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Latin/Honestly not a tattoo question...


First things first, it’s not for a Tattoo… but it is for an art project: I love drawing/illustrating in my free time and like drawing banners and letters (calligraphy). For a new project I would like to translate the title of the song by the English 80’s band The Smiths “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” – I’ve put the sentence in different forms in Google Translate but I am never sure of the way individual words are translated, such as “Light” (like a lamp, the opposite of dark, or the opposite of heavy), and “goes out” (like in the synonym of “leaving a room” instead of "being extinguished”).
I am currently working on an illustration of an old sail ship on the ocean, beneath the surface a marine monster on the prey, and written on a banner above the ship the words “Facta est scientia tua Omnia” (“Knowledge is Everything”) – here I trusted Google Translate, hope it hasn’t gone wrong. I’m French so I had Latin in School, but I hated it. Now I’m in my forties and I wish I had paid attention.
If the illustration comes out nicely, I cannot guarantee it won’t be used for a Tattoo… but not my be :-)  


“There is a light that never goes out” translates correctly as “ Est lux quae numquam exstinguitur”,  where “lux”  means just  light as the opposite of the dark, and “exstinguitur” means “goes out” in the sense of “being extinguished”, as you say.

As for “Facta est scientia tua omnia”, I’m sorry, but it does not mean “Knowledge is Everything”, since its literal translation would be “Your (tua) knowledge (scientia) has become (facta est) all things (omnia)” which makes no sense at all.

So, the literal  translation for “Knowledge is Everything” would be “Omnia rerum est cognitio” which  points out that knowledge is everything in the sense that only knowledge means  everything to us as it can help us in all circumstances of life.

Anyway the best Latin translation for “Knowledge is Everything” would be the following:  “Maximi momenti rerum est cognitio” or "Rerum cognitio maximi est momenti" with a different word order which in Latin can be variable for Latin is an inflected language where grammatical relationships are indicated by the ending of the words, not by their order.

Note that both “Maximi momenti rerum est cognitio” and "Rerum cognitio maximi est momenti" literally mean “Knowledge is of the greatest moment/importance”, i.e. “Knowledge is very important”.

See below for grammatical analysis of  “Est lux quae numquam exstinguitur” , “Rerum cognitio omnia est” and “Maximi momenti rerum est cognitio”/"Rerum cognitio maximi est momenti".

Hope all is clear enough. Feel free however to ask me again.

As for what you are talking about the unfortunate event of an use of my translations for a tattoo, I really hope that this will not happen, as I really do not like the Dangerous practice of tattooing which spoils the beauty of body.

Best regards,

Note that:

-There is = EST (3rd person singular, present indicative of SUM)

-a light = LUX (nominative case, feminine noun, 3rd declension)

-that = QUAE ( relative pronoun in the nominative feminine agreeing with LUX)

-never = NUMQUAM (negative adverb)

-goes out  = EXSTINGUITUR (3rd person singular, present indicative, passive form of EXSTINGUO)

-Knowledge =RERUM COGNITIO (literally “Knowledge of the things” as the genitive plural RERUM, belonging to the 5th declension, means “of the things” and the nominative COGNITIO, belonging to the 3rd declension, means “knowledge”). Note hat "scientia" means "science" rather than "knowledge".

-is =EST (see above)

-everything = OMNIA (literally, "all things".Note that OMNIA is the nominative neuter plural of OMNIS, 3rd declension).
Instead of OMNIA you can use the genitive MAXIMI MOMENTI (literally, "of the greatest moment" since MAXIMI means "of the greatest" and MOMENTI means "moment/importance")  


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

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