1. nolamartin New Member

    I'd like to get a tattoo with the phrase sink or swim. I did a little research on the net but I'm not sure about the words (and also asked someone but wasn't sure about the correct words.) I know that Nato = swim but I'm not sure about the other words 'sink' and 'or'.
    I hope someone can help me with this.
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    • Technicus Auxiliarius
    Submerge aut nata

    Please wait for others to reply first
  3. Akela dat affluenter

    • Princeps Senatus
    Location:
    BC
    Nolamartin, do you mean the phrase as an infinitive or an imperative?

    If it is an imperative, do you address one or more people?
  4. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    note that "submerge" means "to sink something/someone else", but not to sink yourself
  5. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    A literal translation doesn't work very well, I feel. Maybe something more like: Nisi natābis, summergēre.
  6. nolamartin New Member

    First fo all, thanks for the answers!
    Well the phrase in Spanish is 'O nadas o te hundes' and I translated it to English as Sink or Swim.
    Akela, it is address to myself as a way to remember that I have to choose one of those actions in moments of despair.
    I guess that it will sound better in the infinitive form.
    A friend told me that it would be something like this: Demerge aut nato
  7. Akela dat affluenter

    • Princeps Senatus
    Location:
    BC
    "Demerge aut nato" looks like result of automatic translator. It says "sink (something/someone) or I swim")

    It should be:
    Infinitive: demergi aut natare (to sink/drown or to swim)
    Imperative: demergere aut nata (sink (yourself) or swim)

    Wait for someone else to confirm/critique the above before using it :)
  8. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    Hello,

    the imperative of natare is nata, but look at Imber's suggestion
  9. Akela dat affluenter

    • Princeps Senatus
    Location:
    BC
    lol I was so busy making demergo into a passive imperative, that I did the same with nato. Thanks, Btimap. I fixed it now.

    For some reason I missed Imber's "Nisi natabis, summergere." (if you will not swim, sink). It is good :)
  10. hanoi New Member

    I bumped into this website and found it quiet interesting, I would like to know what is the final and correct translation for "sink or swim" in the infinitive form. I saw Imber's suggestion as well as Akel's and I am a little confused. Please confirm and I thank you in advance.
  11. Ignis Umbra Ignis Aeternus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    USA
    The infinitive form, as Akela stated above, is: Demergi aut natare.
  12. hanoi New Member

    Thank you Ignis, the imperative form would be "demergere aut nata".
  13. Abbatiſſæ Scriptor Senex

    • Civis Illustris
    The infinitive seems better here.
  14. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Why?
  15. limetrees Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Hibernia
    This might be a good text case.
    Many of you are non-native English speakers; so may I ask you a favour?

    1. how would you translate this (idiomatically) into your own language?
    2. does this idiomatic translation have anything to do with sinking and swimming? - I ask for this information to be made explicit because I (and others) possibly won't be able to read many of the replies
    3. If you translated this phrase into your language with the terms equivalent to "sink" and "swim", would it make any sense?

    The exercise might give us a better picture of what what we are doing when we put things into Latin.
  16. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    If there is any fixed idiom/expression in French with the same meaning, I don't know it.
    "Coule ou nage" makes perfect sense... though it actually sounds better to me the other way around "nage ou coule". But the metaphor works perfectly.
  17. truks Member

    I think in French c'est marche ou crève comes close. But it has nothing to do with swimming or sinking.
  18. hanoi New Member

    Thank you

    In Spanish would be "nadas o te hundes" and it makes perfect sense
  19. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    So it also feels better in this order in Spanish. As in French. :) But your Spanish version is literally neither "swim or sink" nor "to swim or to sink" but "you swim or you sink/drown", right?

    Truks: Yes, "marche ou crève" is a little similar.
  20. Abbatiſſæ Scriptor Senex

    • Civis Illustris
    I suggested infinitive because the English expression is heard most often as an impersonal recognition of impending trial or crisis: 'Now it's sink or swim for us,' as if 'sink' and 'swim' were verbal nouns.

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