Can anyone help me translate the following sentences from English to Latin?

Never lose hope. Who knows what tomorrow brings?

Thank you!

  • Welcome to the site! Is there anything you want to convey with the phrase? Additional context can help make sure that it really means what you want in Latin.
    – Adam
    Oct 8, 2022 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


If you’re addressing one person:

Noli desperare. Quis scit quid cras futurum sit?

If you’re addressing more than one person:

Nolite desperare. Quis scit quid cras futurum sit?

The first sentence, noli desperare, just means “don’t give up hope, don’t despair.” Desperare is related to the noun spes, “hope.” There are other ways in Latin to say this, ne desperes, ne desperaveris, but noli desperare is simple and common, and the construction may be familiar to many people from the phrase noli me tangere, “don’t touch me,” which appears in the New Testament and has become descriptive of certain iconic images in Christian art.

There’s another phrase, nil desperandum, used by the poet Horace, that means “nothing to despair.” Here’s his Ode 1.7.7:

Nil desperandum Teucro duce et auspice Teucro.

There’s nothing to despair with Teucer as your leader and Teucer as your guide.

But I think noli desperare fits your sentiment a bit better; its more direct.

With reference to your second sentence, Cicero uses the phrase quid futurum sit (literally “what will be”) at least a couple of times. Here’s Epistulae ad Familiares 12.22:

Quid futurum sit plane nescio.

I have no idea what’s going to happen.

And de Natura Deorum 3.14:

Saepe autem ne utile quidem est scire quid futurum sit.

But often it’s not even useful to know what’s going to happen.

And here in Ode 1.9.13 Horace adds the adverb cras, “tomorrow”:

Quid sit futurum cras fuge quaerere.

Forget about trying to figure out what’s going to happen tomorrow.

I hope this helps.

  • 1
    Excellent answer, Horace 1, 9 also came to my mind. With help from 1, 13 we can also suggest ne quaesieris (also nec desperaveris found in Seneca ad Lucilium 25). Oct 10, 2022 at 19:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.