10

I'm making a label for my dad's homebrew as a Christmas gift and I'd love to include "Father knows beer best" in Latin as the motto of his company. Could anybody help translate that for me?

15

I'd go for a wordplay:

Pater optime cerevisiam sapit

  • Just as the other answers, pater is straightforwardly father
  • The verb sapio means both to taste and to know/understand. Hence sapit is the right conjugation to speak about a third person (a "he", the father) who knows.
  • In Latin you have different words for knowing. Not sure how to describe them in English, but I'll try: sapio and scio are somewhat better for knowledge in general, while nosco is better for getting acquainted or getting to know something. If you know any Spanish, it's like the difference between saber and conocer. See What is the difference between "novi" and "scio"? for better explanations in English.
  • cerevisia is literally beer. The -m ending makes it the object of sapit.
  • optime is the adverb for best. You need an adverb to modify the verb. In this context, English best may work as a superlative of both an adjective (good) or an adverb (well). In Latin there are (slightly) different words for that.
  • In Latin, word order is not rigid as long as meaning is unambiguously expressed though other means (e.g., word endings).

Regarding your question about father knows best, the issue here is the same I said above: you have to use the adverbial best (optime, so-to-say *most well), or change it for something else, or add a word or two to use the adejctival best (optimus, -a, -um, *most good + sth.) For example, father knows what's best, father knows the best things).

A possible translation could be pater optima sapit, where optima is an adjective, neuter in gender, and plural: a common way of referring to things that have certain trait (adjective). Optima doesn't change as the object of sapit. The full sentence would mean, Father knows the best things. Or you could stick to the adverb and get pater optime sapit, father knows best (or *most well if you allow the distinction).

  • 1
    Since "sapio" also means "taste", it adds an extra layer of meaning since the object is beer – eques Dec 18 '18 at 22:22
  • +1 for the double meaning, very clever. – Blue Caboose Dec 19 '18 at 15:13
  • Double meaning aside, why not nosco? From both my knowledge and your explanation, it fits better. – pacholik Dec 19 '18 at 15:22
  • @pacholik, I also think it fits somewhat better, but since both fit, I chose the double meaning. – Rafael Dec 19 '18 at 16:25
5

Pater de cerevisia peritissimus should do it.

Literally, this means 'Father about beer is very experienced'.

  • 2
    You could also use a genitive with peritissimus: pater cerevisiae peritissimus. – cnread Dec 18 '18 at 17:52
  • @cnread Or even ad with accusative: pater ad cerevisiam coquendam peritissimus.If he's brewing his own, I prefer my first effort, which I think better suggests an experience of brewing, rather than of beer in general — a fine point, I know! – Tom Cotton Dec 18 '18 at 20:27

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