Title says it all:

I'm looking to translate the English motto "Only when you forget you are human will you remember you are a god." to Latin. Due to the grammar and phrasing of the clauses, Google Translate which I usually turn to is completely unhelpful.

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    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    May 14, 2018 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


I suggest:

Modo te hominem esse oblitus recordaberis te deum [esse].

The key words are the participle oblitus ("one who has forgotten") and the verb recordaberis ("you will remember"). It says "only as someone who has forgotten you will remember".

Forgetting and remembering have objects expressed by an accusative with infinitive. I put the objects around the two key verbs to create a chiastic effect. You could translate te hominem esse as "that you are human" and te deum esse as "that you are god". The second esse is optional. So is the first one, really, but I would keep it for clarity. Choose what sounds best to you.

I should add that what I wrote can be said to a man. If the addressee is female, then replace oblitus with oblita and deum with deam.

Google Translate is indeed horrible even with simple sentences. The only thing it seems to translate semi-reliably is individual words, and for that purpose online Latin dictionaries are far better.

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