I am setting up a university society for accounting. The accounting conventions are "conservatism, consistency, materiality and full disclosure". Can someone who speaks Latin, kindly translate this phrase from English to Latin? Google Translate is highly inaccurate and I only studied Latin up to A-Level standards. I just want to check in with some experts to ensure that I have the most precise and accurate phrasing.

Many thanks in advance, Katherine.

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    Hi, and welcome to the site! These are pretty technical. It's easy to mistranslate them, and some probably don't have a universal translation. Most of us aren't acquainted with technical accounting terminology, but some will be willing to give it a try. It would be helpful if you provided a link to a short explanation of each one of these four principles. Do you need a word-by-word translation, or an ancient and meaningful enough quote would also be ok?
    – Rafael
    Mar 9, 2021 at 17:33
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    Perhaps this is good and short enough? courses.lumenlearning.com/wm-accountingformanagers/chapter/… On accounting principles
    – Rafael
    Mar 10, 2021 at 1:14

1 Answer 1


conservatism: that's quite a technical one, so it's hard to find a good Latin equivalent. If one is happy with the statement of 'taking the lower value', pretium vilius might fit.

consistency: that means staying true to a choice made, so constantia or perseverantia would be a match.

materiality: that's again a very technical one, so again hard. I take it to mean that trifles can be ignored. A relatively direct translation might be gravitas, but that could also mean 'dignity'. Going more by the meaning, something like minimorum neglectio or pusillorum contemnatio might be a possibility.

full disclosure: there are a number of ways to say disclosure, but many of these have other meanings (publicatio can mean 'confiscation', which would be rather unfortunate for accountants, and ostentatio can mean 'vain display', which again would be against the spirit of accountancy), so I'd settle on declaratio plena.

There is a possible choice with the letter P in each case, so one could make the slogan alliterate as pretium vilius, perseverantia, pusillorum contemnatio, plena declaratio.

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    I'm pretty sure that "conservatism" in this context means a lot more than "lower price." I also think constantia is much better than perseverantia (which you go with at the end).
    – brianpck
    Mar 12, 2021 at 13:00
  • @brianpck well, that's the meaning of "conservatism" I took from the link posted in comments. I agree that constantia is generically better, but I like the alliteration.
    – gmvh
    Mar 12, 2021 at 13:26

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