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How would you say of persons (plural) deceased;

"Always loved, always remembered, always in our hearts"

It is to be use as an epitaph on a gravestone for my parents. It is therefore important to get it right especially with respect to conveying the correct emotional tone.

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    Welcome to the site! That is a lovely message you want to convey. The thing is, on this site, we require translation questions to provide as much context as possible. I realise that Monsour has already posted a potential answer to your question, but could you add some context? Especially what you have tried to do yourself, what it is for, what sex these people are, whether they are plural, what kind of connotations or sentiments you would want to convey, or similar. The more context we have, the likelier it is that the answer will be correct in your situation (for otherwise it might not be). – Cerberus Aug 26 at 22:26
  • @Cerberus I edited the details Brian gave in a comment into the question. – Joonas Ilmavirta Sep 1 at 18:52
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Semper amati, semper recordati, semper in cordibus nostris.

Also: Semper amati, semper memorati, semper in cordibus nostris.

I would have used a form of memini rather than of recordo(r) or memoro, but memini is defective and doesn't have the required participle as far as I know.

  • Thanks. Would semper memorati (?memorata) work? – Brian Aug 26 at 8:02
  • memorata is singular. If you want feminine plural, memoratae. – Colin Fine Aug 26 at 11:57
  • @Brian: Memorati can be masculine plural, or a group of mixed sex, so it would fit in your context. Take care. – Cerberus Sep 1 at 20:26
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The suggestion by C Monsour is good, but not the only option. While the heart is anatomically cor, it is not always the best translation in a setting like this. See this separate question for translating "heart" in a figurative sense. There are many kinds of Latin, and the idiomatic choice depends somewhat on the chosen style. In classical Latin pectus appears to be more idiomatic than cor although it literally means "chest". If you want the style to be more Christian than classical, then cor works better than pectus. This is a style choice you have to make.

The last part could be semper in pectoribus, "always in [the] hearts". In English you need either an article or a possessive pronoun, but in Latin neither is needed. I think it is clear enough from context what is meant, and you might even like the idea of not specifying all the hearts that remember them. It is certainly not wrong to add nostris if you want to specify "our".

The original English triplet is not symmetric. The first two have a participle (loved, remembered) while the third one has a prepositional phrase (in hearts). Therefore it is reasonable to take the liberty to move these statements between these two types to find a fluent translation.

I bring this up because "always remembered" could be nicely rendered as semper in memoria, literally "always in memory". This word should be familiar to many from the phrase in memoriam, and is therefore likely to evoke a fitting reaction.

If we are talking about memories and hearts, it makes sense to have them in a similar form. Either several memories and several hearts or a single memory and a single heart. This harmony is not necessary, especially if the two are not next to each other, but something to consider. The singular would focus more on the individual experience of anyone who reads the inscription, whereas the plural would be more collective. I would vote for plural, but the choice is of course yours. The singulars would be memoria, pectore and the plurals memoriis, pectoribus.

The first part "always loved" is very naturally semper amati. The masculine plural amati is the right choice for a group of people that contains a male. I tried to find a way to phrase it also as "always in [something]", but found nothing suitable. The asymmetry of the original remains but is slightly changed. You can try changing the order of the three elements to see if it sounds better. Swapping the first two works to my ear.

So, my suggestion would be:

Semper amati, semper in memoriis, semper in pectoribus.

Latin inscriptions are often made with capital letters and U written as a V. In this style, it would look like:

SEMPER AMATI, SEMPER IN MEMORIIS, SEMPER IN PECTORIBVS.

My personal favorite among the options arising seems to be inscribing something like this:

SEMPER IN MEMORIA
SEMPER AMATI
SEMPER IN PECTORIBVS

  • If the desired effect is religious, I think cor is a better choice than pectus. For example, "sursum corda" in the liturgy, whereas "in pectore" would describe something like a decision made but not yet uttered. – C Monsour Sep 2 at 18:45
  • @CMonsour I edited the answer to add a remark on cor and pectus. It is a matter of the desired style and to some extent of the tone. I find both to be reasonable translations. – Joonas Ilmavirta Sep 2 at 19:02
  • Thanks everybody. Just one final question - is there any role for the use of animus as heart in this context? – Brian Sep 8 at 18:51
  • @Brian You could use animus (as in animo), but it might actually cover both memory and heart. My impression is that it's used more for remembering, but in this context I'd take it to mean more heart-felt memory than a mere memoria. If you want to know more about the nuances of animus, ask a separate follow-up question. – Joonas Ilmavirta Sep 8 at 20:36

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