What is "get excited and make things" in Latin?
May 25, 2011 6:17 PM   Subscribe

What is "get excited and make things" in Latin?

My group at work is making a coat of arms, so of course we need a Latin slogan. Help us, classicists!
posted by amery to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Something like:

adepto fervidus quod planto
posted by edgeways at 8:09 PM on May 25, 2011

I am not a Latin scholar, so was not going to answer this, but just in case no one else does, I'd be cautious about edgeways' solution. it doesn't look right to me. As I said, I don't really do Latin, but those do not look like imperative verbs, which I think is what you would want for your translation. I also would be really surprised if "get excited" can be literally translated as "to obtain excitement", which is what I think edgeways has done.

I don't feel really good about shooting down someone else's solution when I don't have a better one myself, and also don't have much background, but I'd hate to think you might put something incorrect on a coat of arms you had spent a lot of time and energy on.
posted by lollusc at 8:54 PM on May 25, 2011

mm perhaps so, get is one of those words and I didn't think too much about it.

fio fervidus , planto effercio might be closer... that's my last shot we'll see if someone better comes along
posted by edgeways at 9:21 PM on May 25, 2011

The Latin verb "cieo" is glossed in the Oxford Latin Desk Dictionary, which is an abbreviated version of the venerable OLD, as "move, shake; rouse; disturb; provoke; call on, invoke; produce." Assuming this as the nucleus of the translation, you have a few different options:

Ciamus, which just means "let us create"
Ciemus ciebimusque which is closer to what you originally said, plus has the flowery device of repeating the same word with different endings.
Citi ciemus "we excited ones create," an all-female group would use citae ciemus

These are just a few among potentially endless permutations. I would get these double-checked for Latinitas by a local Latin teacher or other authority. edgeway's translation means something like "Feverishly I (masc.) win what I make."
posted by Electrius at 9:23 PM on May 25, 2011

Vos ipsos excitate et res facite.
posted by verstegan at 1:11 AM on May 26, 2011

Problem is, "Get excited and make things" isn't a Latin structure, so "You, arouse yourselves and then make things" (vos ipsos excitate et res facite), while a reasonable translation of each individual word, doesn't really work - it's like what you get if you run a Japanese phrase through Google translate. Electrius - I like your reformulation, but I don't think cieo is quite right, although the idea of using the same root verb for both English verbs is super nice.

(Oh, yeah - edgeways' versions - no offence, but they just don't make sense.)

So ... if I were trying to express the idea of "Get excited and make things" in Latin, I'd probably look for something punning or alliterative which caught the sense. That could go a couple of ways - in English, you're getting excited and then making things as two separate actions, but that's not quite how it would work - you'd need something like.

Excitati facite!

That is "having been aroused, make!" or "you (we) who have been aroused, make!" - although I don't know if excito is the perfect verb there. But that's tricky, not least because Latin adjectives, as mentioned, change to match number and gender (like Spanish but more so). "Excitati" is a group of people with at least one man - masculine plural.

Sooo.... you could go for a word-play, like:

facienda fervide faciamus!

That is, let us make (faciamus, subjunctive first-person plural) excitedly (fervide) the things that are to be made (facienda) - that's actually a double wordplay, because facienda in philosophy of mind refers to states that have not yet come into being - including intentions and desires. Or you could just have fervide faciamus!, which is punchier.

fervide comes from fervidus, which means "burning, shining" - as if afire, essentially. A more strictly accurate word there might be acriter - eagerly (roughly, like the sharpness of a well-pointed blade) or the rarer alacriter (to make it sound like "alacrity" rather than "acrid"). But you lose the alliteration...

Obviously, the advice to check with a friendly native speaker before getting your Chinese tattoo is tougher in this case, but it would be worth getting a Latin teacher or similar to take a look at this. Or MeMail Languagehat, who seems to speak a huge number of languages, one of which might well be Latin.

On a sidenote, as far as I know this phrase originates with Matt Jones of BERG London. It might be cool to drop him a line or tell him about your planned homage...
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:43 AM on May 26, 2011 [5 favorites]

(The other problem with "excito", "citus" and cognates is that anyone who is Italian but is communicating in English - and if you're into making, I'm guessing Arduino people might be in your client/peer group - is that they'll read that "cit" sound as "shit". Just sayin'.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:46 AM on May 26, 2011

("is that... is that... is that... OK, clearly I can't speak English, let alone Latin. Ignore me.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:02 AM on May 26, 2011

Problem is, "Get excited and make things" isn't a Latin structure, so "You, arouse yourselves and then make things" (vos ipsos excitate et res facite), while a reasonable translation of each individual word, doesn't really work

Two plural imperatives implying consecutive actions (first X, then Y) is a perfectly acceptable Latin structure -- I was modelling it on John Evelyn's Latin motto, 'Omnia explorate, meliora retinete' ('Explore all things, retain the best'). 'Excitate' for 'excite' may sound a bit literal, but I chose it to echo Psalm 79 in the Vulgate ('excita potentiam tuam', usually translated 'stir up thy power'), which uses the singular imperative. Anyhow, I think a fairly literal rendering is appropriate in this light-hearted context.
posted by verstegan at 9:01 AM on May 26, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh, absolutely. If you want late Latin, sure - go for it. I thought this was for a new company, but looking more closely at the question it looks like maybe a team-building exercise for departments within a company, so you're almost certainly right that a light-hearted approach is appropriate.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:23 AM on May 26, 2011

Thanks very much, everyone!
posted by amery at 7:37 PM on May 26, 2011

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