Live now. Die later


New Member
Hello everyone,

I am in need of some expertise... I would like to make a tattoo in modern standard arabic.
The tattoo would say "Live now. Die later" so could someone help me with the translation.

Thanks in advance
  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Welcome to the forum!

    First of all, Arabic has multiple imperative forms depending on whether you're addressing a single male, a single female, a group with at least one male, or a group of all females.

    A literal translation would be:

    عِش الآن ومُت لاحقًا <single male>
    عيشي الآن وموتي لاحقًا <single female>
    عيشوا الآن وموتوا لاحقًا <group of at least one male>
    عِشنَ الآن ومُتنَ لاحقًا <group of all females>

    But personally, I don't think the literal translation sounds good in this case.

    Here are a few ideas, based on the masculine singular (literal translations in parentheses):

    For the first part:
    عِش وأنت حيّ ("Live while you are alive")
    الآن وقت الحياة ("Now is the time to live")
    عِش ما دمت حيًا ("Live, as long as you are alive")
    إن كنت حيًا فعِش ("If are you alive, live")

    For the second part:
    دَع الموت لوقته ("Leave death for its (own) time")
    لا تمت قبل موتك ("Don't die before your death")
    Last edited:


    New Member
    Thank you very much! So this sound better than the first option?
    عِش ما دمت حيًا .دَع الموت لوقته

    and what would the exakt translation of this be?


    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    “Live, as long as you are alive; leave death for its (own) time.”

    I hope others weigh in before you get inked. :eek::D


    Arabic (Egypt).
    Frankly, I'm not happy with any of the translations. Not that they're wrong or bad, but because the English sentence is more concise and sounds better and more natural than the offered translations.

    And though I don't suggest this for a tattoo, I'd like to mention that we have a saying in Egyptian Arabic احييني النهاردة، وموِّتني بكرة which literally means: Let me live today and kill me tomorrow, and is used in the context of not caring or worrying about the future.


    Senior Member
    "Foreboding" in what sense? :)
    Actually I am not sure what does the English string imply. Does it promote the sensual meaning, the one I expressed? or Does it serve as a warning?


    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think it’s meant to mean “Live in the moment,” “Enjoy life while you can,” “Carpe diem,” etc.

    (I don’t see how your sentence expresses anything “sensual.” :confused: I assume you meant something else.)


    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    That sounds foreboding! :eek:
    Only because يحين أجلك is commonly used in a religious sense, as in "the time that God has ordained you die in".
    Actually I am not sure what does the English string imply.
    It calls for forgetting about the future and letting it take care of itself while you have fun. Not sound advice, but the phrase is not used to give advice, it's used to encourage people to 'loosen up' a little and not be serious all the time.
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