You are here:

Ancient Languages/origin of this phrase

Advertisement


Cris wrote at 2014-05-01 19:44:48
I beg to differ on your translation which could be read to mean that every man does make the world better.  In fact, a more accurate translation I believe would be: It is not a man he who does not make the world better.

In that respect the movie translation is closer to the intended meaning.


Maria wrote at 2014-05-05 06:50:49
To CRIS.

Please note that the sentence “It is not a man he who does not make the world better” would sound in classical Latin as “Vir non est qui mundum non reddat meliorem ”, while the other  translation that we read in Google, i.e.  “No one is a man who does not render the world better” should sound in classical Latin as :”Nemo vir est nisi mundum reddat meliorem”.



As you can see, both “Vir non est qui mundum non reddat meliorem ” and “Nemo vir est nisi mundum reddat meliorem” are different from “Nemo vir est qui mundum non reddat meliorem “ that in classical Latin literally means:” There is no man who does not make the world better”.



To conclude, the so-called “old Latin inscription” quoted in “Kingdom of Heaven” movie and translated as “It is not a man he who does not make the world better” or “No one is a man who does not render the world better” is incorrect.  


Ancient Languages

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

I am an expert in Latin & Ancient Greek Language and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

Education/Credentials
I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.