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Does the phrase "non obstante omnes, vinco" have a coherent meaning? I wanted it to mean something like "in spite it all (or) against all odds, win/conquer!". I want to get this phrase engraved in Latin.

2 Answers 2

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Salve,

I can't exactly figure out your phrase. I am getting after not hindering (obstante is ablative absolute?) all [difficulties], I win. I don't know exactly why you are using the ablative, if omnes was also in the ablative it would have made a bit more sense grammatically and would mean something more like "everything not hindering, I win."

To deconstruct your Latin phrase more, nōn negates obstante, which is a present participle in the ablative. There is nothing else in the ablative singular, thus it is modifying nothing. Omnēs could be nominative or accusative plural. It cannot be the subject of vinco as vinco is first person singular, not third person plural. I can see how you are using omnēs to be something like in spite of all, but I don't know if this is fully clear with the current phrasing. Moving on to vinco, it is a verb in the first person singular present active indicative, thus it translates as I win.

Caesar uses the phrase "Erat ob has causas summa difficultas" (De Bello Gallico 4.24), which translates as "it was the height of difficulty on account of these reasons." You could lift some of this and say something along the lines of erat summa difficultas, tamen vīci (it was the height of difficulty, nevertheless I won).

You seem, however, to be looking for something a little more impersonal. The original phrase, "win against all odds," is in the imperative so, instead of vinco, maybe vince, which commands one person to win, or vincete, which commands multiple people to win. So this would yeild something along the lines of multī et magnī casūs, tamen vince! (many and great misfortunes, nevertheless win!, or, in better English, dispite many great misfotunes, win!)

Hope some of this helps.

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According to the context, against all odds could be something unhopped for, or simply unexpected, which can be rendered by in-speratus (un-hoped). So I would translate it as ex insperato vici (I suppose it makes more sense to conjugate it to the perfect).

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  • Can you expand on this answer a bit?
    – cmw
    Jul 22 at 5:51

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