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Question
Hi Maria,
My two young children and myself are trying to create our own family coat of arms. We would like to add some Latin as a family motto to the coat. I am always on at them about believing in themselves and believing in their dreams and not being afraid. I am also very passionate that we all look after one another and that family will always come first.

Would you be so kind as to translate into Latin the following phrases?-

-Believe
-Family always first
-Family first
-Follow your dreams

Many thanks and I look forward to your reply.
Oh and feel free to chuck in any other relevant Latin quotes we may use.

Dean

Answer
Hello,

glad to help you in creating your own family coat of arms.

So, here are the translations you need:

-“Believe”, in the sense of  trusting in yourself, translates as follows:

1) “Tibi ipsi confide” or simply “Tibi confide”, if the imperative mood is addressed to only one person (2nd person singular).  

2)“Vobis ipsis confidite” or “simply “Vobis confidite”, if the command is addressed to more than one  person (2nd person plural).

In Latin in fact there are different verb forms and pronouns, depending on the fact that we are addressing to a 2nd person singular or to a 2nd person plural, differently from English where “you” is used either for the 2nd person singular or for the 2nd person plural.



-“Family always first”  translates as “Primum Familia semper”.


-“Family first” translates as  “Primum Familia”.



-“Follow your dreams”, in the sense that one must follow his hopes/desires, translates as follows:

1)"Tua sequere vota”, if the command is addressed to only one person (2nd person singular);  

2)“Vestra sequimini vota”, if the command is addressed to more than one  person (2nd person plural).

Please note that Latin uses the word “somnium” (nominative neuter singular)  to mean “dream” in the sense of  "a series of events or images that happen in your mind when you are sleeping" as well as in the sense of a whim, i.e. "a sudden wish or idea, especially one that cannot be reasonably explained", but  not to refer to something that you want to happen very much.

On the contrary  the Latin noun “votum” (nominative neuter singular) is used to refer to a wish, a desire, a hope, i.e.” something good that you want to happen in the future, or a confident feeling about what will happen in the future”.

Hope this is clear enough. Feel free however to ask me again, if I misunderstood the sense of your words.

Best regards,

Maria
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GRAMMATICAL ANALYSIS

-Believe = TIBI (dative singular of the pronoun “tu” =you) IPSI (dative singular of IPSE =self) or VOBIS (dative plural of the 2nd person plural pronoun “vos”) IPSIS  (dative plural of IPSE) CONFIDE (2nd person singular, present imperative of  the verb CONFIDO which takes the dative case) or CONFIDITE (2nd person plural, present imperative of CONFIDO which takes the dative case) .
So, “Tibi confide”as well as "Tibi ipsi confide" mean “Believe in yourself”, while  “Vobis confidite” as well as "Vobis ipsis confidite"  mean “Believe in yourselves”.



-Family = FAMILIA (nominative case, feminine noun, 1st declension)
-always =SEMPER (adverb)
-first = PRIMUM (adverb)



-Follow = SEQUERE (2nd person singular, present imperative of the deponent verb SEQUOR)or SEQUIMINI (2nd person plural, present imperative of the deponent verb SEQUOR)

-your  = TUA (accusative neuter plural of the 2nd person singular possessive adjective TUUS agreeing with VOTA) or VESTRA (accusative neuter plural of the 2nd person  plural possessive adjective VESTER agreeing with VOTA)

-dreams =VOTA (direct object, accusative plural of the neuter noun VOTUM, 2nd declension)

As you can see, Latin word order can be different from English because 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.

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Maria

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I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature 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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