I would like to get a tattoo of the phrase "remember redemption 25 August 2105" in Latin. This will commemorate the anniversary of my sobriety, along with the command to never forget God's grace and mercy in recovering from my addiction. How would this be translated into Latin?

  • Relevant question: are you giving an instruction to yourself to remember your redemption? Or to the world at large? – Draconis Aug 22 '18 at 18:24
  • This would be for me alone – Twila Charlyse Driggins II Esq Aug 23 '18 at 2:08
  • Ah, okay. I'd suggest editing that into the question then just to clarify! – Draconis Aug 23 '18 at 2:16

The standard word for "remember" (as in a command or request for a single person to remember) is mementō, as in mementō morī.

"Redemption", in the Christian sense, is redemptiō, literally "buying back". This is the word used in one of the psalms (48 in the Vulgate, 49 in most English versions):

None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever.

Mementō can be followed by either a noun in the genitive case, which would be redemptiōnis "redemption", or by a phrase, quia redemptus es "that you were redeemed". (Redemptus would be used by a man, redempta by a woman.) Compare the phrase Rafael quoted: mementō quia pulvis es et in pulvus revertēris "remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return".

In summary, my suggestions are:

  • Mementō redemptiōnis [tuae] = remember [your own] redemption
  • Mementō quia redemptus es = remember that you (male) were redeemed
  • Mementō quia redempta es = remember that you (female) were redeemed

The lines over some of the vowels can be included or left out, at your discretion. They represent a sound difference that vanished in later Latin; the Latin Vulgate Bible, for example, doesn't use them.

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    Regarding the date, if you want to keep it Ecclesiastical, I'd go for XXV augusti MMXV – Rafael Aug 21 '18 at 20:48
  • Are you going for a late/liturgical Latin construction with ut redemptus/a sis? Because I don't think it's Classical Latin, where that would work only as an indirect question ('remember how you were redeemed'). Otherwise, just use an accusative+inf.: memento te redemptum/am esse. – cnread Aug 21 '18 at 21:07
  • @cnread also quia redemptus sis/es (cf. memento quia pulvus es et in pulverem reverteris) – Rafael Aug 22 '18 at 0:13
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    @Rafael Quia is a much better suggestion! Switched to use that – Draconis Aug 22 '18 at 0:25
  • Don't forget the date! – Rafael Aug 22 '18 at 0:33

If you want to retain the alliteration of the English version you could say:

rememoramini redemptionem.

The first word is not used in classical Latin, but is known from Christian Latin. The second has a specifically Christian sense, as explained by Draconis.

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    Did you mean memoramini? – Rafael Aug 22 '18 at 0:11
  • Why -āmini instead of -entō? – Draconis Aug 22 '18 at 0:28
  • @Draconis. I have modelled this on “remoramini pristinos dies,” Vulg. Heb. 10, 32. – fdb Aug 22 '18 at 10:01
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    @Rafael. "Remoramini" seems to be a typo (horrors) in L & S. perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/… I have corrected it in my answer. – fdb Aug 22 '18 at 12:32
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    @fdb Fair; commented on the main question to ask for clarification. I figured it was an instruction to a single person, like mementō morī. – Draconis Aug 22 '18 at 18:24

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