He loved his children above everything else

effeundici

Senior Member
Italian - Tuscany
He loved his children above everything else

Hello everybody, this is what I would like to have on my grave as an epitaph. (In Italian : amò i suoi figli sopra ogni cosa).

How would you translate into Latin? This is a pretty important translation, right? The final version will stay in a cemetary for decades or centuries :)
Consider that the Italian version is what I really want to express.

Thanks

PS I am 53 therefore this post may be active and ready for the final version for a long long time. If you read this in 5 or 10 years feel free to suggest 🙃
 
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  • effeundici

    Senior Member
    Italian - Tuscany
    That's fantastic! I guess 99,99% of the persons in Italy will translate into " Mostly he deleted freedom" 🙃

    On a more serious note: isn't Liberos ambiguous in Latin? Does it really mean only children? And I would like to mean MY 2 children, not any children

    Hello,
    I'd suggest: Liberos super omnia delexit.
     

    Starless74

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    On a more serious note: isn't Liberos ambiguous in Latin? Does it really mean only children? And I would like to mean MY 2 children, not any children
    As far as I know, liberi (pl.) specifically indicates (your own) sons/daughters,
    while puer (m and f) is kid in general (regardless of their parents)
    and filius can be either a child or a whelp/puppy.

    If you're afraid of being 'misunderstood' you may also say: filios super omnia amavit (although amare usually has a more 'man/woman' meaning in Latin).

    Wait for more answers on this. :)
     
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    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The prefix is 'dis-' so it is spelled with an 'i' -- DILEXIT (In capitals here because it's difficult to distinguish the lower case 'i'. That won't be a problem if it is carved in stone.)

    In this context, I would always interpret 'liberos' as 'children', but filios is also suitable. Someone else may have an opinion on which is most common on memorials.

    The suffix '-os' is the way classical Latin refers to a group of children of both genders. However, assuming that you have daughters as well as sons, I would be inclined to specify both genders in a modern memorial -- liberos liberasque, or 'filias filiosque.' Even in classical texts, it is occasionally unclear whether 'liberos' includes the daughters. In your case, it would be important to be clear that all your children are equally loved, so no one imagines that they have been left out. In times of great loss, people vulnerable to doubts.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    saluete amici!

    First, in the light of the OP's Italian...
    amò i suoi figli sopra ogni cosa
    ...I can see little wrong with liberos (or far that matter filios) to cover both male and female offspring. Epitaphs do not need to be 'politically correct'. I suspect that many or most Romance-language speakers are less sensitive than we Anglo-Saxons to the awkwardness (more apparent, to me, than real) of masculine-gender plurals covering both male and female creatures.

    Secondly how about prae omnibus for 'sopra ogni cosa'?

    Σ
     
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    bearded

    Senior Member
    Standard Italian
    Hello Scholiast

    Just one question:
    If you say 'Filios pro omnibus dilexit' couldn't that 'pro omnibus' be understood as ''above all persons'' instead of ''above all things''(as requested)?
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Sorry (@bearded # 8)

    prae omnibus was my suggestion in # 7. And as omnibus may be construed as either masc./fem. or neuter, it is tantamount to 'before everything and everyone'.

    I should have added: your suggestion of proles I like, as it would include grandchildren if and when they appear. But liberos (suos) is closer to what effeundici was asking for.

    Σ
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    A further thought:

    Rhetorically, I am moved to wonder whether prae omnibus liberos suos dilexit might be a more effective word-order. Also, pace Cagey (# 5), one of the beauties of Latin is its capacity for epigrammatic concision, and my feeling is that liberos liberasque is inflated and otiose for the purpose.

    Σ
     

    effeundici

    Senior Member
    Italian - Tuscany
    Hi Scholiast . I am amazed by your knowledge and this sentence would really mean a lot to me. I'd like to post it in my whatsapp status and my epitaph too.
    But one has to accept reality.

    If I enter your wonderful Latin into Google translate it translates into this:

    flesh than all the children they are loved

    I cannot pay a Latinist to stand 24/7 next to my grave!!
     
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    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    @effeundici # 11

    Thank you for your amiable remarks.
    If I enter your wonderful Latin into Google translate it translates into this:

    flesh than all the children they are loved
    A good illustration of the utter and dire hopelessness of machine-translators. They can never cope, and I believe never will, with inflected languages such as Latin, Greek or Russian (I shudder to think of the number of people around the world with their arms or other bodily parts emblazoned with 'Latin' tattoos that are in fact gibberish, because they have consulted Google translate rather than a human being.)

    So let me explain my syntactical reasoning, word by word:

    prae: preposition taking ablative, meaning 'before', 'ahead of', 'in front of' (in merit or regard, not in time);
    omnibus: ablative plural of omnis ('all'), meaning, as explained in # 9, 'everyone'/'everything';
    liberos: accusative (plural—but the word in this sense is never used in the singular), hence direct object of the verb, for 'children';
    suos: = your original suoi, in adjectival agreement with liberos;
    dilexit: 3rd person singular, perfect, active, of diligo, diligere, 'to love'/'to cherish', so meaning 'he loved'.

    For a little while I wondered whether the imperfect diligebat might be more appropriate, as indicating a continuous past state or action. But on reflection, I think the perfect tense is more suitable, as it indicates an action or state that is finished.

    Glad to have been of service to you.

    Σ

    Edited afterthought: for the epitaph, you probably need to use upper-case throughout. In which case it would appear as:

    PRAE OMNIBVS LIBEROS SVOS DILEXIT

    And I would have it put into the Times Roman font. (Not the Times New Roman).
     
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    • Agree
    Reactions: Dib

    effeundici

    Senior Member
    Italian - Tuscany
    Grazie Scholiast, sono commosso


    @effeundici # 11

    Thank you for your amiable remarks.


    A good illustration of the utter and dire hopelessness of machine-translators. They can never cope, and I believe never will, with inflected languages such as Latin, Greek or Russian (I shudder to think of the number of people around the world with their arms or other bodily parts emblazoned with 'Latin' tattoos that are in fact gibberish, because they have consulted Google translate rather than a human being.)

    So let me explain my syntactical reasoning, word by word:

    prae: preposition taking ablative, meaning 'before', 'ahead of', 'in front of' (in merit or regard, not in time);
    omnibus: ablative plural of omnis ('all'), meaning, as explained in # 9, 'everyone'/'everything';
    liberos: accusative (plural—but the word in this sense is never used in the singular), hence direct object of the verb, for 'children';
    suos: = your original suoi, in adjectival agreement with liberos;
    dilexit: 3rd person singular, perfect, active, of diligo, diligere, 'to love'/'to cherish', so meaning 'he loved'.

    For a little while I wondered whether the imperfect diligebat might be more appropriate, as indicating a continuous past state or action. But on reflection, I think the perfect tense is more suitable, as it indicates an action or state that is finished.

    Glad to have been of service to you.

    Σ

    Edited afterthought: for the epitaph, you probably need to use upper-case throughout. In which case it would appear as:

    PRAE OMNIBVS LIBEROS SVOS DILEXIT

    And I would have it put into the Times Roman font. (Not the Times New Roman).
     
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