You are here:

Latin/Help With Phrase


I'm writing a book about my journey in life and I want the title to be "It's always darkest before dawn", only in Latin. I love the language for its beauty but unfortunately I haven't been able to make the time to learn it. I saw that someone asked the same question on here, but I want to double check. I tried Google Translate and I came up with "Suus 'usquequaque exhibito ante lucem", I don't know if that is right. Please help me.


here are two translations that correspond to “It's always darkest before dawn” which cannot be literally translated  into Latin:

1)“Ante auroram nox obscurissima semper”
(literally, “Night before dawn [is ] always  darkest" where the verb into square brackets is omitted in Latin)

2)“Semper maxima sub aurora obscuritas”
(literally, “The darkness [is ] always greatest just before dawn” where the verb into square brackets is omitted in Latin)

[Read parsing below].

Both translations are correct, of course, and thus you can choose the one you like better.

As for Google Translation  "Suus usquequaque exhibito ante lucem”, I’m sorry, but it is absolutely wrong and makes no sense at all in Latin.

Best regards,

Note that:

-ANTE (preposition which takes the accusative case)= before
-AURORAM (accusative of AURORA, 1st.declension) = dawn
-NOX (subject,nominative case, feminine noun 3rd.declension)= night
-OBSCURISSIMA  (predicate adjective, superlative feminine of OBSCURUS agreed with NOX) = [is] darkest
-SEMPER (adverb) =always

-SEMPER(adverb) =always
-MAXIMA (predicate adjective, superlative feminine of MAGNUS agreed with OBSCURITAS) = [is] greatest
-SUB (preposition which takes the ablative case)= just before
-AURORA (ablative of AURORA, 1st.declension) =dawn
-OBSCURITAS (subject, nominative case,feminine noun 3rd.declension)= the darkness

As you can see, Latin word order can be different from English as Latin is an inflected language where syntactical relationships are indicated by the ending, not by the order of the words.
Moreover Latin often omits the verb EST meaning "is" as in "[is] darkest/ greatest".  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature 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).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 All rights reserved.