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Question
Hi, I'm writing a story for fan site and I was hoping to have an accurate translation that the main character will be using as a motto to live by. I've looked up on a few translation sites but the answers are changing and it may seem trivial, but when I'm saying/writing phrases I really want it to be the proper translation. My character has had a difficult life so I want her motto to be "Inhale the Future, Exhale the Past" meaning embrace the future and all that comes with it while letting the past go and not allowing it to interfere with your present and future.
Thank you so much for your time.
K.

Answer
Hello,

the motto "Inhale the Future, Exhale the Past" meaning “Embrace the future and all that comes with it, while letting the past go and not allowing it to interfere with your present and future”, as you say, can be translated as follows:

-“Futurum inhala tempus, praeteritum exhala”, if you want to keep in Latin the contraposition or wordplay “Inhale” /”Exhale”.

Or

-“Futurum vive tempus, praeteritum obliviscere ” (literally, “Live the future, forget the past”), if you want to point out that you live for the future while forgetting the past.


Read more below.

Best regards,

Maria
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Note that:

-Inhale = INHALA (2nd person singular, present imperative of the verb “inhalo”) or VIVE (2nd person singular, present imperative of the verb “vivo”)

-the Future = FUTURUM …TEMPUS (accusative neuter, 2nd declension, direct object)

-Exhale = EXHALA (2nd person singular, present imperative of the verb “exhalo”) or OBLIVISCERE (2nd person singular, present imperative of the deponent verb “obliviscor”)

-the Past = PRAETERITUM (accusative neuter, 2nd declension, direct object).

As you can see, Latin word order is different from English for  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, since the knowledge of grammar makes everyone able to understand the role of a word in a sentence.
In short, Latin differs from English in having more freedom in the arrangement of words for the purpose of showing the relative importance of the ideas in a sentence.

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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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