Latin translation please
August 26, 2005 2:14 PM   Subscribe

Can any scholars out there give me a simple Latin translation of our diving club motto 'Deeper, Longer, Wetter'? We're looking for something catchy, like the Olympics motto ('citius, altius, fortius') or 'veni, vidi, vici', to put on our new T-shirts. The various Latin translation tools online can give me the adjective (deep, long, wet) but not the comparative form (or is that the superlative form? I never was much good at grammar). I should say that 'deeper' is as in depth, not profundity, and 'longer' is as in time, not length. Many thanks.
posted by Tawita to Writing & Language (16 answers total)
This isn't what you're looking for (neither is this), but I just wanted to share.

On my business cards, I have ita erat quando hic adveni. (It was that way when I got here.)
posted by Specklet at 3:31 PM on August 26, 2005

I think it would be "Profundius, longius, umidius."
posted by gubo at 4:22 PM on August 26, 2005

Looks like "humidius" with an "h" is an acceptable, and perhaps more recognizable, variant.
posted by gubo at 4:24 PM on August 26, 2005

Gumbo: Deeper not in terms of profundity would disallow profundius, wouldn't it?
I'd guess "Inferum, diutius, madidum," but I could be wrong about both nuance and conjegation.
posted by klangklangston at 4:36 PM on August 26, 2005

klangklagston, I don't really know Latin per se, but profundus comes from pro- (before) and fundus (bottom); I would not be surprised if it could be used, like the Italian profondo, for literal depths as well as metaphorical ones. (In fact, even the English word profound, derived from the Latin word, can also mean "coming from, reaching to, or situated at a depth" according to my colleague Webster.)
posted by gentle at 9:07 PM on August 26, 2005

You're looking for the "comparative".

"longer" is "longior" in Latin.

"deeper" is "profundior".

I don't know what "wet" is off the top of my head, but if it's regular (as in adheres to standard adjective rules), the "-us, -a, -um" suffix will simply be replaced with "-ior" to make it comparative. If it is not regular, a good dictionary will tell you and give you the forms.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:48 AM on August 27, 2005

I don't know what "wet" is off the top of my head

madÄ­dus, -a, -um

and by the way, how do you say "bukkake" in Latin?
posted by PenguinBukkake at 1:31 AM on August 27, 2005

You're looking for the "comparative".

"longer" is "longior" in Latin.

"deeper" is "profundior"

Except that I'm pretty sure you don't really want adjective forms for this, MC, but adverbs -- "more deeply," "more wetly," etc., because the implied thing being modified seems to me to be the verb "to go". (This also would make the motto more parallel to the Olympics motto, which I assume they're intending to reference.) My musty old Latin grammar tells me that comparative adverbs are formed like neuter comparative adjectives, that is, with "-ius".

Someone with more thorough and recent knowledge of Latin should confirm or deny this, however.
posted by redfoxtail at 6:29 AM on August 27, 2005

redfoxtail is right, but my Latin is too rusty to try a translation -- applying general rules to particular cases is asking for trouble (as in a recent AskMe thread where somebody tried to correct matteo's Italian on the basis of a vague idea about how Italian nouns worked). Surely there are MeFites who actually know Latin.
posted by languagehat at 6:36 AM on August 27, 2005

8 years of Latin here, but many years ago. Don't adverbs often end in "e"? Profunde. Longe. (Using the words provided by the Mayor.)
posted by socratic at 11:38 AM on August 27, 2005

Just as a note: Diutius means "longer, as in duration or time," which is what he asked for. So he probably wants "Profundius, diutius, madidius," speaking as someone who took a year of Latin many, many years ago. Infernius would mean "more below" or "more under," if he doesn't want profundius.
(This all assumes that i have the conjugations right).
posted by klangklangston at 11:43 AM on August 27, 2005

(er, assuming the deviation into the adverb direction suggested above.)

If the poster is truly going for an adverbial form (since he's asking for something like a verb form "veni, vidi, vici" but using adjectival words, an adverbial form would make sense.
1) The most common class of adverbs ends in -e, and is derived from Decl. I/II Adjectival formation:

Beside the Adjective bellus bella bellum "pretty" we have the Adv. belle "nicely, cutely"


Beside bona bonus bonum we would expect bone, but we get bene, the vowel phonetically shifted by use. But the basic rule stands: Adjectives in "-us -a, -um" make an adverb in -e, and this includes the "most" m or Superlative grade in -issimus -a -um, which make adverbs by the same rule: -issime. "most....-ly"

2) Adjectives which normally occur in our Class II Adjectives [e.g., fortis, brave] (like Class III nouns) regularly take the ending -ter, which makes an adverb just as well, and with no difference in meaning from the above.

So fortis "brave" gives fortiter "bravely". This class is common and pretty regular, no special problems

3) But if you want to make an adverb from [form?] a "more" (comparative) adjectival form, you don't use this -ter ending, but use instead the comparative neuter form [i.e., adjectival] just as it stands.

So from the grade normal adj. tristis "sad", you make the "more" comparative up as tristior "sadder or rather sad", and then the adverb will be the same as the neuter singular in -ius:

tristius "rather sadly, or more sadly".
Like I said, it's been 8 years, but this does sound right. Now you just need to fit the vocabulary to the rules (and I was never good with vocabulary).
posted by socratic at 11:53 AM on August 27, 2005

or what klangklangston said. The downside to live preview is .. well-documented.
posted by socratic at 11:59 AM on August 27, 2005

I don't have my latin textbook with me (and really should have studied more this summer), but I know that "profund-" (whatever ending) is used to mean both deep (as in meaning), and deep as in going down. This dual meaning was picked up by English for the word "deep" and in French for the word "profunde" (Spelling?). This came up in my Latin class this year - one of our texts used profundus and I was asking my TA about it.
posted by jb at 12:29 PM on August 27, 2005

'Altius, diutius, madidius'?

1. 'Alte' usually means 'high', as in the Olympic motto, but can also be used to mean 'deep'.
2. 'Diu' (diutius, diutissime) is straightforward. (However, it tends to refer to situations lasting for a long time, which isn't quite what is intended here. Maybe what you really mean is 'further' (in the sense of 'pushing to the limit'), which would be 'ulterius'.)
3. 'Madide' would be the adverbial form of 'madidus' (like 'candide' from 'candidus'), hence 'madidius'. Unlike the other two words, 'madidius' doesn't quite ring true, but this probably doesn't matter -- this is a comic motto, after all, and an element of tongue-in-cheek fake Latinity would not be out of place. Just to give you a sense of the finer nuances: if you were an ancient Roman wanting to say 'I got caught in a thunderstorm last night, and I was soaked to the skin, absolutely fucking drenched', then 'madidus' is the word you'd use. It also has connotations of drunkenness, so 'madidius' could also be translated 'more drunkenly', which may be appropriate (or not, I don't know).

Alternatives to 'madidius'? Well, there's '(h)umidius', but that's more applicable to weather than to people. Or 'interius' (literally 'more inwardly'), which could serve as a slightly poetic way of saying 'soaked to the bone' -- but you're not writing a poem. Or 'aqualius' (or even 'aquatilius') which probably conveys your meaning as well as anything (you might use it if you wanted to say 'water's my native element .. the wetter the better for me') -- but this is rather fanciful, not really appropriate for a motto where you want something simple and obvious. No, better stick with 'madidius' is my advice.

(As always, translating into Latin is an excellent way of clarifying one's thoughts in English.)
posted by verstegan at 2:46 PM on August 27, 2005

At last, an actual Latinist! I was just about to e-mail Justin and ask him.
posted by languagehat at 4:48 PM on August 27, 2005

« Older Possibility of UK citizenship?   |   Is faster-than-light travel possible? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.