sic este mei memores hec illac

I am trying to use it in a poem. It needs to be 10 syllables and the end has to rhyme with 'attack.'

Is this a good way to say 'So remember me this way'?

  • Do you need any particular stress pattern? Rhyming with "attack" also requires a bit of distorted pronunciation, since Classical Latin had no /æ/.
    – Draconis
    Mar 16, 2017 at 3:37
  • Iambic pentameter. How do you pronounce "illac"?
    – Bango
    Mar 16, 2017 at 4:05
  • 2
    A little unsolicited advice: This is probably an XY problem. It seems a bit rigid to request Latin verse in iambic-pentameter (though some Church hymns do use such schemes) and especially to require that it rhyme with "attack": don't you have more control over what the previous line is? One does not simply write a line ending in orange and expect the next rhyming line to be easy :)
    – brianpck
    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:02
  • If you know IPA, illāc is something like /ˈɪlː.ɑːk/. In other words, the first vowel is like in English "ill", the second vowel as in "father". And the stress is on the first syllable.
    – Draconis
    Mar 16, 2017 at 16:03
  • @brianpck You're right, I do have complete control over the poem. I haven't edited the question because I find the near-rhyme of attack and (pronounced) "ill-lock" to be acceptable. I found what I think is probably a good verbal pronunciation of the word here. I also understand that it will be hard to follow iambic in latin due to the fact that no 2+ syllable words end on a stressed syllable. In this case, I am not averse to rhyming 'orange' with 'porridge', so to speak.
    – Bango
    Mar 16, 2017 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately I don't have a good translation to offer, so this is not a full answer. This is more of a commentary that didn't fit in the comment box. In prose I would translate your phrase as sic mementote mei.

Your verse is mostly grammatical, but unfortunately it does not have ten syllables (it has eleven) nor does it rhyme with the English word "attack". I do not quite understand the function of h(a?)ec illac. The adverb illac means "along this road" more concretely than the English "that way" does. Since you are not describing physical movement, something like hoc modo would be better — but on the other hand, sic already conveys the "this way".

Classical Latin does not have the vowel sound that appears in "attack". Instead of /æ/, illac has an /a/ (like in "luck"). Rhyming Latin with "attack" is difficult, and I'm not sure if anything would be satisfactory.

About syllables: In classical Latin mĕ-ī has two syllables, one short and one long. (Synizesis is always possible, though.) There is no elision in this verse, so all syllables are pronounced. Classical poetry was based on a length pattern instead of a stress pattern, but of course you don't need to follow classical style in your poem.

  • You're saying the 'lac' in illac is pronounced more like 'luck' in English? Because I pronounce bath and attack with the same sound on the a.
    – Bango
    Mar 16, 2017 at 8:42
  • @Bango Yes, "luck" is a much better (less dialect-dependent) example word. I edited the answer. The second syllable of illac is otherwise like luck, but the vowel is longer.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Mar 16, 2017 at 8:59
  • For me "luck" has a /ʌ/; illac is like the first vowel in "father".
    – Draconis
    Mar 16, 2017 at 16:00
  • @Draconis Oh. I see no difference between the vowels of "luck" and "father", but I'm not native. If you know a good English word with sufficiently uniform pronunciation across dialects, please let me know or edit it in.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Mar 16, 2017 at 16:05
  • @JoonasIlmavirta The best I can think of is "ah" for consistency. In my dialect of English "luck" is distinct, but "father" and "bother" (and "cot" and "caught") have all merged into a single vowel; someone from England would have all of those separate.
    – Draconis
    Mar 16, 2017 at 16:59

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.