will be victorious
    By quitting you will never be victorious

    A couple of concerns: first, can the meaning of the Latin be considered genuinely ambiguous (i.e. to have these two opposing yet equally valid interpretations)?
    secondly, does the ambiguity succeed in conveying the opposition that is central to the English expression?
  16. scrabulista Consul

    Lewis and Short have desertor = "a runaway, deserter (opp. transfuga, one who joins the enemy, Dig. 48, 16, 5, § 8)
    but defector = one who revolts from another; a revolter, rebel

    It's one thing to desert your side; it's something else to rebel against your own side or even join the other side.

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