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Several sites, including the notorious Google Translate, have Salva pace to mean "with all due respect".

However I could not confirm this from classical sources, yet we can find several instances of this usage with either genitive (e.g. "salava pace dei") or possessive (e.g. "salva pace vestra"), but they are all fairly recent.

So how do we express this sentiment in classical Latin (It could be quite far literally from the English). Also is salva pace a reasonable choice?

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  • Can you clarify whether you're looking for a literal translation or something more colloquial or idiomatic? – Robbie Goodwin Nov 12 '20 at 1:25
  • @RobbieGoodwin, I'm mainly after something more colloquial that actually was in use. – d_e Nov 12 '20 at 7:51
  • One should also be aware of the implication. In UK English "With all due respect" is generally a polite or ironic preface to something non-respectful. e.g. "With all due respect, that is a very bad idea." hollyschroth.com/… – Paul Johnson Nov 14 '20 at 10:11
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If you want to indicate that a differing opinion or a criticism is not intended as a personal attack (which is what I interpret the phrase “with all due respect” to mean), a common phrase is:

bona venia tua dixerim
I'd like to say with your gracious permission

Likewise you can also say:

pace tua dixerim
I'd like to say without disturbing your peace
i.e.: no offence to you intended

pace Ciceronis/horum/… dixerim
I'd like to say without disturbing Cicero's/their/… peace
i.e.: no offence toward Cicero/them/… intended

I inserted a “without disturbing” because that is how I interpret the ablative here, although there is no “undisturbed” in the Latin; that being so, salva pace alicujus (so-and-so's peace intact) makes perfect sense to me -- it just does not appear to be classically attested.

Other possible expressions:

venia sit dicto
absit invidia verbo

But what probably comes closest to “with all due respect” in its literal meaning are these:

cum praefatione honoris
honos sit auribus

Honorem dicere/praefari (literally “to say, to preface one's words with the proper marks of respect”) means “to make an excuse before saying something potentially objectionable.”

All these are good, classical Latin according to Johann Philipp Krebs, who was a bit of an authority on what is good and classical and what is not. He rejects salva venia as Neo-Latin (the horror!) and does not mention salva pace.

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  • That's indeed the meaning of "“with all due respect” I was thinking. Thanks for great answer. – d_e Nov 12 '20 at 7:56

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