I want to use a motto "always seize the future" as a company slogan. Does "capere semper in posterum" make sense? I got it from Google Translate and based on Spanish-English translations from that site, I trust it for single words but not always for phrases.
1Welcome to the site! The question is good, but it would benefit from some details. How did you come up with that translation? What makes you suspicious about it? // Translating a motto is notoriously difficult. Explaining the intention behind it can help greatly. // We have a guide for asking translation questions.– Joonas Ilmavirta ♦Dec 30, 2016 at 22:35
Hi! I'm using it as a company slogan. I got it from Google Translate and based on Spanish-English translations from that site, I trust it for single words but not always for phrases.– WayneioDec 30, 2016 at 22:39
Google Translate is notoriously bad with Latin. It seems to have little understanding of Latin grammar. If you only want single words, you are much better off using an online Latin dictionary of your choice. I do not know an online service (or any computerized tool) that translates Latin reliably.
The Latin phrase capere semper in posterum means roughly "to always take from this point on". It makes little sense. (This is the default answer to "does this result from Google translate make sense?" in my experience.)
Instead, I suggest semper futura carpito.
A good translation for "to seize" in your context is carpere. I chose the future imperative carpito instead of the present carpe (which would also be fine) to give it a more festive feel. If you want it to be more mundane, use carpe, but its pronunciation is more ambiguous to an Anglophone. I am not sure if everyone agrees with my sense of nuance here. These imperatives are singular; if you want plural, use carpitote or carpite instead.
The verb carpere has several meanings, and you can study the details in the L&S dictionary entry. It seems to mostly mean "to harvest, pick, or pluck". I find that a reasonable (albeit somewhat poetic) translation of "seize", but if you want to explore other options, capere is a good word for "catch, seize, take in hand". The corresponding forms are easy: just drop the R from carpere. (This does not apply to all forms, but it does apply to the imperatives used here.)
There is no good Latin noun for "future". Instead, I chose the participle futurus which can be seen as the adjective "future" — and the etymological source of the English word. There are two choices: the neuter singular futurum and the neuter plural futura. The singular means roughly "the thing in future", treating future as one. The plural means roughly "the things in future", treating future as a series of things. The plural sounds more idiomatic to me, and I think the nuance of the singular futurum would be less appropriate for this use.
The word semper is simply a good translation for "always".
It is up to you to make the choices futurum/futura and carpe/carpito/carpite/carpitote if you are after a different nuance. Also the word order is relatively free in Latin. My suggestion is what I find most fitting.
1Latin doesn't seem to have an Abstract noun for "the Future." Futurum (the participle) is a good substitute. Caesar uses futurum, but Terence has futura (plural) "future things," "things about to exist," which seems neater.– HughDec 31, 2016 at 2:13
2I'd second futura specifically because of the semper, since it sounds like this seizing is happening multiple times. Dec 31, 2016 at 5:16
I would suggest semper carpe futūra. Here, futura (futūra) is a participle conjugated in the present tense and active voice, declined in the neuter gender, plural number, and accusative case. I chose futūra because the idea is not simply enjoying abstract and intangible time (singular number), but rather, enjoying the things to come in the future (plural number). I was initially under the impression that you typed capere rather than carpere as a typo, but Draconis has educated me that capere is indeed a verb. In any case, most people are familiar with the phrase Carpe diem (as opposed to Cape diem).
5Capere (from capio) is definitely a real word, and significantly closer to "seize" than carpere is. The latter is better translated "harvest" or "gather" (or sometimes even "destroy"); Horace's famous carpe diem exhorts his listener to harvest the day's opportunities while they're ripe, rather than letting them fall to the ground by waiting too long. Dec 31, 2016 at 5:13
2(Of course in this case I agree that carpo is a perfectly fine verb to use. Just wanted to clarify that "seize" is not its literal meaning.) Dec 31, 2016 at 5:14
1@Draconis—Interesting! Thank you for the education. I honestly thought he meant carpere rather than capere (I assumed capere was a typo). Dec 31, 2016 at 5:21
2This is a good and well explained suggestion. (+1) I expanded my answer before reading yours, and tried to explain the differences between carpe and carpito and between futura and futurum.– Joonas Ilmavirta ♦Dec 31, 2016 at 11:57
1I think carpere is actually not a very suitable choice (also in the answer by @JoonasIlmavirta) because as Draconis says, it means "pluck, harvest, gather"; the usual translation of carpe diem as "seize the day" is inaccurate. "Pluck/harvest the future" doesn't make much sense to me.– TKRJul 17, 2017 at 23:34