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Latin language translation

by Yannick Poirel
(Denmark)

Greetings!


First, I will thank you for even the chance of looking at my question. I like to get my things right, and you're the person that I'm sure will set things in stone for me.

My questions is rather simple:

Does the phrase Veritas est mortem follow the right grammatic rules for Latin? Or is there some other way to get the meaning "The Truth is dead" coined?

Thank you so much in advance.

Best regards,
Yannick


Dear Yannick,

The Latin phrase you have submitted has a funny, unintended meaning. Veritas est mortem means "Truth is eating death".

To arrive at the meaning you intend: Veritas est mortua: The truth is dead.

Truth is a feminine noun in Latin, and so needs a feminine adjective (mortuus, mortua, mortuum) to modify it.

Mors, mortis is a third declension noun: Death. So mortem is death as a direct object.

The verb est with a short -e- means "is", the same spelling with a long -e- means "he/she/it is eating".





Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.

Sincerely,

John

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Edo, edere and veritas
by: Anonymous

This is great! I am trying to get my students to recognize the difference between a sentence that has a transitive verb and a direct object and one that has a linking verb and a predicate nominative. This is the perfect example!

Since edo, edere can also be translated "devour" or "destroy", could we say that "Truth is devouring/destroying death". This might take the thought in a more theological direction. What is your reaction to this translation?

Linda
NJ homeschool Latin teacher


Although the original Latin phrase was just a mistake, I think, it does have a real meaning. And I love the idea of exploring how truth might devour or destroy death. Basic grammar and higher order thinking in the same short Latin phrase!

John


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