You are here:

Ancient Languages/"The readiness is all"

Advertisement


Question
Hello, I'm a student of Spanish and Italian, studying Latin on my own.  I'm trying to figure out how to translate into Latin the line from Hamlet "The readiness is all".  It's very difficult as I can only find Latin words for "preparation" or "willingness", which is not necessarily the same thing as being ready in one's mind.  Then again, in Latin it may.  Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Answer
Hello,

first of all I have to point out that no literal translation is possible for this line from Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2, 237.

Latin in fact , as a very concrete language, prefers to use  a verb instead of the  abstract noun “readiness”  and therefore  prefers to translate “Readiness is all” as if it were “What’s important is to be prepared  to everything”’, just because Hamlet claims that whatever is destined to happen will happen soon enough, while if it’s supposed to happen later, it won’t happen now, and so what’s important is to be prepared .


So, in the light of what I’ve said, “The readiness is all" (as being ready in one's mind) can be translated as follows:

-“Ad omnia esse paratos: hoc magni interest “ (What’s important is to be prepared  to everything)

-“Ad omnia esse paratos:hoc caput est”  (What’s important is to be prepared  to everything)

-“Hoc unum agitur: ad omnia esse paratos” (What’s important is to be prepared  to everything)


All these Latin sentences are correct, of course, and therefore you can choose the one you like best.

Read more below.
Best regards,
Maria
____________________________________________________________________________
Note that:

-What’s important is = HOC MAGNI INTEREST / HOC CAPUT EST / HOC UNUM AGITUR

-to be prepared = ESSE PARATOS (Latin uses the accusative plural PARATOS a a subject of the infinitive ESSE).

-to everything =AD OMNIA

Latin word order can be different from English simply because Latin is an inflected language where grammatical/syntactical relationships are indicated by the endings, not by the order of the words.

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.