Need help translating into Latin
November 17, 2014 10:53 AM   Subscribe

I'm writing directions and want to translate them into Latin. The directions are: Straight 25 (meaning "walk straight forward for 25 paces") Right 25 (meaning "turn right, then walk 25 paces") Left 25 (meaning "turn left, then walk 25 paces") So the directions are very abbreviated. Would I say something like: Protenus 25 Dextra 25 Sinister 25?
posted by theelf2020 to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You've used noun/adjective forms for left and right, which is kind of odd; potential ways are to use prepositions (ad dextram, ad sinistram, literally "towards [your] right/left [hand]) or adverbs (dextrorsum, sinistrorsum, lit. rightwards/leftwards).

If you want to bring your "front" word in line with these, protenus works fine as an adverb but you could use priorsum; for a preposition, you could use ad frontem (in the direction of your brow) or perhaps ad ventrem, (in the direction of your belly).
posted by Maecenas at 11:04 AM on November 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

And don't forget to translate the numbers into Roman numerals. DEXTRORSVM XXV.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:28 AM on November 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

If you're doing this for people who aren't expected to know latin well, I would definitely use the 'ad x' forms that Maecenas mentioned, just because it will be easier to recognize and google for.
posted by empath at 11:37 AM on November 17, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you! Eventually, the Latin gets translated in the story, so I will use dextrorsum, sinistrorsum and either protenus or priorsum. I'm still on the fence about whether I will use Latin numerals or not. It's a long explanation, but in this case it actually makes sense that Latin would be mixed with Arabic numerals.
posted by theelf2020 at 4:32 PM on November 19, 2014

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