Non plus ultra

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by alexis_1025, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. alexis_1025 Member

    English, Canada
    What does this expression refer to in English? I am trying to translate the following:
    "... il che ne faceva il "non plus ultra" della modernita imprenditoriale italiana."

    Grazie in anticipo!
  2. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
  3. alexis_1025 Member

    English, Canada
    I see - thank you! So would an acceptable translation be:

    "...which some considered the pinnacle of Italian entrepreneurial modernity."
  4. max63 Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    since "non plus ultra" in latin means "something beyond and above which there's nothing" I'd translate as "absolutely the best" or "the very best of"
    My opinion, obviously :)
  5. alexis_1025 Member

    English, Canada
    Great, thanks Max and Elaine.
  6. AlxGrim

    AlxGrim Senior Member

    Roma, Italy
    Italy, Italian
    I'm curious about that "ne"... To my knowledge, the correct Latin form is "non". Why does it change in English?
  7. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    US, English
    pinnacle = high point. nice choice of words!
  8. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    Looking this up online since you asked, I've seen that "ne plus ultra" is "new Latin" and that "non plus ultra" is an older form :confused: ? None of these sources strike as particularly authoritative though, so I'd be interested in hearing from a Latin scholar (is dareryan still around?)
  9. DAH

    DAH Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    ne plus ultra • noun (the ne plus ultra) the perfect or most extreme example.

    — ORIGIN Latin, ‘not further beyond’, the supposed inscription on the Pillars of Hercules (at the Strait of Gibraltar) prohibiting passage by ships. (

    Are we splitting hairs with regard to the issue of ne or non being either old Latin (anytime before the Great Schism) or modern Latin (that of Dante or Petrarch)?

    Latin non, ne = not

    nemo = not one

    ne' dai Greci
  10. sinopoli Member

    La France
    English South African
    Just came across this thread. The phrase I remember is nec plus ultra , same meaning, maybe better Latin ?
  11. longplay Banned

    I think there are some differences : "non" = non; - "nec"= ...e non...**; - "ne"= affinché non. Ciao.

    ** It' s used "in the middle" of a sentence.E.g.: " plus ultra"= "...e non dico altro"- "...e non si va oltre".

    PS In ogni caso, si tratta di una traduzione latina dal greco, non di un' espressione latina.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  12. Korsivo Member

    To my ears, pinnacle sounds great. But "be all and end all" is another good way of translating it, if not better, because this expression gives you the idea that beyond a certain point it's impossible to go ie that that is the end of it, the highest point. Very similar to the original Latin.
    This is what I remember my very old Italian/English dictionary report, anyway.:)

Share This Page