You are here:

Latin/latin phrase question

Advertisement


Question
Hi!
I've been trying to get som type of translation for the phrase "light shines through the darkest night" would it be possible to write something along the lines of "lux luceat per tenet noctis" or will that translate far from what I want it to say? Otherwise how can you translate just the part "through the darkest night" ? thanks in advance for your help!

Best regards

Answer
Hello,

The sentence "Light shines through the darkest night" translates correctly as “Lux in obscurissima lucet nocte”.

Apart from this literal translation, you can also say :”Lucet in tenebris lux” where "in tenebris" literally means "in the darkness of night".

Note that:

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

-shines =LUCET (3rd person singular, present indicative of LUCEO)

-through =IN (preposition which takes the ablative case)

-the darkest = OBSCURISSIMA (superlative of the adjective OBSCURUS agreeing with the ablative feminine NOCTE)

-night= NOCTE (ablative case of NOX, feminine noun, 3rd declension). Note that "in the darkest night" can also be translated as IN TENEBRIS where TENEBRIS is the ablative of the plural feminine noun TENEBRAE, 1st declension.

As you can see, Latin word order is different from English because Latin is an inflected language where grammatical/syntactic relationships are indicated by the ending of the words, not by their order.

Lastly, I have to tell you that "Lux luceat per tenet noctis" is wrong for the following reasons:

1)LUCEAT is a present subjunctive in Latin, not a present indicative, and then it would mean "may ..shine", not "shines";

2)PER TENET NOCTIS makes no sense in Latin as it would mean "through he holds of the night" which has nothing to do with "through the darkest night" of your sentence.

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

Best regards,

Maria

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.