Socrates and Glaucon were talking in the Latin.SE chat room, and among other things, such as what is the most just city, how should men and women be brought up, and whether there should be specific guardians of this center of learning, this Nova Roma, they were at a loss on how to translate the idiom "I see" into proper Latin.

Glaucon: What do you think is the best qualification [for being a moderator]? Being responsible? Having good judgment? Being active?

Socrates: Caring about the site. Being friendly and helpful to new and old users. Being cooperative. Giving room for regular users to use and moderate.

Glaucon: I see.

How would you say "I see" in this colloquial sense? Is there a word or phrase in classical Latin to translate this natural English idiom? Are there many choices? Is there a best?

  • 3
    This particular Socrates doesn't really speak Greek. But I hope he doesn't have to be poisoned, either.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Feb 21, 2017 at 22:09
  • 1
    Out of curiosity, are you looking for "I see" in the sense "I agree"? Or with the possibility of some arch comment like, "I see--how stupid!" I ask because the Socratic dialogues which you reference basically contain a thousand variations of "Wow, you are so smart and that is so true!"
    – brianpck
    Feb 22, 2017 at 13:50
  • I mean the simple definition, "I agree" or "that seems right". I wasn't aware of the other meaning - thanks for alerting me to it.
    – ktm5124
    Feb 22, 2017 at 19:22
  • @brianpck 90% of those, when arguing with opponents, are sarcastic to boot.
    – cmw
    Feb 23, 2017 at 0:53

1 Answer 1


Transforming idiom can often be troublesome, but video is probably all right here : there are references to such idiomatic use in most good dictionaries.

You may, however, prefer capio. Capere is also used classically to mean 'understand', 'agree', etc. (e.g. Cic. Nat. D. I. 49 . . . et ad deos adfluat, cum maximis voluptatibus in eas imagines mentem intentam infixamque nostram intellegentiam capere, quae sit et beata natura et aeterna.) It has an added attraction in that the modern Italian capisco seems to have exactly the meaning you are looking for. In English, too, we can say 'I take the point', which you might translate as haec capio.


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