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Latin Translation

by Nick
(Durban South Africa)

Dear Latin Teacher,


I am desperately trying to find the Latin translation of "trust only in yourself" as I want it for a tattoo so it really needs to be correct and have had no luck so far. Could you please help me?

Thanks, Nick


Dear Nick,

Trust in yourself is most simply tibi crede. Your use of the word only, however, has a few possibilities.

My first choice in translating only is to use the adjective solus, -a, -um, meaning only or alone. So your Latin tattoo would read tibi soli crede. (The words tibi and soli are both dative singular of any gender, working with the intransitive verb credere, and therefore the phrase works well for a man or a woman.)

If you don't like the look or the sound of that one, you may translate "only" with an adverb such as tantum . But really, I like the way soli works here. It reminds me of a famous line from Propertius addressed to his girl: tu mihi sola places (Translation: You alone are pleasing to me).

For a little variation in sound, you may want to change the order of the words. For example, tibi crede soli or soli crede tibi.

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

Sincerely,

John

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