1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

What goes around comes arround

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by SaintaN, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. SaintaN New Member

    English and UK
    What goes around comes around.

    How do you say this in Latin?

    I found one translation and I came to the conclusion that it may be wrong so can somebody help on this one.

    Thank you

    xxx
     
  2. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    To my knowledge "going around" is an English idiom that has no equivalent expression in Latin. My attempt below is a rather free translation.

    homines accipiunt tamquam dant.
    People receive just as they give.
     
  3. SaintaN New Member

    English and UK
    Circumiret

    This word seemed like a logical word to use but I am not too sure it totaly applies here.

    I don't know if this helps...

    Thankyou again.
     
  4. alcesta Junior Member

    Podgorica
    Serbian, Montenegro
    Could this be of use?

    Qui ventum seminat, turbinem metet. (Who sows the wind, reaps the tempest).
     
  5. SaintaN New Member

    English and UK
    I am looking for a more direct translation, how does...

    ID QUOT CIRCUMIRET, CIRCUMVENIAT

    Sound, is that evern right or is it completely off.
     
  6. alcesta Junior Member

    Podgorica
    Serbian, Montenegro
    I'd say it's too litteral, because the English proverb has a more figurative meaning, quite different than verbs with circum- in Latin. If you want a direct translation and not an already existing Latin proverb, I think Flaminius gave you quite an acceptable one.
     
  7. SaintaN New Member

    English and UK
    Ahhh so that one is too litteral, I think I will go with Flaminius' sugestion, thanks again.

    Also thankyou Flaminius for your help.
     
  8. Bonjules Senior Member

    Caribbean
    German
    Well, to me it is kind of fun to try to replicate a good line in Latin.
    So, in principle, the above works fine, I think, and is prominently quoted today -as a headline - in the Independent.
    However, I question the verb forms. Admittedly, my Latin is a long way back, but wouldn't it be 'circumvenit'? (pres. ind.)

    Similarly, 'circumiret' doesn't sound like pres. ind. to me, which I find appropriate for a sweeping statement like this one. Tell me if I'm wrong!
    saludos

    P.S. By the way, how about skipping the 'Id'? Latin provervbs ar famous for sticking to the bare essentials and leaving out ballast. It also should be 'quod', not 'quot'.
    Lastly, to not confuse English learners, it is 'around', without the extra 'r', maybe the poster got confused by 'surround sound'?...
     
  9. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    SaintaN,
    The two cultures are now so far apart that I would avoid any attempt at a direct or literal translation.
    The same sentiment is admirably expressed by (I think) Virgil:

    "dabit deus his quoque finem"

    "God will put an end to these things too".

    Best wishes
    Virgilio
     
  10. clara mente Senior Member

    USA English
    To get back soley to the proper grammar of the original sentence, I would litterally translate this as follows. "Quod ciru(m)it, (quoque) circumveniat."
    However, as our esteemed members have already pointed out, this sentence has many subtle connotations and is open to a myriad of translations. Just one variation that I would put in off the top would be:"Quod circu(m)it, reveniat."
    As to a meaningful translation as to it's "intent" I'd have to ponder that a little more.
     
  11. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    What about Quod aliis bene facies, ad te aeque redibit (= What you do well to others will return to you in the same way)?
     
  12. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    Whodunit,
    A nice Latin translation but I don't think that that is the meaning of the expression, although I'm open to correction, of course.
    I think the expression means that fashions of behaviour, mores, popular ways of thinking come and go.
    For example, it is said many young couples now co-habit rather than getting married. This philosophy, I would guess, has been popular at intervals in the past also. Then young couples see the advantages of getting married and that becomes again popular.
    So, if someone were to offer the opinion that "marriage is outmoded", someone disagreeing might say:"No, What goes around, comes around. Just wait a while. It'll be back".
    People have such short memories and are so addicted to fashions that they have to keep re-inventing the wheel.

    Virgilio
     
  13. Bonjules Senior Member

    Caribbean
    German
    I agree totally with 'quod circumit'...., clara.
    On the smaller question of tense/mood, I don't see the the need for subjubctve. mood here (reveniat,circumveniat) if that's what it is.
    So I vote for : 'Quod circumit, circumvenit ( or, a good idea, I think, 'revenit').
    On the larger question on how to 'translate' something like this:
    Well, it depends on whether you approach this with a little humor or try to be a purist. To my knowledge, no exact equvalent for this exists in classical Latin. But the fact is that a lot of 'modern Latin' depends on association with/adaptation from modern languages.
    I think it is perfectly legitimate to 'translate' Latin that way, that is in a way that will only make sense if you know the other language/idiom. This is fun and can be quite creative.
    The extreme of it is some German 'kitchen - Latin' which is quite hilarious, but only makes 'sense' if you know German well!
    saludos
     
  14. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I'd like to be corrected whenever I'm wrong, too. However, we should first figure out which one is the correct meaning of the proverb. Here's something that supports my understanding of it:

    And another quote that would match your interpretation:

    Thanks for your reply. I'm looking forward to your reaction upon the first quotation. :)
     
  15. clara mente Senior Member

    USA English
    The very reason I used the subjunctive here is the "prima facie" meaning of the sentence as stated, i.e. What goes around (may indeed)come back(to haunt you!). This, I believe is strongly implied in the expression.
     
  16. virgilio Senior Member

    English UK
    Whodunit,
    Re your first quote, It seems quite a probable interpretation of the expression and is supported by alcesta's excellent suggestion "qui ventum seminat, turbinem metet", like the Spanish:"Quien siembra vientos, recoge tempestades" and the English "Sow the wind, reap the wild wind!".
    It's just that, whenever I personally have heard it, it has been in a context which suggested the kind of interpretation I outlined above.
    The two ideas are in any case closely connected.
    All the best
    Virgilio
     
  17. Bonjules Senior Member

    Caribbean
    German
    Hello,
    Just saw Virgilio's and Dr. Who' posts.

    I think WDI is right in his most recent post ( I disagree with the earlier one, since the English saying has a clearly NEGATIVE connotation), but it is even broader than that: As I understand it, participating in Any 'negative', harmful activity, individually or collectively (the environment, e.g.) will sooner or later come back to haunt you.
    saludos
     
  18. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    How about this one? (Found here.)

    Quae enim seminaverit homo, haec et metet.
    What you sow, you must mow.
     
  19. Bonjules Senior Member

    Caribbean
    German
    So it seems to depend on how strongly you interpret the 'comes around'.
    You seem to see it as a mere possibility.
    To me it sounds (rightly or wrongly) like a fairly categorical fact, the way the proverb comes across (that in 'real life' justice is not always meted out, is true, but another matter).
    saludos
     
  20. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    A literal translation should be For what man(kind) is to sow, that he will also mow. I don't think it has the same meaning, plus I'm not sure about the form of seminaverit, which can be either subjunctive perfect or indicative future II.

    Assuming that how Bonjules interpretes the proverb is correct, I'd change my suggestion to:

    Quod aliis male facies, ad te aeque redibit.

    I'm not certain about quod vs. quae and ad te vs. tibi.
     
  21. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    My criticism to that translation is that the English proverb doesn't just refer to negative actions. I think it says that negative and positive actions alike will be rewarded proportionately.
     
  22. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Okay, then striking male or bene would be the best choice. :)
     
  23. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    In my opinion, the English expression means "If you do something to someone, the same will (one day) happen to you". It's employed in negative circumstances.

    For example, if you keep stealing from people and then one day, somebody steals all your belongings, then someone could say to you "Whatever goes around, comes around".

    On the other hand, say you always buy people presents. Then one day, someone buys you a really nice present, then it would be strange to say "Whatever goes around, comes around" because this is something positive.
     
  24. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Now I'm not sure what I should believe, but here are the options in Latin I can offer so far:

    Quod aliis male facies, ad te aeque redibit.
    --> negative connotation only

    Quod aliis bene facies, ad te aeque redibit.
    --> positive connotation only

    Quod aliis facies, ad te aeque redibit.
    --> neutral, implies neither a negative nor a postive deed and can be used in either context
     
  25. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Trust Linguist786. He's a native speaker. I probably associate this saying too much with the idea of karma (which may bring positive or negative consquences). But I have to agree that I've always heard it employed with a negative sense.
     

Share This Page