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I'm trying to translate the following expression to Latin: "Pain is temporary, glory eternal!" So far I have: "Dolor est temporalis, gloria aeternus!"

I have doubts about aeternus, since I'm looking for the participle of that world. Am I able to use "eternus" as well, or am I completely lost here? How would you translate this correctly?

I recently learned that the correct translation for temporary in this case would be "brevis", so in full: "Dolor brevis, sempiterna gloria". Would it still be possible to use "temporalis" & "aeternus"? as in my opinion they sound better when spoken.

Side note: This is important since it is going to be printed on a sports team shirt. And those shirts will be ordered in hundreds.

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  • Oh, brevis is not really a translation for “temporary.” The latter (although technically you could say temporarius) is often expressed as ad tempus; so “short and temporary” would be brevis et ad tempus (Cic. De officiis 1, 8, 27). Apr 1 at 22:08

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A well-known Latin translation of a Greek aphorism is

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

Art is long, life is short.

If you use that as a model, you could do something very similar:

Dolor brevis, Gloria Longa

Pain is short, Glory is Long

This is actually closer to the original Greek aphorism as the Latin translation reversed the order to emphasize the longevity of art over life.

If you want to say that glory is eternal and not just long, then aeternus is a fine adjective as long as you decline it to match gloria:

Dolor Brevis, Gloria Aeterna

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  • Well edited and comprehensive answer. How about if I want to specifically use the word "temporalis"? Apr 1 at 14:03
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    @SampoKaarenmaa The Latin temporalis is more "related to time" than "of limited time" and appears not to be a very classical word. I like Adam's suggestion of brevis much more than temporalis for a use like this. Adam didn't directly comment on this, but I also strongly agree with leaving est out.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Apr 1 at 14:10
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As an alternative to Adam's irreproachable answer, I would suggest that you could use verbs:

Dolor transit, gloria manet.

Literally: “Pain passes, glory endures.”

There is a saying: Vox audita perit, littera scripta manet, meaning: “The heard word is lost, the written letter endures.” I would go with transit over perit though, because pain does not really “perish,” it abates and we generally appreciate that.

I would also point out that glory is not, in fact, eternal, as another famous saying reminds us: Sic transit gloria mundi!

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    With this approach I would be tempted to do something chiastic. How would you feel about, say, dolor transit, manet gloria, making the contrast of the two verbs sharper? For this purpose I do like something pithy in four words.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Apr 1 at 22:15
  • @JoonasIlmavirta The thought crossed my mind, but I like it better as it is. Apr 1 at 22:39

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