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Ancient Languages/Phrase from Rudyard Kipling's



I was wondering if you could help me translate a small section of Rudyard Kipling's "If" into Latin.
I would like to put it on the wall of my classroom.

The phrase is:

If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.

Then please let me know what a appropriate donation amount would be.  (:

ANSWER: Hello,

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster/and treat those two impostors just the same…” (lines 11-12 in  Rudyard Kipling's "If" ) can be translated as follows:

“Si Triumphum ac Cladem  adire potes/ et eodem modo  duos illos habere fraudatores…”

Please note that:

-If = SI

-you can =POTES (2nd person singular, present indicative of POSSUM)

-meet with = ADIRE (present infinitive of ADEO, depending on POTES)

-Triumph =TRIUMPHUM (accusative case of TRIUMPHUS, 2nd declension; direct object depending on ADIRE)

-and = AC

-Disaster = CLADEM (accusative case of CLADES, 3rd declension; direct object depending on ADIRE)

-and = ET

-treat = HABERE (present infinitive of HABEO depending on POTES)

-those = ILLOS (demonstrative adjective, accusative masculine plural agreeing with FRAUDATORES)

-two = DUOS ( cardinal number, accusative masculine plural agreeing with FRAUDATORES)

-impostors = FRAUDATORES (direct object, accusative plural of FRAUDATOR, 3rd declension)

-just the same =EODEM MODO (ablative of Manner)

As you can see, Latin word order is different from English for  Latin is an inflected language where grammatical/syntactical relationships are indicated by the ending of the words, not by their order. Therefore it is not necessary to adhere to a strictly defined order, since the knowledge of grammar makes everyone able to understand the role of a word in a sentence.
In short, Latin differs from English in having more freedom in the arrangement of words for the purpose of showing the relative importance of the ideas in a sentence.

Hope all is clear enough.

Best regards,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much Maria. For my poster, would it make a huge difference in the meaning if I ordered the words like this:

Si adire potes
et eodem modo
duos illos habere

ANSWER: There is not a huge difference in the meaning if you use the following word order where however you must write CLADEM (see my translation), not CLADUM which is wrong in this context:

Si adire potes
et eodem modo
duos illos habere

So, be very careful to copy exactly  the ending of the words just I’ve written them in my translation because in Latin every ending indicates a different case and a different role in a sentence.
For example CLADUM is a gentive plural,which would be wrong in the above-mentioned sentence, while CLADEM is the accusative singular as it is just a direct object in this context.

Have a nice day,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much again Maria.

You're going to get sick of me. Sorry.

Could I replace "fraudatores" with "impostores"?

If you really want to use  the accusative plural “impostores” instead of  “fraudatores”, I have to tell you that the accusative plural “impostores” is a post-classical  term, i.e. a word used in the  Late Latin, which is  the scholarly name for the written Latin of Late Antiquity.
In short, the accusative plural “fraudatores” is the best term for the English word “impostors”, whereas the accusative plural “impostores” (hence English "impostors") is Late Latin.


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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.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

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