I saw this quote in someone's forum sig file (signature): "Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum." - Lucretius
Curious, I consulted Google Translate, which my professional translator brother cautions against. I think he knows of what he speaks, as Google Translate renders the quote as:
religion in persuading bad
This result even has their "Translation verified by Translation Community" icon! I was not convinced.
I therefore searched about and discovered several (similar, but not identical) translations.
An article on NewEpicurean.com translates the Latin as:
So much does religion have the power to persuade to evil deeds.
Wiktionary offers three translations.
Literally "To such heights of evil has religion been able to drive men." From Lucretius' De Rerum Natura, Book I, 101.
The practice of religion leads people to practise evil.
And under quotations:
c. 99 BCE – 55 BCE, Lucretius, De rerum natura 1.101:
Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.
So potent was religion in persuading to evil deeds.
Monica Gale translates the Latin as:
how powerfully religion directs towards evil
Monica Gale, "Lucretius and Previous Poetic Traditions", in The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius, eds. Stuart Gillespie and Philip Hardie (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 67.
Reid Barbour translates it as:
such evils could religion incite
Reid Barbour, "Moral and Political Philosophy: Readings of Lucretius from Virgil to Voltaire", in The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius, eds. Stuart Gillespie and Philip Hardie (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 155.
R. Allen Shoaf translates the saying as:
so great are the evils religion can make men commit
Richard Allen Shoaf, Lucretius and Shakespeare on the Nature of Things (Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), 25.
My Question: Would it be accurate to conclude that there is not a "perfect" translation, and that the above Latin-to-English translations (other than Google Translate's) are reasonably correct?