we can`t get back yesterday

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by csicska, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. csicska Senior Member

    Hello. I would like to ask if the translation of "we can`t get back yesterday" (i.e. yesterday`s gone - we can`t get it back) to "non possumus impetro tergum heri" is correct? Thank you very much in advance.
  2. jrundin Senior Member

    USA, English
    No, it is not correct. This means: "we are not able I obtain a back yesterday."
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  3. jrundin Senior Member

    USA, English
    Let me suggest a translation:

    irrevocablis est dies hesternus.

    "yesterday cannot be summoned back."
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  4. exgerman Senior Member

    English but my first language was German
    The way the ancients expressed this is "you cannot step into the same river twice". The idea is first attested in the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus who said "everything changes, nothing stays the same". So you can be very elegant and say, as a Roman philosopher would have: Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει.
  5. jrundin Senior Member

    USA, English
    I like that idea, exgerman!

    People often ask me for Latin translations of some snappy English motto--usually for a tattoo.
    The mottoes never translate very well since they rely on the syntax and semantics of English.
    The best solution, in my opinion, is to choose an ancient quote that has more or
    less the same point even though its phrasing may be very different.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  6. csicska Senior Member

    Thank you very much, jrundin and exgerman.

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