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Latin Phrases: Strength, Hope

by Caroline
(Doylestown, Pa, USA)

Dear Latin Teacher,

I would like to know the translation of the phrase "have hope, be strong, and seize the day" in Latin. I know "seize the day" is carpe diem, I just do not know the translation of "have hope, be strong"


Dear Caroline,

Since you are using a quote from the Roman poet Horace in carpe diem, why not use the poet Catullus and the orator Cicero to help express the other two pieces?

The Latin word for hope is spes, spei. In Cicero, we find the phrase spem habere, meaning to have hope or to entertain hope. The imperative is spem habe! (Have hope!)

As for saying be strong, there are many shades of meaning in the word strength, and the Romans had many words and phrases to mean strong. From the tone of your phrases, it seems you are looking for mental toughness or strength of mind.

In that context Catullus uses the verbs perferre, to bear through to the end, and obdurare, to remain firm, hold out, persist. Ovid also uses them together. The imperative forms are perfer, obdura.

So your whole translation would be Perfer, spem habe, et carpe diem.

If by strong you mean physical health, then you might use the adjective validus or valida, depending on the gender of the strong person.

If this is your meaning, then the whole translation is validus esto, spem habe, et carpe diem. (Substitue valida for validus if the strong person is female.)

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



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Quote Translation: You can always find your way home
by: Caiti

Hi Latin Teacher! :)

I was wondering what the translation is for "YOU CAN ALWAYS FIND YOUR WAY BACK HOME" OR "ALWAYS FIND YOUR WAY BACK HOME" I know always is semper, but I have been finding another word being used as well, uquequaque, and domus or domum for home.


Off the top of my head, try: viam domum semper invenire potes.

Hope this helps!



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