Live and Let Live

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by lajng, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. lajng New Member

    United States, English

    I'm looking for the Latin translation of the phrase "Live and Let Live". I've found "Dum Vivimus, Vivamus" which translates into "while we live, let us live" but its not quite right. Any help is appreciated!
  2. Deccius Member

    English U.S.
    Vive et vivas (all singular) = Live and Let live
  3. Lorenzo Italiae Senior Member

    Italian - Italy
    I'm sorry but I don't agree with you about that vivas : which kind of indipendent subjunctive do you use it as? esortative? potential? dubitative? any of volitives? I can't understand it. Anyway I don't think that there is any of them that conveys the idea of permission (LET live).
    I would translate: Vive et vivere sine.
  4. Deccius Member

    English U.S.
    Um...I should have written "Vive et vivat", no? I was thinking it might be a jussive subjunctive. I don't really think this "let" expresses permission, do you? That's the reason I didn't use the verb "sinere".
  5. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    I think vive et viva(n)t is a very good translation.
  6. Lorenzo Italiae Senior Member

    Italian - Italy
    :confused: well... "vive et viva(n)t" is more suitable in my opinion, though less literal. Anyway, yes, it's kinda permission, to me. Otherwise how would you consider it? Jussive-exhortative? This could work, as this is the idea conveyed [you should let people live], isn't it?
    But the problem is with the latin verb: vivere means only "to live", and I don't think that it also means "to let someone live". So, tu sum up, I would agree with your using an exhortative subjunctive, which conveys the idea of a moderate order, but I believe that the meaning of the grammatical tense cannot modify the meaning of the verb "vivere".
    Infact I would translate "vivas" as "live" and not as "let live".
    It's a bit confused :confused: :confused: :confused: someone help us!!
  7. Joca

    Joca Senior Member

    Florianópolis, Brazil
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Although my Latin is (still) very poor, I'd venture to say something.

    I like it this way: Vive et vivere sine. It's more in line with the original.

    But I think you could also use the verb patior:

    Vive et vivi patere.

    Will someone please check the latter for me?


  8. judkinsc

    judkinsc Senior Member

    English, USA
    Vive et alteros vivere permitte, perhaps.

    "Let" is often translated with the iussive subjunctive, but the meaning may be obscured with its usage here. "Vive et vivant" seems good, though: "live and let them live."
  9. clara mente Senior Member

    USA English
    Why not try the passive voice hear :"Vive et vivatur."
  10. judkinsc

    judkinsc Senior Member

    English, USA
    The passive won't work so well here, since the verb "to live" isn't easily made passive. "He is lived?" "Vivatur" would be "he might be lived" or something similar.

    The "Let" is truly a iussive/hortatory subjunctive form in English.
  11. Lorenzo Italiae Senior Member

    Italian - Italy
    Of course it is :thumbsup:. Yet, in my opinion, the problem is that the let is referred to a second singular person (i.e. you), and because of this I don't agree with the translation of "vivant" for "let live". "Let live" means that it's the person you are addressing to who has to let other people live, so I think we have to underline this idea of telling someone what he should do, which is conveyed, as said, by the let.
    I'm also referring to the Italian sentence "vivi e lascia vivere" (=vive et sine vivere) which perfectly translates the English one.
    Don't you agree?
  12. clara mente Senior Member

    USA English
    In response to the usage of the passive, I should have made it more clear that I meant the impersonal usage e.g. " Let it go!" (be gone) Exitum sit! Just another way of looking at this phaseology, but the jussive would also do just fine.
  13. judkinsc

    judkinsc Senior Member

    English, USA
    Passive subjunctive there, though. The subjunctive mood holds the sense of the "let," instead of the passive voice.
  14. judkinsc

    judkinsc Senior Member

    English, USA
    It's truly better to use a different syntactical form than the subjunctive to translate the second verb, "let live," in this context. Latin does not easily accept the idea of "to permit" into the iussive subjunctive, while the English "let" does.

    The phrase you gave in Italian works similarly to the phrase I gave in Latin earlier, allowing a "helping" verb to modify the second use of "vivere" (if I follow the Italian correctly).
  15. Lorenzo Italiae Senior Member

    Italian - Italy
    Infact I agree with that sentence (Vive et [alteros] vivere permitte):D :thumbsup:
    And you have correctly understood the Italian sentence (vivi e lascia vivere), which is very close to Latin one (vive et vivere permitte/sine), and, in my opinion, also to the English one we have begun with (Live and let live).
    I may be misunderstanding the English meaning: both live and let live are imperative mood, aren't they? If I'm right, then it's obvious to translate with Vive et [alteros] vivere permitte, and no subjunctive mood is required.
    Waiting for answers :thumbsup: :confused:
  16. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I agree with judkinsc and LI. The subjunctive can't be used in this context. An example for when the Latin subjunctive is possible with "let" is:

    "Exeamus igitur!" - Thusly, let us go!
    "Audiatur et altera pars!" - The other party ought to be listened to, too!

    Let me generalize that only if you can use "should/ought to" in English, the Latin subjunctive for the English "let" can be used. In the other case where "let" means "permit," you can use the verb "permittere" or "sinere" (maybe pati, as well).

    To sum it up, I want to tell you that I agree with the translation "Vive et/ac alteros vivere permitte."
  17. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I think the English speakers get a little confused because the let + infinitive periphrasis can be used as a compound subjunctive (which doubles as a compound imperative). But here I would say the verb let should be read literally (="permit", "allow", as Whodunit said), not as part of a periphrasis.
  18. Lorenzo Italiae Senior Member

    Italian - Italy
    I do agree with you guys :D
    Thanks for answering :thumbsup:
  19. lajng New Member

    United States, English
    Thank you all very much, but I'm I'm uncertain what the "Alteros" translates to?

    The phrase "live and let live" to me means live your life and let others live theirs. :confused:

    I get that it starts with "vive et...." but am uncertain as to which words to translate the "let live" part?

    If I say "Vive et vivere permitte" would that correctly translate?

    I should back up and explain my concern for accuracy, this is a phrase I want as a tattoo.
  20. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    We agreed on thsi translation: Vive et alteros vivere permitte.

    Here's the analysis:

    Vive - imperative singular of "vivere" (to live)
    et - conjunction (and)
    alteros - accusative masculine plural of "alterus" (another)
    vivere - infinitive (to live)
    permitte - imperative singular of "permittere" (to permit)

    = Live and permit the others to live.
  21. lajng New Member

    United States, English
    I see. If I wanted to leave the "others" out would it still be correct for me to say "Vive et vivere permitte"? That would literally translate to "Live and let live" right?
  22. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Yes, but please try to compare it to this sentence in English:

    Live and permit to live.

    In my opinion, there's inherently the question about "who (do I permit to live)?" You should answer the question in Latin, but if you don't want to it's all up to you. :)

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