My children are my life and I will always protect them

benbailey01

New Member
I'm after a new tattoo and i'm thinking along the lines of a latin quote about my children.
I'm after something along the lines of

My children are my life and I will always protect them

Don't really know where to start looking though. Any ideas?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Liberi mei vita mea sunt eosque protegam semper.
My children are my life and I will always protect them.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Better liberi, which is the general term for "children" with regards to their parents, "daugthers and sons", than filii, because filii = most often "sons", and on the pic I see a boy and a girl.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
For the "My children are my life" part I'd probably go for liberi vita sunt mea cariores rather than do it literally.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
Better liberi, which is the general term for "children" with regards to their parents, "daugthers and sons", than filii, because filii = most often "sons", and on the pic I see a boy and a girl.


Quintilian 9.3

LXIII. Medium quoque potest esse quod et prioribus et sequentibus sufficiat: iungit autem et diversos sexus, ut cum marem feminamque "filios" dicimus, et singularia pluralibus miscet.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I was under the impression that it could be translated literally because vita can be a term of endearment.

I was aware filii could sometimes include daugthers as well, but more often it's "sons" and liberi is more common for "children" - that's why I said "most often".
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
I was aware filii could sometimes include daugthers as well, but more often it's "sons" and liberi is more common for "children" - that's why I said "most often".

I do not understand your definition of "better" and "most common/most often" in this case. "Better", in the context of a language or expression is what bothers me the most. Which I see from you, non infrequently.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
I was under the impression that it could be translated literally because vita can be a term of endearment.
Yes, statements about someone being "my life" have been requested numerous times in the past and mea vita has, not unreasonably, often been suggested. I think it's reasonable to use it even here. However, I do think that we overwork it sometimes (it seems most often used as a vocative), and also that, in spite of cases such as the Plautine certe enim tu vita es mi, where someone is addressing another person affectionately, statements specifically of the form aliquis est/aliqui sunt mea vita may not perhaps have come quite so automatically to a Roman as they do to us.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
(it seems most often used as a vocative)
It's true, but I can't help thinking that if it made sense for them to call someone "my life", it would equally make sense to tell someone else "X is my life". I even more think so after your example from Plautus. If "you are my life", why not "X is my life". This is one of those cases where one may choose to trust what seems logical to them or stay in what is strictly attested I guess. But I tend to think that if you stay in what is strictly attested even for things not that bold like this (you seem to agree it isn't), you sometimes find yourself a bit too limited in what you allow yourself to translate.

Now knowing all this, the OP can choose between the literal translation or yours, liberi vita sunt mea cariores; or in fact I would add liberi vita mihi sunt mea cariores, "my children are dearer to me than my life", which expression - "dearer to me than my life" - is guaranteed 100% Latin, found a few times in Cicero.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
I even more think so after your example from Plautus. If "you are my life", why not "X is my life".
Except that crucially Plautus doesn't say tu es mea vita but tu vita es mi, a distinction that was an essential part of the point I was trying to make about the rarity of the precise construction we are considering using, viz your liberi mei vita mea sunt.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I noticed the difference, but, similarly to what I was saying for the vocative, if vita mi es works, vita mea es has great chances to do so too. As it's obviously permitted to call someone one's life, I don't think it's so bold to allow yourself the "extension" from mea vita! Vita es mi to X vita mea est, even if we don't find it written word for word in what we have left of Latin.

Now if you prefer: liberi mei vita mihi sunt = my children are life for me/my life.
 
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