I want to translate the following French quote from Paul Valéry:

Je ne suis pas toujours d'accord avec moi-même.

Which roughly translates into:

I don't always agree with myself.

I want it to be as short as possible. So I thought the best way would be to omit the subject and to use ego in the accusative case, which seems to be me

That would be something like:

Non semper me conveniunt.

Is that correct? Is it understandable? Is it a nice form?

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Since your central question seems to be about the general case ("How do I translate reflexive first person"), here is a more general answer that builds on the above suggestions: A simple me is all that is necessary, but there are ways to emphasize the reflexive pronoun if you wish.

  1. One way, given by Joonas, is to use ipse.

    • You can append ipsum after me:

    Ergo ista, inquit Crassus, quae habes a me, non reprehendo, ne me ipsum inrideam. (Cicero, De Oratore 3.47)

    Crassus said: "Therefore I do not blame you for those things which you have received from me, lest I make a mockery of myself."

    • You can also use ipse, agreeing with the understood ego.

    sed non egeo medicina, me ipse consolor (Cicero, Laelius de Amicitia 10.10)

    But I have no need of medicine: I can comfort myself.

  2. You can also use an emphatic -met at the end of the pronoun:

    neque, ita me di ament, credebam primo mihimet Sosiae,
    donec Sosia illic egomet fecit sibi uti crederem. (Plautus, Amphitruo II.i)

    Nor, by all that is good and holy, did I believe myself, Sosia, at first
    until Sosia made it so that I believed him.

    (It's difficult to translate this passage out of its context: Mercury takes on the appearance of Sosia, a slave, and manages to convince Sosia that he is the real Sosia: I recommend the play!)

  3. You can just use me alone if you don't feel a need to emphasize the reflexivity.

    ubi ille ábiit, ego me deorsum duco de arbore. (Plautus, Aulularia IV.viii)

    When he left, I let myself down from the tree.

The point is that Latin only has a special reflexive pronoun for the third-person: you can use me regardless of the subject. In fact, all the "emphatic methods" above could be used just as easily if it was not reflexive.

For your actual quote, my translation agrees substantially with Joonas's, though adsentior sounds better to my ear:

Non semper mihi adsentior.
Non semper mihimet adsentior.
Non semper mihi ipse adsentior.
Non semper mihi ipsi adsentior.

The shortest that I can think of is Aliquando a me dissentio, 'sometimes I disagree with myself.'

  • Thanks, it's indeed shorter, but conveys a slightly different meaning. – Géraud Benazet Feb 17 '17 at 17:16

I suggest this:

Non semper mihi ipsi consentio.
I do not always agree with myself.

You could also use assentio(r) instead of consentio. To compare the two, you can check an online Latin dictionary of your preference.

In cases like this I would use me ipsum / mihi ipsi / … (depending on the needed case) for "myself".

  • Thanks, I wouldn't have thought I'd be so close. My Latin is very rusty. So I would go for "non semper mihi ipsi assentio" – Géraud Benazet Feb 17 '17 at 17:15
  • @GéraudBenazet You're welcome! This site is just the place to get the rust off of one's Latin. – Joonas Ilmavirta Feb 17 '17 at 20:47

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