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The What and a bit of Why, in short: I'm trying to translate the phrase "I can see your house from (up) here" to use it as a motto for a "Lodge"/"Order" I'm a member of, and for the heraldic shield I'm designing for us at the moment.

The How and Where (more or less), in short: I usually have considerable skills in Google-fu, but for this I just can't trust all the different results I get, and even if I find Latin fun I only know it in the "Veni, Vidi, Vici"-kind-of way. I also find my knowledge, and my English (I'm Swedish, and a lousy engineer at that. Please don't judge me!), a bit lacking when it comes to the more language-technical words and discussions, so I can't get by the language barrier. Therefore I humbly beg for some help here. The phrase, or maybe more correctly the quote, "Ab Hoc Possum Videre Domum Tuum" comes from the book "Jingo" in the Discworld-series by the late Sir Terry Pratchett, and it is described as meant to be "both a boast and a threat". It was also through a Pratchett fan group on facebook I stumbled on this site.

Ok, so that's my short version of the situation. Here comes the longer version...

Ok, sooo... To start with a bit more of the What and Why, I'll probably has to explain a bit about this "Lodge"/"Order" I'm part of... "Melonordern", or "The Order The Melon" as it would be in English. Well, first of all we're nothing as organized as a true "order", we're more of a group of friends that met and started hanging out together at The Medieval Week (Always in w.42, in the beginning of August) in the city of Visby on the Swedish island Gotland some 13-15 years ago, and have steadily expanded until we now number some 25-30 people. We, amongst many other similar whimsical groups there, mostly hang around just outside the walls of the old town (where we're allowed to drink) and having fun. Most groups has a "thing" or a common theme, and it's not strictly adherent to the year of 1361 which is the Medieval Week's "Official" year. We have Vikings, a couple of different Knight-orders, LOTS of pirate groups, some Prussians (with one group spelling it "Pråjsen". Don't ask.) and Landsknechts, amongst others. The seriousness of every individual and/or groups can range from really hardcore, historical correct history buffs ("They didn't invent THAT kind of seam until a hundred years later!") to SCA-people and down to people who just casually don a long shirt and add a belt on top.

And us. And we're the Scots. In Great Kilts and all of the possible, and sometimes impossible, attributes and attachments you can think of. In terms of correctness we're somewhere in the middle, but on the laid-back side (If anyone asks me what sources we used I usually replies with "Braveheart" and see what reaction I get). We mostly Sing (I also make a song book every year, most Scottish and Irish songs, but some sea shanties and Monty Python songs can also be found therein), Drink (Whiskey, good and bad) and tell horrible jokes on the Gotland/Scotland theme... And, since we five guys who where the foundation of the order, got the bloody brilliant idea (when drunk) to claim the hillside at the furtherest end of the moat where everybody hangs out as our own (and call it "The Gottish Hielands"), we look out over the "lowlands" and the other groups. There has also always been a bit of friendly contest or animosity between the different groups, as usual. We have borrowed quite a lot from Pratchett and added it to our nicknames, titles and theme (if you have read the Tiffany Aching-arc in the Discworld-series you can probably guess whom our inspiration comes from. ;) ). And that's why the quote would fit us so good, just as sir Terry described it: as both a boast and a threat. But how good is his version, as written above? For this I'd like it to be actual latin, and even if I revere Sir Terry I don't trust his latin, or "Latatian", at all.

The long How and Where: Well, there's actually not so much more to say about this. I've tried to translate it back and forth myself on and off for at least three or four years now, but I'm stuck. The closest I've come to something I think might work is "Hinc possum videre domum tuam", or "From here I can see your house". It's the only sentence I've managed to find with Google translate that doesn't change when translating back and forth multiple times. If it's relevant I'd prefer if it sounds like a direct, in-your-face threat to a singular person, from a singular person. I think that would fit our "style" best.

If you could help me I'll tell you of the time we built a copy of Hadrian's wall and defended our turf against the Romans, who came and threw dices at us.

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Replace domum tuum with domum tuam and you're mostly okay. Ab hoc also sounds okay to me, but I'm less sure about that. Maybe de hoc [loco] would be better.

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  • I looked into ab hoc, de hoc and hinc a bit more (thanks for the tip!) and realised an important thing about the original quote. In the book the main character finds the quote written on a big dais where an enormous statue had stood, and of course ab hoc refers to THIS dais. So if I would refere to the spot/area we occupy, [loco] seems fitting to add, maybe also "nostro". Possum videre domum tuam ab hoc loco nostro or maybe better possum videre domum tuam hinc loco nostro looks good the first time I translate it (Google Translate+MyMemory), but not back again. Any thoughts? – GuberLacerta Nov 30 '20 at 16:48
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I like your "Hinc possum videre domum tuam" but I would word it thus - "Hinc tuam domum videre possum."

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