I'm trying to translate the following phrase into Latin:

I, who was earlier reluctant, was suddenly embarrassed and corrected.

So far I have managed to write:

Ego qui fui antea invitus, fui improviso pudet et correctus.

...but I am concerned of the correctness, for Google Translate is returning me some awkward feedback when I try to reverse my translation from Latin to English.

My second attempt was:

Ego, qui eram antea invitus sum, fui improviso pudet et correctus.

...but this also isn't too much to the liking of Google.

I then tried using Google and couldn't help but notice most verbs were in the 3rd singular form and some adjectives and verbs were completely irrelevant, therefore I decided not to trust that translation, which was:

Ego, qui erat ante mora sum, et subito Pudet et corrigendos adnumerentur.

Any assistance would be highly appreciated!

  • 2
    Great first question, and you are right to be wary of Google Translate! I edited so that the Latin is in quotes rather than code blocks.
    – brianpck
    Dec 11, 2019 at 0:38

2 Answers 2


The concept of embarrassment seems to be a tricky one, in Latin. The verbs offered "perturbo"; "impedio"; "confundo"; involve being disturbed; discomforted; perplexed; confused; disconcerted; knocked out of one's normal equilibrium. All of these may be related to embarrassment (a feeling of shameful discomfort).

Similarly, "reluctance": "recuso" = decline, reject, refuse (Pock. Ox. Lat. Dict.). None of these is an exact fit; but: "iussa recusantes peragunt lacrimosa ministri flent tamen…" (Ovid. Fasti II. 387) =

"reluctantly, his servants carry out the mournful orders though they weep...".

Also, Lewis & Short: "recuso" = "...be reluctant or unwilling to do a thing;".

Using a pluperfect passive "recusatus eram" = "I had been reluctant"; perfect passives: "impeditus" = "having been embarrassed" & "correctus" = "having been corrected". The "having been" can be omitted, giving:

"recusatus eram, subito impeditus et correctus" =

"I had been reluctant, suddenly (I was) embarrassed & corrected".

Thanks to cnread: "impeditus" could be substituted by "confusus" (from "confundo" = confound; confuse; disconcert; perplex; bring into disorder [Wiki]. This cornucopia of meanings may (closely) approach "embarrassment".)

In "glosbe.com/en/la/embarrassment" the examples given follow the "related-to-but -not-quite-embarrassment (as we understand it)" model. The best of these uses "implico"; again, not normally defined in this way (entangle; entwine; a figurative use, almost an afterthought, "embarrass" (Wiki).

(Tacitus Annales 11.8.12):

"in quos ut patris sui quoque defectores ira magis quam ex usu praesenti accensus, implicatur obsidione urbis validae et munimentis obiecti amnis muroque et commeatibus firmatae".

Vardanes makes a fool of himself ("implicatur" = "he is embarrassed") by attempting a near-impossible siege. Does this qualify as "embarrassment" as we understand it?

Thanks to Cerberus (CHAT): final attempt:

"recusatus eram, subito pudore dormitus et correctus" =

"I had been reluctant, suddenly having slept with shame (embarrassment) and corrected." (See comments from cnread; also "dormio" has no passive form which also indicates that this is incorrect.)

Alternatively, using "puditus" from "pudeo":

"recusatus eram, subito puditus et correctus".

  • 1
    As you v. rightly say, getting a good Latin term for 'emabarrass' is tricky. However, I don't think your choice of impeditus is correct. A Latin dictionary such as OLD (incl. pocket version) or L&S may tell you that impedio means 'embarrass,' but it's an older use of the English verb that means 'hamper or impede (a person, movement, or action)'; it doesn't describe a person's feeling of awkward self-consciousness or shame (the ex. that my dictionary gives is 'the state of the rivers will embarrass the enemy in a considerable degree'). Of the verbs you listed, I think confundere may be closest.
    – cnread
    Jan 13, 2020 at 1:30
  • 1
    Can you clarify what sleeping has to do with this? I don't understand that at all. At any rate, dormitus in your updated answer wouldn't mean 'having slept,' because the verb isn't deponent; it would mean 'having been slept' (passive). The only example I found (via PHI) of the phase 'pudore dormiret' is part of the larger phrase 'sine pudore dormiret,' from Julius Capitolinus's life of Gordian III in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae.
    – cnread
    Jan 15, 2020 at 18:05
  • 1
    But even without 'having been,' 'slept' in that ex. is still passive; but as far as I know, the only time dormio is used in the passive is when the subject is a noun that denotes a period of time, and you're saying that that period was slept through. The most familiar ex. is probably in Catullus 5: nox est perpetua una dormienda. I don't see any way that pudore dormiret by itself could mean 'sleep disturbed by shame'; at the very least, a neg. subord. conj. (e.g., ne or ut non) would be an essential part of the phrase: 'with the result that he wasn't getting any sleep because of/out of shame.'
    – cnread
    Jan 16, 2020 at 18:13
  • 1
    I don't have a dictionary in front of me right now, so this has to be taken cum grano salis; but my impression is that, although implicare can be used for emotional states, it doesn't, by itself, mean 'embarrassed' (except in the archaic usage of that word, where it means 'hinder' or 'impede,' not 'cause to feel awkwardly self-conscious'); I expect that there would need to be an ablative (or other addition) to specify the emotion. It's possible that something like pudore implicatur would work fine (and I do think that, of all the suggestions so far, pudor is closest to the required meaning).
    – cnread
    Jan 17, 2020 at 20:29
  • 1
    The supine is used to describe the purpose of motion (for example, veni spectatum, 'I've come to watch'). It's also used with some adjectives (mostly) and corresponds especially to an epexegetic infinitive in English (and Greek and poetic Latin); an example is the phrase mirabile dictu, 'wondrous to say.' I don't see any way of making a supine work here.
    – cnread
    Jan 17, 2020 at 20:46

As brianpck has said, Google Translate is incredibly unreliable.

Here is my attempt at translation. If it can be improved, I welcome suggestions; learning is a permanently ongoing process.

"Dubitatus, corrigebar raptim et cito fiebam humilis."

I, having been uncertain/having hesitated, was corrected suddenly and was quickly made humble.

  • To my knowledge, dubitatus would mean something like 'having been hesitated over' (i.e., it's passive in meaning). Perhaps just dubius would work instead? (Though in that case, to make the time distinction explicit, you'd need to add something like the adverb ante).
    – cnread
    Jan 13, 2020 at 1:46

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