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I'm planning a motto for a medical squad: "Born to Heal". I want to know it's Latin translation. Google says its "Sana natus est", but there is no way to verify that, without an expert's help.

  • Welcome to the site! Is this an institution that was born to heal or its members that were born to heal? I'm afraid that if you want to have a verb, you need to choose either plural out singular – Rafael Sep 4 '18 at 13:22
  • Also do you want to keep it as close to the English meaning as possible, or would you like to concede a little to sound "more Latin"? – Rafael Sep 4 '18 at 13:25
  • @Rafael Thank you for the warm welcome. I think, if it sounds more latin, it would fit our need the most. And in regards to the first question, we are having a dilemma about it. But basically, both options "members" and "unit" ..born to heal, could be presented, if possible. – Kalle H. Väravas Sep 4 '18 at 13:54
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I can think of one base translation and a number of variations:

Ad sanandum nati,

would be the closest I can think of to the English meaning, while keeping the choice of words made by Google Translate (most of us here are not fans of GTr, but that's a starting point: the words are themselves not wrong).

  • I had to chose the masculine plural, which is the right thing to do in Latin (and a number of derived languages) if you are speaking about a group of people that includes both males and females.
  • The construction ad+gerund (san-andum) is the standard way of conveying the idea of to heal, in order to heal, and more generally, for [verb]-ing

Ad sanandum nata,

is the singular feminine version, if you are speaking about a feminine abstract noun to denote a group (as in turba—band—, legio—military unit—, gens—clan— etc.). You might also want to use the masculine (ad sanandum natus) or the neuter (ad sanandum natum), depending of what is the omitted noun.

Ad sanandum,

is—in my opinion— a more Latin option, since Latin mottos tend to condense Latin structure to its limits. It also saves you from the need to choose between singular or plural.

An example of being born for [sth] to convey a purpose in life is attested at least in Late Latin (not sure about Classical), e.g. in the Vulgate (Ioh 18:37):

Ego in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati (the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth)


According to L&S definition of the verb sano, synonyms are curo (but it usually prefers to take an object), medeor and medico, hence ad [gentes] curandas (to heal people), ad medendum, ad medicandum

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I would propose

sanare nascuntur

nascuntur is the third person plural, so the phrase would be in the sense of an outsider saying "[they are] born to heal". If you want something more involved, like "[we are] born to heal", then you can use

sanare nascimur

As the motto is for a group of people, I would be inclined for the plural, as above. If you want the motto to be in the singular, as in "[s/he is] born to heal" or "[I am] born to heal", then you can use

sanare nascitur

or

sanare nascor

respectively.

  • The infinitive alone wouldn't be a good translation of English "to heal," which is a purpose clause. – brianpck Sep 4 '18 at 15:21
  • @brianpck mmmm, do you have an idea of what my translation actually means in English? – luchonacho Sep 4 '18 at 15:38
  • Not sure, but it's similar to Spanish. You wouldn't just say "Nací sanar," but "Nací para sanar." – brianpck Sep 4 '18 at 16:08
  • @brianpck But I've seen in many places the infinitive used with the "to" preposition implied. E.g. considerare here, clamare here, exultare here, etc. From these examples is where I got the idea, actually. – luchonacho Sep 4 '18 at 16:18
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    @luchonacho I've asked a new question about that here. – Draconis Sep 4 '18 at 16:39

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