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Ancient Languages/English to Latin Translation

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Question
I am creating a club and I would like the motto to be, "Let it not be said we did not do great things." I have tried looking it up from different sources, but none seem to agree. Is my grammar inaccurate for the language? I would deeply appreciate the translation. Thanks!

Answer
Hello,

“Nemo dicat nos magna non fecisse”  is the correct Latin translation for “Let it not be said we did not do great things”.

Please note that Latin cannot use the impersonal construction to say “Let it not be said”, but  must use a personal construction with the subject “Nemo”, meaning “Nobody”, which is followed by the hortatory subjunctive “dicat”, so that the literal meaning of “Nemo dicat” is “Let nobody says”.

In short, “Nemo dicat nos magna non fecisse”  literally means:” Let nobody says that we did not do great things”.

Read more below.

Best regards,

Maria
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Note that:

-Let nobody says = NEMO (nominative case) DICAT (3rd person singular, hortatory subjunctive present of the verb DICO)

-that we = NOS (accusative, subject of the object-clause which has the verb FECISSE in the infinitive mood)

-did not do =FECISSE (past infinitive of FACIO). The Latin object-clause takes the subject in the accusative and the verb in the infinitive mood.

-great things =MAGNA (neuter plural of the adjective MAGNUS .Note that  the word “things” is implied in the neuter plural MAGNA)


As you can see, Latin word order can be different from English for Latin is an inflected language where grammatical relationships are indicated by the ending, not by the order of the words.

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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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