You are here:

Latin/translation to latin

Advertisement


Question
hi Maria,

I would like to ask you what is the translation for the phrase do not try to understand everything because sometimes it is not meant to be understood but to be accepted as I want to get this engraved on my headstone

thanks Kieran

Answer
Hello,

if you are looking for a literal translation of the maxim you mention, here it is:

-“Noli omnia intellegere conari quia non  sunt interdum intellegenda, sed solum accipienda”, if “Do not try”  is addressed  to only one person  and thus corresponds to NOLI which is the 2nd.person singular of the Latin imperative form.

or:

-“Nolite omnia intellegere conari  quia non  sunt interdum intellegenda, sed solum accipienda”, if “Do not try” is addressed to many persons and thus corresponds to NOLITE which is the 2nd.person plural of the Latin imperative form.
Please note that Latin has in fact different endings for the imperative, according to the 2nd.person singular and 2nd.person plural, while English uses the same form, i.e. “Do not try”.

If on the contrary you want to get a phrase that sounds better in classical Latin and then would be more appropriate for a headstone, you should say:

-“Intellegi omnia non possunt, sed solum accipi” (literally, “Not all things  can be understood, but only be accepted”).
See below for grammatical analysis.

Best regards,
Maria
____________________________________________________________________
Note that in “Do not try to understand everything because sometimes it is not meant to be understood but to be accepted”:

-Do not = NOLI (2nd. person singular,present imperative of NOLO)  / NOLITE (2nd. person plural, present imperative of NOLO)

-try =CONARI (present infinitive of CONOR, I try)

-to understand = INTELLEGERE (present infinitive of INTELLEGO, I understand)

-everything =OMNIA (literally, “all things”. Neuter plural of OMNIS))

-because =QUIA (conjunction)

-sometimes = INTERDUM (adverb)

-it is not meant =  NON SUNT (literally, " must not", i.e. passive periphrastic, a Latin idiomatic construction that carries a sense of obligation or necessity ("must, have to").  )

-to be understood =INTELLEGENDA (Passive periphrastic, nominative neuter plural of the gerundive of the verb INTELLEGO, I understand. This gerundive agrees with the neuter plural  OMNIA).

-but = SED SOLUM (literally, "but only")

-to be accepted =ACCIPIENDA (Passive periphrastic,nominative neuter plural of the gerundive of the verb ACCIPIO, I accept. This gerundive agrees with the neuter plural  OMNIA).


As for “Intellegi omnia non possunt, sed solum accipi” meaning "Not all things  can be understood, but only be accepted”), note that:

-INTELLEGI (present infinitive passive of INTELLEGO, depending on POSSUNT)= be understood

-OMNIA (subject in the nominative neuter plural of OMNIS, all)= all things

-NON = not

-POSSUNT (3rd.person plural, present indicative of POSSUM, I can)= can

-SED = but

-SOLUM = only

-ACCIPI( present infinitive passive of ACCIPIO, depending on POSSUNT) = be accepted

Finally note that Latin word order can be different from English, simply because Latin is an inflected language where syntactical relationships are indicated by the ending, not by the order of the words.  

Latin

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature 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.