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I'm just looking for an accurate translation before getting a tattoo. I don't trust Google Translate completely. "Let Change Guide Me" to is also a contender. Google says it's "Mutatio Et Enutries Me".

The context is that I am a person who often fears change and I am at a point where I want to embrace it rather than run from it. Embracing change or not fearing change is ultimately the message I wish to convey.

I want to make sure that what I get permanently inked on my body is grammatically correct in Latin. Unfortunately I know nothing of Latin. I'm just trying to make sure I'm not one of those people who gets ink in another language that doesn't make sense.

  • My legal name is Zeus, not my choice, and I want to make sure that what I get permanently inked on my body is grammatically correct in latin. I know that english to spanish does not translate literally and am sure latin is the same. – Zeus May 18 '17 at 7:01
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    PS, for context's sake, my brother is Ulysses, my daughter is Athena, and my son is Apollo. You might say, I'm Greeking out! – Zeus May 18 '17 at 7:16
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Alright, as was noted in the comments, there are rules guiding how you can ask translation questions, so sorry to be buzzkill, but make sure you adhere to those in the future. Let me start with the phrase you use in the question. Below is the English and the Latin translation I have come up with:

May Change Nourish Me

Mutatio me alat or Mutatio me augeat

Mutatio- the nominative form, means "change"

me- the accusative, means "me"

alat or augeat- the active subjunctive third person singular, means "nourish." Alat has a meaning closer to "support" or "sustain," or augeat is closer to "increase" or "strengthen" so whatever context sounds better to you, go for it! Augeat (from augeo) is the source of the English word "augment," and it has a similar connotation to it, while alat (from alo) has a closer connotation to eating food for nourishment.


For your other option, here is what I propose:

May Change Guide Me

Mutatio me ducat

I would also suggest as an option:

May Change Drive Me

Mutatio me agat

Good luck in your endeavor!

  • 1
    Do you think Alat me mutatio might put the emphasis more strongly and evocatively? – Ben Kovitz May 18 '17 at 16:33
  • @BenKovitz Sure, I put them in the standard grammatical order, but there's tons of room for poetic manipulation! – Sam K May 18 '17 at 18:56
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Sam K has given you a literal translation, but might I suggest something more pithy?

Fortior Mutatus
Stronger [having been] Changed

(For feminine, use mutata instead of mutatus

This would be a past tense situation, in which the change has already occurred and you're stronger for it. The "I am" part is assumed.

You could also do something like:

Alma Nova // Al(i)tus ab Luce Nova The nourishing new things // Nourished by New Things

This would emphasize the nourishing aspect of what's new. The Latin verb novare (related to nova) has the connotations of change built in.

Using the language of Statius (8.101-102), you could even have a full metaphor in place (depending on how much ink you want):

Novam lucem quae me alit complector.
I embrace the new light, which nourishes me.

Just some extra things to think about. Feel free to ask questions about any of the translations. A tattoo is a permanent thing.

FWIW, in ancient Rome, tattoos were used primarily to brand slaves (a big FVG for runaways, for example), though in later centuries soldiers got them on their hands, too.

4

Inspired by the other answers and your comment that "I am at a point where I want to embrace [change] rather than run from it", here's another idea:

Complectere mutationem

That's in the imperative mood: "Embrace change". Declaratively, as a motto:

Mutatio amplectenda

"Change is to be embraced/cherished."

These are along the line of a Memento mori bracelet, that is, a reminder that you carry with you at all times.

Rather than expressing a hope or a reminder, another variation is to state the desired attitude as a fact already accomplished. Some people consider this more psychologically powerful. That suggests:

Mutatione alitus

"Nourished by change." That might be especially suitable for a tattoo, being written right on you.

One more variation:

Mutatio mihi est alimentum

"Change is my nourishment" or literally "Change, to me, is nourishment." Someone whose Latin is more solid than mine should confirm if it's still clear without est, which might sound more epigrammatic, maybe as two lines in Roman capitals:

MVTATIO MIHI
 ALIMENTVM

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