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QUESTION: Hi, I wonder if you can help me. I have been searching for some phrases and seem to get several different meanings so I am confused. What would be the correct way to spell and pronounce "following in your footsteps" ? I hope you are able to help me. Thanks, Joe

ANSWER: Hello,

“Following in your footsteps” as a figurative idiom meaning that you are imitating a person as a guide or pattern can be translated as follows:

1)“Te vestigiis persequens” as well as “Tua persequens vestigia”, if “following” is a present participle agreed with an omitted  subject as in “I’d like to live following in your footsteps”.

2)“Te vestigiis persequi” as well as “Tua persequi vestigia”, if “following”   is a  present infinitive as in “To follow in your footsteps”.

Read more below.

Please let me know, if “Following in your footsteps” really means that you are imitating a person as a guide or pattern just in a figurative sense.

As for the correct way to pronounce the aforesaid translations, I'll tell you it when you confirm that “Following in your footsteps” is just a metaphor/figurative expression.

Best regards,
Maria
___________________________________________________________________________
Note that:

-Following = PERSEQUENS (nominative case, present participle of the deponent verb PERSEQUOR, I follow) or PERSEQUI (present infinitive of the deponent verb PERSEQUOR)

-in your = TE (accusative case, 2nd.person singular pronoun) or TUA ( neuter  accusative plural of the possessive TUUS agreed with VESTIGIA).

-footsteps =VESTIGIIS (ablative case, neuter plural of the noun VESTIGIUM) or VESTIGIA (accusative, neuter plural of VESTIGIUM, 2nd.declension).

As for “your”, I have to point out that  Latin uses TE or TUA, if they refer to a 2nd.person SINGULAR, while VOS and VESTRA would refer to a 2nd.person PLURAL respectively.
In fact, Latin has different forms, depending on “your” refers to only one person  (TE or TUA in this phrase) or many persons (VOS and VESTRA in this phrase).

Also, note that Latin word order can be variable as a Latin is an inflected language where synctatic relationships are indicated by the endings, not by the order of the words.


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

QUESTION: Hi Maria,

Thank you for replying to my question. I would say that it is meant to be following a persons pattern like your 2nd example "to follow in your footsteps"

Regards

Joe

Answer
Hello,

here’s the pronunciation of  “Te vestigiis persequi”  and “Tua persequi vestigia” (“To follow in your footsteps” just meaning to be following a person’s pattern):


-T is pronounced like the T in “table”
-E is pronounced like the E in “specify”

-V is pronounced like the V in “vase”
-E is pronounced like the E in “specify”
-STI is pronounced like STI in “stimulate”. The accent stands on this syllable.
-GII is pronounced like GI in “ginger”
-S is pronounced like S in “specify”


-P is pronounced like P in “point”
-E is pronounced like the E in “specify”.The accent stands on this vowel.
-R is pronounced like R in “ring”
-SE is pronounced like SE in “second”
-QU is pronounced like QU in “quite”
-I is pronounced like the I in “finish”



-TUA is pronounced like TUA in “Tuareg”. The accent stands on the U.


-P is pronounced like P in “point”
-E is pronounced like the E in “specify”.The accent stands on this vowel.
-R is pronounced like R in “ring”
-SE is pronounced like SE in “second”
-QU is pronounced like QU in “quite”
-I is pronounced like the I in “finish


-V is pronounced like the V in “vase”
-E is pronounced like the E in “specify”
-STI is pronounced like STI in “stimulate”. The accent stands on this syllable.
-GI is pronounced like GI in “ginger”
-A is pronounced like A in “father”

Hope this is clear enough.
Regards,
Maria

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Maria

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

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