"Inspire Life"

Kelmorien

New Member
Hello All,

Thank you kindly in advance for some simple translation advice. I hope to use a Latin phrase as part of my Chinese medicine and acupuncture business to emphasize the increasing overlap and mutual accessibility of eastern and western medicine, as well as to provide clients here in the US with a sense of conceptual accessibility and cultural inclusiveness.

I wish to use the imperative phrase "inspire life" for the following reasons:
1) It is a simple, positive directive that defines my purpose while remaining sufficiently flexible to interpretation.
2) I assumed the English and Latin terms in question would be similar enough that the meaning should be intelligible or intuitable to most pepple.
3) I liked the cadence and phonetics of the phrase that resulted from an online translation tool -- I realize these tools are discouraged when it comes to Latin and I completely understand why after trying to verify the translation for myself.

I had arrived at 'inspira' as the Latin imperative for 'inspire.' I know life as a basic noun is 'vita,' but the online translators all seemed to suggest 'vitae.' I tried to justify the use of '-ae' rather than '-a' and found four conditions for this suffix, none of which seemed applicable.

If the question of subject comes into play, I would probably be speaking in second or third person, not to a plural audience, whichever yields the simplest imperative form...I prefer the simple form 'inspira' if possible.

My intended meaning for 'inspire' is, to quote Merriam-Webster:

Transitive Verb:
1 b: to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on
c: affectg
2 a: brting about; occasion
b: incite
3 a: to draw forth or bring out
4 : inhale, sense 1
6 b: archaic : to infuse (something, such as life) by breathing

In all of these cases, 'life' would seem to be a singular, direct object, so my primary question is whether to use 'vita' or 'vitae' as that which is inspired. If the '-ae' suffix is plausible for any of these uses, I suppose I would prefer whichever suffix yields greater flexibility.

Let me know if I can clarify anything further and thank you, again, for your time!

Sincerely,
Brian R. Walker, L.Ac.
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
Hello Brian,
I was thinking of :
1. Affletur vita,
2. Sit vita instincta,
3. Vitam incita.
 

Kelmorien

New Member
Thank you, Adrian,

Part of why I was aiming for the phrase 'inspira vita(e)' was because the phrase had memorable cadence and phonetics that might help people remember the name.

Is the phrase 'inspira vita' inherently grammatically awkward for any reason? Should 'life' be 'vita' or 'vitae'?

Thank you!
Brian
 

Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
"Life" should be vita (nominative case) when it is the grammatical subject of the verb, as in Adrian's #1 and 2; vitam (accusative case) when it is the direct object, as in #3; and vitae when it is the indirect object (dative case) or the possessor of something (genitive case), as in curriculum vitae, "course of life."

So, in this case, inspira vitam, I think. And you could also say Vitam inspira. But don't take my word for it. If I am right, let someone else confirm it by "liking" my post.
 
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Bitmap

Civis Illustris

Kelmorien

New Member
Understood, thank you, Gregorious Textor.

If I were to imply that 'life' or 'vitality' was an indirect object or quality with which an unspoken direct object, might be assumed to be the subject to whom the imperative is addressed, is imbued or inspired, would the structure 'inspira vitae' be at all admissible, grammatically, or is this absurd?

In other words...is it possible to omit the subject and direct object as in the imperative:
inspire (yourself with) vitality

gratias omnibus do
Brian
 

Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
Brian / Kelmorien, I don't think "inspira vitae" works. "Vitae" could be nominative plural, but that doesn't work grammatically because the verb is singular; or genitive singular ("inspire of life") or dative singular ("inspire to/for life", with "to/for" in the sense of recipient or beneficiary of action), neither of which make sense.

I think you might be onto something with the ablative in "inspira vita" -- as an "ablative of means," it could be understood as "inspire with (by means of) life." I didn't think that was what you were trying to say originally, but if it is, maybe we also need a direct object here to say what it is that we're to inspire by means of life.
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
In other words...is it possible to omit the subject and direct object as in the imperative:
inspire (yourself with) vitality
inspire (yourself) with vitality (for the sake of brevity) - I was thinking of
Vitalitate inspires;
Sis vi vitali instinctus


I would advise to wait for opinions of more experienced latinists.
 

Kelmorien

New Member
OK, thank you. It seems 'inspira vitae' won't work.

I certainly do not wish to force a meaning with bad grammar, but would still prefer to use 'Inspira Vita' if at all plausible due to its ease of pronunciation and pentasyllabic memorability -- easier to say and recall for people who may be less linguistically-minded.

inspire (yourself) with vitality (for the sake of brevity) - I was thinking of
Vitalitate inspires;
Sis vi vitali instinctus
Thank you, Adrian, all of your suggestions are, I'm sure, better translations. My aim is to maintain something with five syllables or less and a rolling balance between consonant and vowel sounds.

I think you might be onto something with the ablative in "inspira vita" -- as an "ablative of means," it could be understood as "inspire with (by means of) life." I didn't think that was what you were trying to say originally, but if it is, maybe we also need a direct object here to say what it is that we're to inspire by means of life.
Yes, this is partly what I intent the name to suggest. Ideally, I hope to present a name that is somewhat interpretable, especially for non-linguists, but also to anyone who may be comfortable with Latin...I suppose the main two questions at this point, then, with reference to 'Inspira Vita' would be:
1) can the subject and direct object be omitted
2) can the subject and direct object be interpreted to be synonymous as in 'inspire (thyself with) life?"

Many thanks for your patience!
 

Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
Let me summarize some of the things I think I've understood so far, so I don't go off on the wrong track.

1. You originally stated that you want to use the imperative phrase "inspire life".

2. You want to use the verb "inspira", which is a form of "inspiro", because the cognate English word "inspire" makes it easy to understand by English-speaking non-Latin speakers.

3. Similarly, you want to use some form of "vita" for life, because it is easily understood by English non-Latin speakers.

4. Because of (2) and (3), you don't want to use the first three translations Adrian suggested.

5. You want to keep it down to five syllables, and therefore don't want to use the fourth and fifth of Adrian's suggestions.

6. In your O.P. you listed several meanings of "inspire" from the dictionary, and I think the one you primarily want is 1b, "to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on".

7. The Latin verb inspiro has a similar meaning, "to breathe into, excite, inflame", according to Lewis and Short, so we can use it. (Its original meaning is "to blow into or upon a thing, to breathe into," as in Genesis 2:7, "et inspiravit in faciem eius spiraculum vitae", "and he [the Lord God] breathed into his face the breath of life").

8. In your O.P. you stated that "'life' would seem to be a singular, direct object". In that case, we want the accusative case, vitam, so your solution is Inspira vitam.

9. However, in your recent comments you seem to be veering towards an ablative of means, "inspire yourself with vitality." Well, we could say "Inspira se vitā" or maybe "Vitā se inspira." (I've marked the "a" long, ā, to make it clear that it is the ablative and not nominative case, which otherwise look alike. If I consistenly mark all of the long vowels, it's Inspīrā sē vītā.)

But then we have six syllables, more than you wanted. And I think non-Latin readers will be confused because they will not know about the ablative case meaning "by means of" life. (It even confuses me, unless I mark the ā, because it looks vita looks like the nominative case, which would be ungrammatical.)

10. So I think your best bet is (in either word order): Inspira vitam, or Vitam inspira.
 

Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
...I suppose the main two questions at this point, then, with reference to 'Inspira Vita' would be:
1) can the subject and direct object be omitted
2) can the subject and direct object be interpreted to be synonymous as in 'inspire (thyself with) life?"

Many thanks for your patience!
(1) The subject and direct object can be omitted if they are understood.

(2) In this case, the subject is easily understood to be "you" since inspira is the second person singular imperative form of inspiro. But the direct object is not easily understood, at least not by me. Inspira vitā means, literally, "You, inspire with (by means of) life." But inspire whom? Maybe inspire your children, or your mother and father, your students, your neighbors? It's not at all clear that it means inspire yourself. It's not even clear to me how you could inspire yourself with your own life. To live a life that inspires yourself, would you have to be already inspired? It just doesn't seem clear at all.
 
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