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Question
I was wondering what the latin translation of the english phrase "Death is the only certainty in life" would be? I believe it is a quote from a poet, but i can't remember who.

Answer
Hello,

The English sentence "Death is the only certainty in life” is the translation of an aphorism written by the Danish Christian philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855).

Such an aphorism, which in full  reads as follows:“Death is the only certainty and the only thing about which nothing is certain” corresponds exactly to the Latin maxim:” Mors Certa, Hora Incerta” literally meaning:”Death is certain, its hour is uncertain”.

Anyway, if you are looking for  a translation of “Death is the only certainty in life" without the second part of Kierkegaard’s aphorism, here it is: ”Mors certa, vita incerta “ (literally, “Death is certain, life is uncertain”) which  is just equivalent to “Death is the only certainty in life".

To sum up, “Mors Certa, Hora Incerta” (Death is certain, its hour is uncertain) and “Mors certa, vita incerta “ (Death is certain, life is uncertain) are the correct translations for “Death is the only certainty and the only thing about which nothing is certain” and “Death is the only certainty in life” respectively.

Read more below.

Best regards,

Maria
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Note that:

-Mors (nominative case, 3rd declension) = death

-certa (adjective agreeing with the feminine noun MORS)= certain (with the verb “is” implied)

-hora (nominative case, 1st declension)= hour (with the possessive “its” and the verb “is” understood)

-incerta (adjective agreeing with the feminine noun HORA)= uncertain
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-Mors (nominative case, 3rd declension) = death

-certa (adjective agreeing with the feminine noun MORS)= certain (with the verb “is” implied)

-vita (nominative case, 1st declension)= life(with  the verb “is” understood)

-incerta (adjective agreeing with the feminine noun VITA)= uncertain

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Maria

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

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

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