How do you translate this into Latin?
March 7, 2007 2:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm working on a logo for my school's student government. How do you translate "to improve student life" into Latin? How would you symbolically represent the executive branch if the judicial was a gavel and the legislative was a quill?
posted by FearAndLoathingInLJ to Education (14 answers total)
A sword has traditionally been the symbol for executive power.
posted by jefficator at 3:00 PM on March 7, 2007

Alma Mater, a Latin term traditionally associated with student governments, means "loving mother."
posted by sindark at 3:10 PM on March 7, 2007

With all due respect, is a Latin motto really necessary? Student "governments" succumb all too easily to pomposity and self-importance, which swiftly leads to irrelevance. As a student government, you're not exactly the Supreme Court — a little modesty goes a long way. An English motto would be instantly understood by all your 'subjects', unlike a Latin one. The prime purpose of superfluous Latin mottoes appears to be to allow those in the know to show off to those not in the know. An English motto suggests an egalitarian-minded group of student representatives working to improve their peers' lot, free of Latin's elitist connotations.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 3:13 PM on March 7, 2007 [5 favorites]

I also don't think a sword or any other executive symbol is appropriate. Student governments don't execute laws and enforce rules, they lobby the administration on behalf of the student body.
posted by ootsocsid at 4:29 PM on March 7, 2007

I think it's Amplio Discipulus Victus

Or barring that, Vendi Vidi School-y
posted by rileyray3000 at 4:31 PM on March 7, 2007

Best answer: I think it's Amplio Discipulus Victus

"I, a vanquished student, widen"? If you don't know any more Latin than that, why bother answering?

My Latin is pretty rusty, but how about "Ut vita discipulorum melior sit" [So that the life of the students may be better]?
posted by languagehat at 4:55 PM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

These days, I suspect an iron fist is the only appropriate symbol of executive power.

If you feeling diplomatic, show the iron fist shaking hands with a student fist. Or something like that. Really.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 6:53 PM on March 7, 2007

I'm with the bear above. A Latin motto, in the 21st century, seems a little pompous and self-important; especially attached to a student government.

For the executive branch of a student branch I might consider a laurel, an eagle, a bull, just about any weapon, a signet ring or seal-imprinter doohickey, or a torch. Were it my flag, I think that I would select a simple rod. A) it has awful deep primate symbolism with regards to power; B) nobody but students of ontology and feminists will ever ferret out what the fuck it means, so it's unlikely to ever offend anybody.
posted by Netzapper at 7:12 PM on March 7, 2007

From this list of university mottos, the nearest approximation I found was that of Grey College (Durham, UK): Gradibus ascendimus ("We ascend by degrees"). A nice double entendre, thought I!
posted by rob511 at 7:15 PM on March 7, 2007

Also just had to share the University of Potsdam's German motto: Klein aber fein ("Petite, yet elite").
posted by rob511 at 7:25 PM on March 7, 2007

Best answer: I might be too much of a smart-ass, but if I were in your place, I would absolutely go with a sword or an iron fist, and I would make the motto as flamboyantly pompous and self-important as possible. (What's Latin for "after us, the deluge"?) Might as well have a little fun with it.
posted by equalpants at 9:50 PM on March 7, 2007

I might be too much of a smart-ass, but if I were in your place, I would absolutely go with a sword or an iron fist

A sword, an Iron Fist, and a rod. Also the fist is clutching a lightning bolt.

Fuck yeah.

The French is apparently "Après nous le
déluge," which is both a> sufficiently pompous, and b> appears to be the actual language of the original/most notable use of the idiom.
posted by blenderfish at 2:05 AM on March 8, 2007

In German, it's "Nach uns die Sintflut" (actually, it's usually "nach mir die Sintflut" - the me making it much more in keeping with the self-centered tone of the statement, methinks)

and I had no idea that it's a usual phrase in English
posted by yggdrasil at 11:43 AM on March 8, 2007

Can someone explain what the University of Campeche's From Mystery Without a Dawn to Triangles of Light means? I read the official description and I still don't get it.
posted by lukemeister at 12:24 PM on March 10, 2007

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