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When using a regular dictionary it translates to either:

non habemus terminus non habemus fines

Which one is correct?

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  • Welcome to the site! What regular dictionary did you use? Translating to Latin requires more than a dictionary; you need the right forms of the words.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 19:01

1 Answer 1

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There are different ways to say this. For example, no limits can be simply "nullus terminus". However, your second choice, finis, seems a little more apropos to me. So, your second try seems right to me:

Fines non habemus.

Note that you put the object first, so fines goes first in the sentence.

Note that this is a real motto. I think the Ecole Polytechnique in Louvain, France actually has this as their school motto.

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    Why do you say that the object should go first? It certainly can go there, but I don't see that as a necessity.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 21:31
  • @JoonasIlmavirta In my view, normal Latin order is subject-object-verb. The reason for this is that meaning in Latin, unlike barbaric languages, is primarily conveyed by inflections on the object. For this reason, and because the Romans tended to list things in order of importance, the objects of the sentence are ordinarily listed before the verb, which was construed to convey less meaning than the inflected objects. For this reason objects are found before verbs unless there is some reason for the verb to come first, such as an unusual emphasis. Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 21:42
  • @JoonasIlmavirta There is a secondary reason why verbs are placed last, and that is that they sometimes function like periods, indicating the end of a clause or sentence. A sentence can have many objects, but usually just has one verb, so when the verb is given, the listener knows the sentence is complete. Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 21:47
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    "Barbaric languages"?!
    – TKR
    Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 3:07
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    @tony Everyone is free to vote as they see fit, so I can't tell. The suggestion is valid, but not as uniquely so as the answer suggests. This wouldn't be an unusual reason for protest.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 12:41

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