I want to translate “Our life is short, do as you want” into Latin. In the sense of telling people that they should not do what others want, but what they really want in life.

Is this a correct translation: “Vita nostra brevis est; quod vis facere”? I used Google Translate.


1 Answer 1


The first part of the sentence translates directly into Latin, “our life is short” is “vita (nostra) brevis est”.

For the second part, “quod vis fac” is an attested translation of “do as you want”. Indeed, a similar sentence is found in In Epistolam Ioannis ad Parthos by Aurelius Augustinus (Saint Augustine).

Duce Christo bibamus, neglecto mundo, caritatem. Dilectio Deus est: qui eam habet vidit Deum. Dilige, et quod vis fac. Ama hominem, non ipsius errorem.

All in all, I suggest the following

Vita (nostra) brevis est, quod vis fac.

  • 2
    I was thinking of the same Augustinus quote. Since the stress (according to the question poster) is to do what you want, not what others want, I think one might also say quod tu vis fac. Jul 12, 2022 at 19:06
  • @Azhar I'd definitely go with the imperative fac, like Anserin said, and not the infinitive, facere that Google suggested. I'm not entirely sure what vis quod facere would mean.
    – Figulus
    Jul 13, 2022 at 2:58

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