Inspirational You are only as good as the obstacle that can stop you

Guntac

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This is a phrase I have read in a book and I find it so inspiring. What would be your suggestions about the translation?
 

syntaxianus

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I would say:

Haudquaquam melior es quam illud impedimentum te praecludens.

You are not at all better than that obstacle stopping you.
 

Pacifica

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I would say:

Haudquaquam melior es quam illud impedimentum te praecludens.

You are not at all better than that obstacle stopping you.
That sounds like a statement about a specific situation, addressing a specific person. I took the English to be more of a general statement, applicable to anyone. Also the construction with the demonstrative and participle feels a bit more English than Latin. Latin would more usually use a relative clause.

Tanti quisque est quanti... are the words that immediately come to mind as a translation of "you're only as good as...". The rest is less obvious. Maybe:

Tanti quisque est quanti id quo impediri potest.
 

Pacifica

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But maybe even that is somewhat too literal. After all, we aren't really talking about the worth of the thing that stops you; we're saying that a person's worth is proportionate to the magnitude of the obstacle that can stop them. I'm not sure a genitive of value can express the latter. Maybe we should just turn it into tanti quisque est quantum id quo impediri potest.
 

syntaxianus

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Helpful discussion. Leads me to this, with "you" understood generally:

Nil praevalebis ultra quodcumque impedimentum sit capax te praecludendi.

You'll be no stronger than whatever obstacle there is capable of stopping you.
 

Pacifica

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Perhaps alternatively:

Quam fortis sis, apparet in difficultatibus quas vincere non potes.
Or possis, to make the "you" general.
Nil praevalebis ultra quodcumque impedimentum sit capax te praecludendi.
That should be est. But why not just use posse? I'm also not quite sure praecludere is the best verb to use here, or that the whole wording conveys the same idea as the original, to be frank.
 

syntaxianus

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Not sure the subjunctive is excluded, esp. for imagined reality (for maybe there is no obstacle that can stop you):

tamen potest dividi etiam in duas partes sic, quodcumque conferas aut simile esse aut non esse); -- Varro, On the Latin language, 10.2,5.​
there can also be a division into two parts only, in such a way that whatever you compare with something else either is like or is not. [Loeb translation]​

Praecludere = to "cut / close you off." Maybe some other word is better for "stopping" someone.

Why not just use posse? That would be fine. Don't know exactly why I chose another route, but I suppose that it just sounded better to me.
 

Pacifica

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Not sure the subjunctive is excluded, esp. for imagined reality (for maybe there is no obstacle that can stop you):

tamen potest dividi etiam in duas partes sic, quodcumque conferas aut simile esse aut non esse); -- Varro, On the Latin language, 10.2,5.
That verb is subjunctive because the subject is a "general you".
 

cinefactus

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What about something like:

solum praestas cuicumque tibi non obstat
 

Pacifica

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That doesn't make sense. I think you meant ei solum rei praestes quaecumque tibi non obstat. I'm not sure that best expresses the idea either, though—but at least it's grammatically correct.
 

syntaxianus

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For "You are only as good as...":

nil praestantior es quam....

You are not any better than...

For "whatever obstacle can stop you":

...quaecumque obstructio quam superare non potes.

whatever barrier that you cannot overcome.
 
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Quintilianus

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That sounds like a statement about a specific situation, addressing a specific person. I took the English to be more of a general statement, applicable to anyone. Also the construction with the demonstrative and participle feels a bit more English than Latin. Latin would more usually use a relative clause.

Tanti quisque est quanti... are the words that immediately come to mind as a translation of "you're only as good as...". The rest is less obvious. Maybe:

Tanti quisque est quanti id quo impediri potest.
Would "valeo" be inappropriate ? Something like : Non plus vales quam (ea) quae te impediant.
 

Pacifica

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Dunno. Couldn't it be read as "You aren't stronger than the things that stop you" (which sound like a truism)?

In any case, the moods should be reversed. Impediant has no reason to be in the subjunctive, so impediunt. On the other hand, "general you" statements usually (exceptions can admittedly be found) take subjunctive second-person verbs, so valeas.
 

Quintilianus

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"Good" seemed close to me to "strong" here and "valere" (which can itself be interpreted a bit differently than stricly strong depending on context methinks) looked like a possibility.
I put "impedio" in the subjunctive mood simply to have it mean "that might impede you" neater than "quae te impedire possunt".
As for "vales" I just didn't care and chose the indicative which can be read either way though admittedly less common for general statements.
edit : the general point being that it might prove more fruitful to phrase it with a negative sentence than directly translating it as it is.
 
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