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I want to translate the motto "To hunt is to live" to Latin. The motto is for a hunting club.

The translation I have arrived at is: Venari est vivere. Is this a correct translation? If not, how could it be improved?

  • Hi emilw, please take a look at this question about how to ask translation questions: since this isn't just a translation service, you need to show at least some evidence of effort (online dictionaries, etc.), which should be accessible even to someone who has never studied Latin. (Pro tip: don't use Google Translate!) – brianpck Apr 30 '17 at 23:53
  • We'd be more than happy to answer more specific questions, such as "Is X or Y a better word for 'to hunt'" or "What is the best way to say 'to X is to Y' in Latin?" – brianpck Apr 30 '17 at 23:55
  • Thank you for your prompt reply, brianpck. Please forgive my brief, "translation service" style question. I've tried my hand with the translation myself, however, I have very little experience with translating latin. The translation I have arrived at is: 'Venari est vivere'. It seems simple, but I know how difficult translating English into Latin can be! Does this seem like a correct translation? – emilw May 1 '17 at 0:01
  • Welcome to the site! I took the liberty of editing your question a little (a more specific tag and including the English motto in the text body), but feel free to re-edit. You might also want to take a look at an older question about a similar phrase. – Joonas Ilmavirta May 1 '17 at 2:07
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Your translation is entirely correct! You have two infinitives, venari and vivere, which are both idiomatic. The finite verb est "is" is used to connect the two, just as in English, which is also idiomatic.

P.S. To novice learners of Latin, venari might seem wrong, but it's not. It is the passive infinitive, because venari is a deponent, which means that hardly has any active forms at all, and that its passive forms are generally translated as if they were active.

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    Could not the verb go at the end, to make "venari vivere est"? Is there a reason to prefer placing verb in the middle? – James K May 1 '17 at 6:53
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    @JamesK Both positions are possible. I don't know if there is a reason to prefer one over the other. That would make an interesting question. – Joonas Ilmavirta May 1 '17 at 8:12
  • Other mottoes of a similar form have the verb in the middle, e.g. laborare est orare (the motto of Benedictine monks). This doesn't make it correct, of course, but it might be a nice reference to make. – lonesomeday May 1 '17 at 10:10
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    @lonesomeday The more common phrase is ora et labora--I couldn't find an original Benedictine document that has orare est laborare, though I agree with your point. Note a similar counter-example, though, from St. Paul: vivere Christus est. – brianpck May 1 '17 at 13:50
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Praedari est vivere.

Wiktionary also appears to condone the form praedare, although this could be an error.

This is not an authoritative answer. It’s just how I would say it.

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    praedor usually translates as "to make booty, to plunder, spoil, rob": do you have a particular reason for suggesting it as "to hunt"? – brianpck May 1 '17 at 13:46

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