I am currently studying Latin (3rd year in high school); so I do have a mild understanding of the language. I would like to know whether this translation is correct, makes sense and sounds at least a bit natural. Unfortunately, I can't ask my classroom teacher.

I have come up with this motto in English, call it a title or heading if you'd like:

All lost things, found.

(All things which had been lost, have now been found)

Going by my somehow limited knowledge of Latin, and consulting the Wiktionary, I crafted this:

Omnes perditae res, inventus.

Now, I don't know if inveniēns should be used here, as an active present participle, or inventus as a passive perfect participle.

What are your thoughts on this? Any other approach is warmly welcomed.


1 Answer 1


A couple things about your translation. First, res is too literal. "All things" in Latin is merely omnia, and thus you can fix the gender of perditae.

Speaking of which, perdo doesn't mean "lost" as in "I can't find it," but "lost" as in "irrevocably destroyed forever." Cf. Catullus' lines:

Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire, / et quod vides perisse perditum ducas.

Wretched Catullus, quit acting foolish / and consider that which has vanished to be lost [i.e. she's never coming back!]

I'd offer amittere as a good replacement (think "misplace").

Also, on analogy with phrases like damnant quod non intellegunt, I'd suggest using a relative clause for your amittere.

I'd offer:

Omnia quae amissa iam reperta sunt.

In English, found is a perfect passive participle, so you would keep it the same in Latin. I chose the word reperio, which I think captures the nuance better (with the prefix re- and all), but invenio could work, too, I suppose.

  • Thank you for your answer, but I would very much prefer to keep the format/structure of the phrase, since it'll be part of a series. Is there any way to write it as [Former state], [current state]. (i.e. Then lost, now found.)? Also, I understand the nuance of perdo and I believe it would be suitable for this (or maybe it doesn't work with invenio?). About that passive dilemma; I am not that well acquainted with English grammar in detail, since I'm not a native speaker, and my language only deals with one type of participle. Could you please lend me a hand just a bit further on this? Commented Apr 9, 2017 at 10:15
  • I didn't realize you were not a native English speaker. I think you could have figured it out very easily, but since you asked, there's the answer. You can remove the quae without losing very much: omnia amissa/perdita iam reperta/inventa sunt: All lost things are now found.
    – cmw
    Commented Apr 9, 2017 at 13:28

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