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Thread: Dum Spiro Spero

  1. #1
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    Dum Spiro Spero

    Does anyone know what the English translation is for the Latin phrase above?

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    Re: Dum Spiro Spero

    Bonjour GeorgiaL,
    Welcome to the forum!

    As you have posted your question to the Multilingual Glossaries forum, which has nothing to do with Latin, I am moving it to the Other Languages forum, where you have better chances to get some replies.
    Si le rire est le propre de l'homme, pourquoi faire de sales blagues, hein ?

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    Re: Dum Spiro Spero

    Thanks for that! Put it down to Newbie ignorance!

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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero





    I have found the following translation here (Walker family) and here:

    While I breathe I hope.
    Si le rire est le propre de l'homme, pourquoi faire de sales blagues, hein ?

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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    That was quick! Thank you very much indeed for your help.

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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    hi! that translation was not exact, it means: as long as i breath i'm hoping
    groove, jazzsigi

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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzsigi
    hi! that translation was not exact, it means: as long as i breath i'm hoping
    groove, jazzsigi
    I second that, because "while I breathe I hope" doesn't make much sense, although "dum" can mean both "while" and "as long as". Just depends on context.
    Wer keine großen Dinge vollbringen kann, tue kleine in großem Maße. — Free translation of Napoleon Hill's citation —

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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    I've always found "As I breath I hope" to be more poetic.

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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    Quote Originally Posted by Whodunit
    I second that, because "while I breathe I hope" doesn't make much sense, although "dum" can mean both "while" and "as long as". Just depends on context.
    I'm no expert in latin, so I can't argue translations, but I don't see how 'while' can be seen as not making sense. 'While' basically means 'as long as'. "while: n. 1) during or throughout the time that; as. 2) a) at the same time that..."

    in my OPINION, replacing 'while' with 'as long as', is just reducing the quotation to simpler terms.

    Everywhere I have ever seen 'dum spiro spero' it has been translated as 'while I breathe I hope'.

  10. #10
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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    I like the Haitian Creole paraphrase of this: OU GENYEN LAVI GENYEN LESPWA by which they means IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS; or literally WHERE THERE IS LIFE THERE IS HOPE. I have always found it concise and encouraging.
    Yours

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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    Quote Originally Posted by An0ther0ne
    in my OPINION, replacing 'while' with 'as long as', is just reducing the quotation to simpler terms.
    IMO the difference is slightly: while means that you are doing something in concomitance to something else, "I eat my sandwich while I was watching Television, ", I can eat some sandwiches also after I have stoped to watch television.
    "I live as long as I breath", means I can't live after stoping breating....
    Excuse me for my bad english, I hope I manage to express my thought.
    Ciao

  12. #12
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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    Dum spiro spero.

    The perfect, most simple translation, is (as stated above):

    "While I breath, I hope."

    It cannot be anything else and remain literal (literal is not always good, but here it is clear).

    For all clarity, however, here is a longer translation:

    "While I yet have breath in my lungs, I will continue to have hope."
    N'hésitez pas à corriger mon français.

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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    As far as I am concerned, the most accurate and meaningful translation of DUM SPIRO, SPERO is: As long as I live (breath), I hope. I think that with simple saying "While I breath, I hope", the actual meaning of the proverb is lost in translation. Does anyone know who actually said "DUM SPIRO, SPERO?" I am trying to find out because I want to quote it in a piece of written work, but I had no luck so far... I know it is not anonymous, if I remember rightly, it was a roman philosopher, but cannot remember who. Anyone could help me please?
    Thanks!


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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    Quote Originally Posted by justme7
    As far as I am concerned, the most accurate and meaningful translation of DUM SPIRO, SPERO is: As long as I live (breath), I hope. I think that with simple saying "While I breath, I hope", the actual meaning of the proverb is lost in translation. Does anyone know who actually said "DUM SPIRO, SPERO?" I am trying to find out because I want to quote it in a piece of written work, but I had no luck so far... I know it is not anonymous, if I remember rightly, it was a roman philosopher, but cannot remember who. Anyone could help me please?
    Thanks!

    It was written by Cicero.

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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    I've got it! Better late, than never I suppose, but my Dad just researched it for me (obviously the old fashioned book of quotes is still the best...) and put me out of my misery. The quote "DUM SPIRO, SPERO" is from OVIDIUS.
    This made my day (aren't I easy to please?)
    Have a nice day everyone, and thank you!:-)

  16. #16
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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    proverbs have no authors !

  17. #17
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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    That's right. Sorry, my mistake. Dum Spiro, Spero is a QUOTE. Obviously. But that was not the question anyway.

  18. #18
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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    Quote Originally Posted by dinis
    I like the Haitian Creole paraphrase of this: OU GENYEN LAVI GENYEN LESPWA by which they means IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS; or literally WHERE THERE IS LIFE THERE IS HOPE.
    in French : Tant qu'il y a de la vie, il y a de l'espoir.
    Mais cela ne vaut pas la formule d'Ovide (ou de Cicéron ) !

    proverbs have no authors !
    Mais si, Anne, assez souvent ! Just have a look at #11 & 12 in
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=57860, for example...
    Last edited by xav; 5th January 2006 at 4:09 PM.

  19. #19
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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    Quote Originally Posted by dinis
    I like the Haitian Creole paraphrase of this: OU GENYEN LAVI GENYEN LESPWA by which they means IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS; or literally WHERE THERE IS LIFE THERE IS HOPE. I have always found it concise and encouraging.
    It's not a literal translation, but it certainly is the best one.
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

  20. #20
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    Re: Latin: Dum Spiro Spero

    Quote Originally Posted by justme7
    As far as I am concerned, the most accurate and meaningful translation of DUM SPIRO, SPERO is: As long as I live (breath), I hope. I think that with simply saying "While I breath, I hope", the actual meaning of the proverb is lost in translation. Does anyone know who actually said "DUM SPIRO, SPERO?" I am trying to find out because I want to quote it in a piece of written work, but I had no luck so far... I know it is not anonymous, if I remember rightly, it was a roman philosopher, but cannot remember who. Anyone could help me please?
    Thanks!

    Hi everyone,

    I liked this translation most, but I think it is just a matter of personal preference.
    However, there seems to be some confusion about who said it, I thought it was Publius Ovidius Naso, but I'm not so sure anymore, it was a long time ago when I learnt these things... It bugs me now, so anyone knows for sure? Any Web references? I checked a few sites, but it either came back that it is a prowerb, or inconclusive. Any ideas on the origin?

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