Tattoo: Life is what you make it

By Anonymous, in 'English to Latin Translation', Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Anonymous Guest

    Hi, if you guys could help me with the following two phrases i wanted translated into latin correctly i'd really appreciate it ;) I wanted:

    1. Life is what you make it

    2. Everything happens for a reason

    I am looking into getting one of them as a tattoo and used to learn latin at school but have totally forgotten everything!

    Thanks so much in advance :mrgreen:
  2. Interficio Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    My quick attempt on #2:

    2. Omnia Causae Accidit*

    *My natural thought is to go with accidunt but it seems wrong here.. Not sure..
  3. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    The general proverb for "Everything happens for a reason" is
    Nihil fit sine causa
    In my humble opinion, that's the best translation anyway.

    You should use accidunt here, Interficio.
    However, using causa in the dative here doesn't make much sense since "reason" is not a beneficial object in this sentence. The implication is "everything happens because of some reason". I suppose you could use an ablative (like de aliqua causa), but as I said I'd stick with the general proverb above.
  4. QMF Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Virginia, US
    It should be accidunt there, Interficio. The reason the English verb is singular is because "everything" is essentially "each of every thing", which is a singular subject, if that makes sense. Whereas in Latin omnia is "all things", which is a plural subject.

    It should also be causa, an ablative construction. Causa and gratia are commonly used in this way, usually without a preposition.

    I do like the proverb, although it is a negative statement instead of a positive one (it's literally "nothing happens without a reason", swazza).

    The first one...is hard. Very hard. My off-hand and loose attempt is:
    vita fit vivente
    which roughly means "life is made by the one living [it]"
  5. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    I know, but "for a reason" is quite idiomatic in English and is often expressed differently in other languages. German for example would prefer the "nothing without a reason" variation as well. So if we are already given this proverb from an original text, I don't see the need for inventing a new one.
  6. Anonymous Guest

    thanks so much for all your help guys! especially considering that they're tricky phrases!

    yeah, QMF, can see what you mean that it does sound kind of negative now and definitely don't want that though the general gist of it is right and i like it! i've got to think hard before i do anything permanent.

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