I hope someone who speaks Russian could help me in translating a phrase "Лови момент. Цени мгновение." into Latin. I'm afraid the original meaning could be lost or transformed if I translate it to English, first. But I guess in English the phrase would sound like "Catch the moment. Appreciate the instant"

up vote 21 down vote accepted

There is a well-known Latin equivalent in fairly common use : carpe diem (literally, 'seize the day), taken from Horace, Odes 1.11. The full phrase is carpe diem quam minimum credula postero, implying that you should take nothing on trust for tomorrow.

Although it's not a literal translation of the Russian, it catches the sentiment exactly.

  • 12
    It seems to me that the Russian quotation is actually a paraphrase of Horace. – kkm Sep 12 at 13:21
  • carpo is etymologically “to pick, to cut off”. It is cognate with – among other things – the “harv-“ part of English “harvest”. I wonder whether “harvest the day” might not work very well in English. – fdb Sep 12 at 15:12
  • @fdb 'Harvest the day', as you say, might work, but I've never seen it and wouldn't use it myself. – Tom Cotton Sep 12 at 17:39
  • @fdb: In Dutch, the phrase is commonly rendered as "pluk de dag". Outside this phrase, using "pluk" with a day is probably as unusual as it is in English: its most typical use is with fruit. So perhaps "pluck the day" might work to a similar extent. I believe I have seen this translation used in English as well. – Cerberus Sep 13 at 0:04
  • I believe we’ve already had a discussion on its equivalence latin.stackexchange.com/questions/4938/… – Alex B. Sep 13 at 13:20

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