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Question
I have been commissioned to design an emblem of a squadron of the United States Civil Air Patrol.  The motto that they would like is "Service to Others Is Service to the Country."  

A friend of mine translated this as "inservare alliorum est insevare patrium."  My client would like me to double-check this work by getting an expert opinion.  

Your assistance in this would be much appreciated.

Answer
Hello,

The motto “Service to Others Is Service to the Country” translates correctly as follows:

-“Aliis servire, patriae est servire”.

Please note that "aliis" is the translation of "to Others"; "servire" is the translation of "service";"patriae" is the translation of  "to the country";"est" is the translation of  "is"; "servire" is the translation of "service", as you can read below in the grammatical analysis.

Also, note that in Latin the comma after "Aliis servire" serves to emphasize the concept of "Service to Others".

As you can see, Latin word order can be different from English for Latin is an inflected language where syntactical relationships are indicated by the inflectional endings, not by the order of the words so that a reader or listener who knows Latin grammar  and syntax can  easily discern the case of a word or the mood and tense of a verb and then can easily know the function of each word in the context.

With regard to the translation “Inservare alliorum est insevare patrium”, I'm sorry, but it is absolutely wrong and then makes no sense at all in Latin.

Hope this can be useful to you. Feel free however to ask me again.

Best regards,

Maria
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Grammatical analysis:

-Service = SERVIRE (present infinitive of the verb SERVIO which takes the dative case).
Latin uses the verb SERVIRE instead of the  nouns "servitium" or "servitus" for they both mean "slavery"/"servitude" as the condition of a slave or servant, which is not what the motto wants to say, of course.

-to Others =ALIIS (dative plural of the pronoun ALIUS. Such a dative depends on SERVIRE)

-Is = EST (3rd person singular, present indicative of the verb SUM)

-Service = SERVIRE (see above)

-to the Country =PATRIAE (dative singular of the noun PATRIA, 1st declension).
Note that PATRIA means just “country”, “native land”, “fatherland”.

As I've already said, Latin word order can be different from English for Latin is an inflected language where syntactical relationships are indicated by the inflectional endings, not by the order of the words. Therefore it is not necessary to adhere to a strictly defined order and then there is more freedom in the arrangement of words for the purpose of showing the relative importance of the ideas in a sentence, since Latin indicates the role of the words in a sentence by word endings, not by their 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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