You are here:

Ancient Languages/Translation question



I'm looking for a translation into latin of the phrase "Life without Love is pain" for an engraving I am creating.  

Google Translate came up with "Vita absque amore est dolorem" I just wanted to spot check that with an expert.

Thank you so much!



“Tristis est sine Amore vita” as well as “Maesta est sine Amore vita “ are two correct translations for “Life without Love is pain".

Please note that both “Tristis est sine Amore vita” and “Maesta est sine Amore vita” literally mean :”Life without love is  sorrowful/unhappy”.

Latin in fact prefers to use an adjective (tristis/ maesta) rather than a noun (dolor) and then  uses the adjectives “tristis” or ”maesta” as in   “Tristis est sine Amore vita” and “Maesta est sine Amore vita”  rather than the noun “dolor” (“pain”) as in “Vita sine amore est dolor” (literally “Life without Love is pain”)which is bad Latin.

See below for grammatical analysis.

As for “Vita absque amore est dolorem", I’m sorry, but it is grammatically incorrect for the following reasons:

1)the preposition ABSQUE is rarely used and moreover does not  mean “without”, but “from/away from/ out of/ by”.

2)the noun “dolorem” in the accusative case of “dolor” is grammatically wrong, since it should be in the nominative case, i.e.“dolor”

3)Latin prefers to use an adjective (tristis/ maesta) rather than a noun (dolor).

Hope all is clear enough.

Best regards,
Note that:

-Life = VITA (subject, nominative case, 1st. declension)
-without =SINE (preposition which takes the ablative)
-Love = AMORE (ablative of AMOR, 3rd.declension)
-is = EST (3rd.person singular, present indicative of SUM, I am)
-pain =TRISTIS or MAESTA (predicate adjectives in the nominative feminine singular agreed with  VITA).
As I’ve already said, Latin does not use the noun DOLOR  that however should be in  the nominative case as a predicate noun, NOT in the accusative (DOLOREM).

Lastly, note that Latin word order can be different from English, since Latin is an inflected language where synctatical relationships are indicated by the ending, not by the order of the words.

Ancient Languages

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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


Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 All rights reserved.